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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid