News / Europe

Markets Unimpressed by France-Germany Euro Plans

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, second from left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, second from right, attend a meeting to discuss how to deal with Europe's sovereign debt crisis, at the Elysee Palace, Paris, August 16, 2011
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, second from left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, second from right, attend a meeting to discuss how to deal with Europe's sovereign debt crisis, at the Elysee Palace, Paris, August 16, 2011

The European Commission supports the proposals made by France and Germany on Tuesday to shore up the eurozone, its spokesperson said Wednesday. The markets, however, have not reacted so favorably.

Olivier Bailly, the EU spokesperson, said the commission supports the objectives put forward by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday.  

"We already mentioned the need to strengthen the economic part of the economic and monetary union," Bailly said. "What is happening now since the beginning of the crisis, and what has been announced yesterday as a proposal by France and Germany, go exactly in this direction.”

Watch a related report by Mil Arcega

Sarkozy and Merkel held emergency talks Tuesday to discuss Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.

Following the talks, they said closer economic integration in Europe is needed. Sarkozy called for a “new economic government” that would be formed of the 17 eurozone government leaders. He said it should meet twice yearly and be led by European President Herman Van Rompuy.

France and Germany also called for constitutional amendments across the eurozone that would require governments to balance their budgets.

The leaders backed away from the idea of issuing “eurobonds” - bonds that would be issued by the eurozone as a whole rather than by individual countries. Some analysts, investors, and European politicians think eurobonds would be the best way to restore faith in European debt and calm volatile markets.

Bailly said Wednesday that eurobonds are an interesting idea but are not on the agenda right now.

"We don't think that this is a solution for today's problem and we don't think that there is a political consensus within Europe to move forward today with this idea," said Bailly.

Overall the market reaction to the new plans was not positive, with shares falling early in the trading day Wednesday, followed by a slight recovery.

Dominique Dequidt, an Asset Manager at KBL Richelieu in France, said the market reaction is uncertain because the decisions made Tuesday were not as bold as the markets were expecting.

France and Germany said they don’t want to increase the size of the European Union’s rescue fund, which is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Some investors say it needs to value at least $2 trillion to be effective.

Iain Begg, a European economics expert with the London-based research group Chatham House, said Sarkozy and Merkel haven’t put “enough meat on the bones” of their proposal. He said that’s important because economic integration in Europe is vital.

When VOA asked him why, he replied, "Well, because it enables a much stronger defensive bulwark to be created to oppose the market's pressures, which have been so devastating over the last 18 months. And it's also the sort of structure that is going to be more enduring in exactly the same way as in the U.S., where having a single treasury bond is a very significant source of strength for the American economy."

But Begg said the process of integration is inevitably slow, not least because it often lacks popular support. He said, for example, that when it comes to doling out money, the population of Europe’s largest economy is hesitant.

"In Germany, for example, there is clearly strong opposition to the idea of their tax base somehow being responsible for the debts of other countries," he said. "In other countries you might find support for integration across something like the military sphere, and still they will look for closer integration on social issues. So you have to look at it dossier by dossier to find out what populations are really in favor of or opposed to."

Merkel and Sarkozy put forward a plan Tuesday for a Europe-wide tax on financial transactions.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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