News / Europe

Low Expectations as EU Finance Ministers Meet

President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi attends the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs at the European Parliament in Brussels, July 9, 2012.
President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi attends the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs at the European Parliament in Brussels, July 9, 2012.
Lisa Bryant
PARIS — European Union finance ministers are in Brussels for a two-day meeting to flesh out June agreements on the eurozone debt crisis. They are downplaying expectations, even as they face tremendous market pressure to deliver.

Banking supervision, aid to Spain and Cyprus and how to handle the Greek debt - European Union finance ministers are tackling these and other key issues during talks in Brussels.

Lagarde's warning

On Friday, IMF Chief Christine Lagarde increased pressure, praising recent steps taken by EU leaders, but warning the global economy may slow further if they do not do more.

"It's also a question of implementation… diligent, rigorous, implementation. And from the IMF perspective, we believe more needs to be done in order to really complete the architectural job of the eurozone: a monetary union, a banking union, followed by a fiscal union," she said. 

Fleshing out June agreements

The finance ministers will try to fill in the blanks for a series of agreements reached by the 27 EU leaders during a summit last month. Markets initially cheered those decisions, which included new ways to use the EU's bailout fund and plans for a future banking union.

But market confidence quickly vanished. 

"The reason is that clearly there is still no agreement among the heads of state, among the finance ministers, among the different countries about the course to pursue," explains economist Andre Sapir of the Brussels think tank Bruegel. "The declarations that are made at the end of the summit are then interpreted by different countries and different leaders in different manners. And that is what markets don't like."

The euro has sunk to a new low against the dollar. And borrowing costs for shaky Spain and Italy have again spiked.

Greater role for European central bank

Analysts like Sapir do hail one EU decision reached late last week: to give the European Central Bank a greater oversight role. That, he says, is the first step in EU plans to create a banking union.

"The notion that we need to create in Europe or in the euro area is something comparable to what exists in the United States, with an institution like the FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation] - an institution that is able to supervise, to provide deposit insurance, and to provide resolutions for banks in crisis at the euro-area level," he said.

This week's finance meeting was supposed to be the last until September. But EU officials say that given the complexity of their workload, the ministers will likely be meeting again later this month.

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