News / Europe

Greece, Spain Seek More Austerity

Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras makes statements after a meeting with Greece's PM Antonis Samaras and the heads of the two junior coalition parties in Athens, Sept. 27, 2012. Stournaras says the heads of the three parties in the governing coal
Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras makes statements after a meeting with Greece's PM Antonis Samaras and the heads of the two junior coalition parties in Athens, Sept. 27, 2012. Stournaras says the heads of the three parties in the governing coal
VOA News
Greek and Spanish leaders are advancing new austerity measures, while their countrymen protest the budget-cutting in the streets of Athens and Madrid.

After weeks of negotiation, Greece's three-party coalition government said Thursday it has reached agreement on a $15-billion plan for more pension and salary cuts, and raising the retirement age for workers from 65 to 67.  Greece's international lenders had demanded the new austerity package in exchange for releasing another segment of the country's second bailout in the past two years.

One of the coalition's junior partners, Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left party, said Greece will attempt to win approval from the lenders to pay back its debts over a longer period of time.

"There was an agreement on basic elements, there are still some issues to be decided on," said Kouvelis.  "We will ask for a four-year extension of the program, and of course we will ask for safeguards against some measures that are meant to increase our revenues."

In Madrid, the Spanish government unveiled a $51-billion austerity plan for next year that would cut spending, boost taxes and restrict early retirements in the country's workforce.

Wednesday, thousands of protesters filled the streets of Athens and Madrid to vent their anger at the governments' repeated efforts to trim salaries, pensions and popular social programs.  In both capitals, riot police clashed with demonstrators.

Nearly a quarter of Spaniards are unemployed.  The jobless rate is only slightly better in Greece.  Uncertainty about the economies in both countries has sent borrowing costs soaring for the Spanish and Greek governments.  Spain's finance ministry also reported Wednesday that the country is sinking deeper into recession.

Budget crises have already forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to secure international bailouts, and analysts say the Spanish government could be next, joining its banking system in seeking a rescue package.

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

You May Like

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid