News / Europe

Slovakia Approves Expanded Eurozone Bailout Fund

A nurse shouts slogans during a protest by hospital staff in Athens, October 13, 2011.
A nurse shouts slogans during a protest by hospital staff in Athens, October 13, 2011.

Slovakia has approved expansion of Europe's bailout fund for the continent's debt-ridden countries, becoming the 17th and final nation needed to complete action on the plan.

Slovak lawmakers Thursday committed their central European government to a $10 billion share of the $596 billion fund. The approval vote came just two days after Parliament had rejected the deal, toppling the government of Prime Minister Iveta Radicova.

Opposition lawmakers in Bratislava relented in the new approval vote after winning a commitment for a general election in March, two years ahead of when the Radicova government normally would have faced re-election.

All 17 nations that use the euro had to assent to the bigger fund for it to take effect. Initial Slovak opposition centered on the argument that one of Europe's poorest nations should not have to help bail out Greece and possibly other debt-ridden countries where workers enjoy better living standards.

The Greek debt crisis continued to play out across Europe on Thursday.

More Greek workers walked off their jobs in a heightened protest of the government's effort to impose austerity measures to satisfy international creditors.

Public transportation ground to a halt in Athens, while power company workers sought to block their employer from collecting a new property tax and lawyers refused to appear in court. The electric workers said the power company should not be used as a tax collector, with customers threatened with a power cutoff if they don't pay the tax.

The Greek protests are part of a string of demonstrations against the government-imposed austerity measures. The Greek Parliament is set to vote next week on the latest plan, one that would sharply cut the pay for 30,000 civil servants and eventually eliminate their jobs.  

European officials voiced new worries about the effects of the continent's governmental debt crisis. It has roiled international stock markets for weeks, with share values falling again Thursday on London, Paris and Frankfurt exchanges.

The French finance ministry said banks heavily exposed to Greek debt might have to take losses of more than the 21 percent that was proposed in a July agreement calling for a second bailout for the Athens government. Some officials are suggesting that the banks' losses on Greek securities could reach 50 percent.

European financial officials have been pressing banks to increase their cash reserves so that they can withstand possible losses on government bonds they bought from Greece and other debt-ridden countries. But one major lender, Germany's Deutsche Bank, balked at that idea Thursday. The bank said it is the responsibility of governments to restore stability in their finances.

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