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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid