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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid