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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid