News / Europe

Greek Leader Warns of 'Uncontrolled Default'

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos welcomes members of Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants during a meeting in Athens, January 4, 2012.
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos welcomes members of Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants during a meeting in Athens, January 4, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos says his country faces an "uncontrolled default" unless worker unions and employers can agree on wage cuts to boost Greece's economic competitiveness.

The interim Greek leader met with labor leaders and business representatives Wednesday, warning them that international creditors will not approve a new $169 billion bailout for Greece unless significant wage and financial bonus reforms are imposed.

But one labor chief rejected any wage reductions for Greek workers.

Yannis Panagopoulos, president of the General Confederation of Greek Workers, said his members "are not willing to take a single step back" in the face of any wage-reduction demands.

The European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank have asked the Greek government to change the country's wage agreements as a way to boost its competitiveness with other countries in the 17-nation bloc that uses the euro currency.  Until now, Greece has rejected the request, fearing that it would worsen the country's economic conditions and force more layoffs of workers.

A new private survey showed that business activity in the eurozone contracted in December for the fourth consecutive month, the latest sign that Europe is falling into recession.

Markit Economics said its index of manufacturing and service industries rose slightly last month, but still remained below the mark that would indicate economic growth.  Europe's economic fortunes have been weighed down by the continent's governmental debt crisis and imposition of austerity spending plans that has curtailed growth.  Greece, Ireland and Portugal have already been forced to secure bailouts and now Greece is trying to finalize details on its second package.

Analysts said the slowdown in the eurozone's economy could force the European Central Bank to reduce its already record-low one percent benchmark interest rate to spur economic growth.  Worries about inflation in the eurozone have eased, with the annualized rate falling in December to 2.8 percent, down from three percent the month before.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid