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.

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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid