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

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7735
JPY
USD
107.03
GBP
USD
0.6155
CAD
USD
1.1011
INR
USD
60.954

Rates may not be current.