News / Europe

Greek Cabinet Approves New Austerity Plan

New round of cost-cutting follows blunt EU demands for deeper spending cuts

The Greek Cabinet has approved broad new spending cuts designed to save an extra $6.5 billion and defuse a debt crisis that has shaken the European Union and undermined the euro currency.

The measures include a two percent rise in sales tax, a freeze in pensions and additional salary cuts for civil servants.

Prime Minister George Papandreou said the country risked "catastrophe" if the government failed to impose decisive spending cuts.  He said Wednesday that his government is now expecting European Union support for Greek austerity measures.

In Brussels Wednesday, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the head of a group of eurozone finance ministers, Jean Claude Juncker, praised the budget cuts, saying they would help stabilize the euro.   Mr. Barroso said corrective measures in Greece are now on track.

For his part, Mr. Juncker said eurozone governments are now ready to take coordinated action to back the Athens government.

The European Union had earlier given Greece until mid-March to show it is taking appropriate actions to lower its debt.

The new round of cost-cutting came after EU officials bluntly told Athens to make deeper spending cuts.  International credit rating agencies have also warned of more damaging downgrades if Athens fails to rein in its debt.

Mr. Papandreou is set to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin Friday, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy Sunday.

Athens has already raised some taxes, frozen civil service salaries, and raised the retirement age to save on pensions in efforts to cut government spending.

The austerity measures are meeting stiff opposition from unions and leftist party leaders.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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