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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7866
JPY
USD
109.25
GBP
USD
0.6139
CAD
USD
1.1120
INR
USD
61.428

Rates may not be current.