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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

New Yellow Fever Research May Lead to Improved Treatment

Researchers identify features of disease that may lead to more effective treatment More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid