News / Economy

Greek Economy Dominates Cannes

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) walks with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy as they arrive at the G20 venue where world leaders gather in Cannes, France, November 2, 2011.
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) walks with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy as they arrive at the G20 venue where world leaders gather in Cannes, France, November 2, 2011.
Lisa Bryant

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is holding crisis talks Wednesday night with German and Greek leaders in Cannes, as heads of state begin arriving for the two-day summit of the Group of 20 leading economies.

Cannes is more used to hosting Tom Cruise than Jacob Zuma. But the President of South Africa counts among more than 30 leaders and top financial officials meeting here at the Group of 20 summit. Instead of the famous Cannes film festival, this agenda will be dominated by the latest twist in the European debt crisis, following Athens' call for a referendum on its bailout conditions.

Ahead of the summit, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called on Greece to accept the terms of a European bailout fund.

"Without agreement of Greece to the program supported by the European Union and the IMF [International Monetary Fund], the conditions of Greek citizens will become much more painful, particularly for the most vulnerable," said Barroso.

John Kirton co-heads the G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto, in Canada.

"The Cannes summit has got to, for one, contain the euro crisis. Number two, find a way to generate strong, sustained, balanced growth in the global economy. Third, put in place stronger financial regulations and supervision… and then it has to move on to look at development," said Kirton.

There are fears the eurozone crisis will hijack the many other issues on the summit agenda. Thousands of international activists, with a range of causes, are staging protests in the nearby city of Nice to make sure world leaders focus on people and not just on financial markets.

John Ruthrauff, co-chair of the US nongovernmental umbrella group Interaction, said that includes tackling the fallout of the European crisis on developing countries.

"There's a huge amount of problems that can result in the European crises continuing in terms of remittances that are dropping, in terms of trade that's dropping - 60 percent of the banks in the South are European banks, so if they have trouble, that's going to be a problem," said Ruthrauff.

Summit host, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has met with both NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and business leaders ahead of the summit. Among the proposals G20 leaders will discuss is a tax on financial transactions as a way to raise new funds for poorer countries. NGOs like Interaction support it. Business leaders like Standard Chartered Bank head Peter Sands - who is part of a spinoff business summit here - do not.

"At this juncture we need to be incredibly careful not to go too far and end up doing things that would undermine global growth and job creation, would fuel deleveraging and would in their way create new sources of instability," said Sands.

This normally glitzy town is all but deserted for the summit - except for the hordes of journalists, delegates and police. But real estate agent Fabienne Bohbot is among the few Cannes residents out people-watching.

Bohbot said things are bad economically. She said she hopes the G20 leaders will work at resolving the problems before they head home on Friday.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
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.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.