News / Europe

Europe Moves Closer to Expanding Greek Bailout

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Minister of Greece, Georgios Papandreou shake hands prior to a dinner at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Sept. 27, 2011.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Minister of Greece, Georgios Papandreou shake hands prior to a dinner at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Sept. 27, 2011.

Stock markets are rallying in expectation that European governments are finally committed to a comprehensive solution to their spreading debt crisis.  Two of the most reluctant countries - Germany and Finland - are expected to vote this week for expanding a key bailout fund. 

Time is running out for Greece to receive more bailout funds to avoid defaulting on its debt. But expectations are also rising that European governments are finally responding to calls that they take bigger and bolder steps to tackle a spreading financial crisis in the 17 nations sharing the euro currency.

In the coming days, European and International Monetary Fund officials will be assessing Greece's progress toward pushing through tough austerity measures in return for more funds.  Analysts and markets are also zeroing in on Germany, Europe's biggest economy, where opposition has been growing about bailing out Greece and other debt-strapped countries.

But there is a widespread expectation the German parliament will back expanding the European Union's bailout fund during a crucial vote, Thursday.

Underscoring the importance of German support, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou held talks with German leader Angela Merkel on Tuesday.  He also appealed for help, in an address to German industries.

"This crisis must unite us to make Europe a stronger Europe - one that lives up to the common aspirations of our citizens.  I am confident that Greece will have undergone this same remarkable transformation achieve in Germany during the early 1990s.  What we are doing is nothing short than the rebirth of a nation," he said.

News reports suggest a larger plan for dealing with the debt crisis is being crafted.  But European officials have dampened those expectations.  And, a number of eurozone governments have yet to ratify a July decision to expand the bailout fund, which they need to do within weeks.

Even if they do, analysts like Simon Tilford, of the Center for European Reform in London, say the expanded fund will not be enough to deal with debt problems in bigger economies, like Italy.

"I think that, at this juncture, they're certainly far behind the curve," he said. "They obviously need to agree to what they signed up to in July.  But that's not going to be anywhere near enough to prevent the crisis deepening and perhaps barreling out of control."

The United States and other countries are increasingly concerned that Europe's debt crisis will have far-reaching effects. President Barack Obama and his administration have been pressing European leaders for tougher action.

"They have not fully healed from the crisis back in 2007 and never fully dealt with all the challenges that their banking system faced.  It's now being compounded with what's been happening in Greece.  So they're now going through a financial crisis that is scaring the world," he said.

Underscoring the international concern, Japan's finance minister has suggested his government might help in bailing out Greece - if European leaders draft a plan that will calm the markets.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid