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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
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 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.
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