News / Europe

Debt Crisis Spreads Beyond Greece

Multimedia

U.S. stock market indexes were mixed in Wednesday's trading.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5 percent (53 points) to end at 11,045.  The S&P 500 advanced nearly 0.7 percent (eight points) to finish at 1,191 but the NASDAQ was essentially unchanged to close at 2,471.  

European stock markets were down at the close of trading as concerns grew about the debt crisis that affects Greece, Portugal and now Spain.  London's Financial Times 100 index lost 0.3 percent (17 points) to end at 5,587.  The CAC-40 in Paris fell 1.5 percent (58 points) to hit 3,787, and the DAX in Frankfurt was off 1.2 percent (75 points) to reach 6,084.

Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei index plunged 2.6 percent (288 points) to finish at 10,925.  Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 1.5 percent (312 points) to finish the day's trading at 20,949.

European and global finance leaders are stepping up efforts to reach agreement on a bailout package for Greece.  The debt crisis in Athens has caused worries about a Greek financial meltdown that could suck in other European nations and affect all that use the euro as their common currency.

The heads of the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank were in Berlin Wednesday for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and other senior officials. The aim: to get agreement on a bailout package for Greece.

Speaking to reporters, IMF chief Dominique Strauss Kahn said he remains confident a solution will be found.

"It asks from the Greek government very bold measures, but they're ready to take it," said Kahn.  "I'm confident from this side it will work very rapidly.  We also need to restore confidence in the solidarity of the European Union to provide - especially [to] the Eurozone - to provide the resources along with the IMF.  And if all this goes together rapidly, I'm really confident that the problem will be fixed."

Greece has been in negotiations with EU member countries and the IMF to secure a bailout - money that would allow it to pay debts coming due in time to avoid having to default.  

In return Greece is under pressure to restructure its economy and implement austerity measures.

That has average Greeks worried, confused and angry, says reporter Anthee Carassava, who spoke with VOA from Athens.

"Greeks just simply do not know what the next day will spell for them, what this EU-IMF rescue package  is all about, what it will actually mean for their pockets," said Carassava.

Disgruntled public-sector workers went on strike in Greece Wednesday to protest against the cutbacks.  A daylong general strike has been called for next week.

Opinion polls show the majority of Greeks are against an IMF-EU bailout, seeing it as foreign interference.

Worries about the Greek economy's potential meltdown have sent jitters through world markets.  And, says Dominique Strauss Kahn, help is imperative because the Greek crisis could spread.

"We have to do this because it's a problem that is today in Greece, but if we don't fix it in Greece it may have a lot of consequences on the rest of the European Union," added Kahn.

Germany, as the biggest potential contributor, has shown reticence about a bailout.  There is little domestic public support for lending money to Greece.

A joint EU-IMF aid package for Greece is put at $60 billion, but some European officials said Wednesday the full cost could be much higher, reaching about $160 billion over three years.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs