News / Europe

Greece's Deficit Crisis to Top European Union Summit

Greece's deficit crisis will be a top item of a European Union summit in Brussels Thursday, with expectations that some EU countries will offer assistance to Athens. 

The European currency, the euro, rose early Thursday, as European leaders headed to Brussels for their first summit of the year.  Hopes are high there will be some sort of European aid for one of the most troubled members of the eurozone, Greece, which is struggling under massive debts.

Late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, told reporters the bloc would help Athens out. There are reports that some eurozone members - notably Germany and possibly France - may offer some sort of bilateral assistance.

But Richard Gros, director for the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels, says any European help will be insufficient.

"What's needed right now is a common European approach to a systemic issue," he said. "It's not just Greece that needs help, but a number of countries that are in a similar situation which might need in the future financial help.  That's why we need a European institution like a European monetary fund which could deal with this kind of situation."

Greece has drafted tough measures to cut its spending and vowed to stick to them.  Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, is among the EU officials hammering that message home.

"On Greece, I said what I had to say - they have to reach the goals that they have fixed for themselves. It's absolutely crucial," he said.

But Greece also faces the prospect of massive social unrest as it reins in its spending. Workers staged a nationwide strike on Wednesday that shuttered airports, government offices, courts and schools.

Spain and Portugal also have shaky economies. "In Spain, I think the problems are both severe and less severe. Spain has a problem in its construction sector, but if the government can keep it under control, I think it should be fine," said CEPS director Richard Gros.

But Gros notes that Portugal, like Greece, has been consuming too much and it will be difficult for both to push through tough austerity measures.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid