News / Europe

Greek Parliament Approves Stringent Austerity Measures

The Greek parliament approved tough new austerity measures to help curb its soaring debt and deficit as thousands of people demonstrated against them in Athens. European Union leaders are holding an emergency meeting on the crisis on Friday.

Thousands of protesters again took to the streets of Athens (on Thursday) to register their dismay at tough spending cuts that will affect their pensions and salaries. But the Greek parliament went ahead and voted in favor of the package of tough, new austerity measures, demanded by the European Union and the IMF in exchange for a $145 billion loan deal with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The Greek government says the country has no option but to grit its teeth and cut spending to tackle the soaring debt and public deficit.

Polls show a measure of popular understanding.

But this sentiment is far from unanimous - as seen from the reaction of this Athens resident.

He says he feels disgusted and desperate for the Greek nation that cannot find its way out of the crisis.

Despite the bailout crisis, concern is growing that Greece's crisis will spread and infect other shaky European economies. Moody's rating agency warned Thursday the Greek crisis risked affecting banking systems in other European countries, including Portugal, Spain and Britain. The euro also plunged to its lowest level in over a year, reflecting the jittery markets.

On Friday, leaders from the 16 eurozone countries sharing the European currency are meeting to sign off on the bailout package - and to discuss ways to prevent a larger crisis.

In Portugal, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet sought to calm fears, saying there was no question of Greece defaulting on its loan repayments He said that shaky economies like Spain and Portugal did not face the same fate as Athens.

Trichet also defended the European reaction to the Greek crisis, saying it had been marked by consistency - including when it came to the bailout package. "We were unanimous on asking Greece to embark on a recovery program. My first point. We were unanimous in judging positively the recovery program that had been negotiated by the (European) Commission in liason with us and by the IMF," he said.

Critics say the EU was slow to respond to the Greek crisis. And they note Europe offered a divided response, with Germany initially reluctant to loan Greece money unless it agreed to new austerity measures.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid