News / Europe

Greece Readies Tough Austerity Package for Bailout

Greek riot police officers charge protesters at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens, during minor scuffles following a peaceful ongoing rally against plans for new austerity measures,  June 22, 2011
Greek riot police officers charge protesters at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens, during minor scuffles following a peaceful ongoing rally against plans for new austerity measures, June 22, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is now pushing for approval of unpopular austerity measures that are aimed at securing emergency international bailout funds to keep the country from defaulting on its debt.

Earlier Wednesday, Papandreou survived a crucial parliamentary confidence vote, making passage of the controversial economic reforms more likely.

Crowds in the square outside parliament reacted angrily to the vote. Riot police used tear gas to disperse protestors who broke off from the main rally.

Many Greeks said that while they understand the need to get the public debt under control, they feel the government, the European Union and International Monetary Fund are not going about it the right way.

But EU leaders are adamant that Greece move ahead with sharp economic reforms including increased taxes and privatizations of the public sector before they release the next $17 billion of last year's promised $160 billion bailout funds.

Wednesday's confidence vote fell strictly along party lines, indicating that Papandreou will continue to face challenges to the reform program. The vote passed with 155 lawmakers backing the government and 143 voting against it. Two abstained.

Following the vote, Asian stock markets rose, with Tokyo's Nikkei gaining 1.8 percent.  The euro also managed short term gains.

EU leaders are to meet in Brussels Thursday to further discuss the debt crisis.

Papandreou is appealing to lawmakers to pass his package of spending cuts, tax hikes, and the sale of state assets. He warned parliament that Greece would face bankruptcy and default next month if it fails to back his reforms and secure the loan payment.

The opposition and some members of the prime minister's own Socialist Party say the reforms will not work.

Economic analysts say a default by Greece could spark another global financial disaster.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid