News / Europe

Greece, Spain Face New Debt Pressures

Luxembourg's Prime Minister and head of the eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker, right, and Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos participate in a media conference in Luxembourg, November 22, 2011.
Luxembourg's Prime Minister and head of the eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker, right, and Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos participate in a media conference in Luxembourg, November 22, 2011.

Greece and Spain faced new pressure Tuesday from the European debt crisis.

The European Union bluntly told the Athens government it would not receive its next $11 billion installment from last year's bailout unless its fractious political leaders sign a written statement committing to new austerity measures to cut the country's debt. Greece needs the money to avoid a default next month, but conservative leader Antonis Samaras says his verbal consent to the unpopular austerity plan should be sufficient and has refused to sign a written pledge.

A key EU financial leader, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, told new Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos that without the written commitment, the release of the funds "of course could not take place."

Meanwhile, the prospect of a conservative government in Spain led by Prime Minister-elect Mariano Rajoy failed to quell mounting financial market pressure on the Madrid government. Spain was forced to pay its highest interest rates in 14 years on government debt. Its rate on three-month securities topped 5 percent, more than double that from a month ago and higher than both Greece and Portugal have had to pay.

As the long reach of the debt crisis continues, European leaders are debating the role of the European Central Bank, and to what extent it should buy the bonds of the 17 nations that use the common euro currency. France wants the bank to be allowed to lend an unlimited amount to the eurozone's bailout fund. But Germany, the continent's leading economic power, fears that would fuel inflation and discourage debt-ridden countries from correcting their financial woes.

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

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid