News / Economy

Moody's: Greek Debt Default Risk 'Remains High'

Peter Cobus

The Moody's credit rating company says the risk of Greece defaulting on its loans "remains high," even after European leaders approved a new financial rescue for the country.

The financial services firm Monday called the $172 billion Greek rescue package, the country's second in two years, "an important step forward."  But Moody's said Greece's debt will "remain large" for years, even as large private creditors have agreed to eliminate more than half the debt the country owes them, a $142 billion reduction.

Moody's said the Athens government is unlikely to be able to secure new loans on its own in world financial markets when the bailout money runs out in the next few years.

Moody's bleak assessment came as Germany's parliament easily approved the bailout.  The move came as surveys in the country showed that Germans overwhelmingly oppose further assistance for Greece.  Germany's largest newspaper, Bild, ran a front-page headline saying "Stop!" and urged lawmakers to vote against the Greek bailout.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers that rejecting it could cause unforeseen problems for Europe and the global economy.

"Nobody can say what the consequence of a denial of a second bail-out program for Greece will have for the other countries of the program like Portugal and Ireland, maybe even Spain and Italy, eventually to the euro zone as a whole and then the entire world," she said.

On Sunday, finance ministers from the world's 20 leading economies said the European Union must commit more money to a fund aimed at containing the eurozone debt crisis before other nations will provide additional resources to the International Monetary Fund.  European governments have already established a $672 billion rescue fund for future financial emergencies that is set to take effect in July, but G20 countries are pressing Europe to combine that with money remaining in a temporary fund to create a $1 trillion account.

After a two-day meeting in Mexico City, the G20 issued a statement saying that while recent signs point to a "modest global recovery," high risks remain.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said none of the G20 countries argued with the necessity of expanding the IMF financial firewall.  The Washington-based agency is seeking a $500 billion fund to go along with a "properly sized" commitment from Europe. "They all expect that the eurozone, the euro area rather, will strengthen, consolidate, reinforce its firewall and make sure that it is both adequate and credible before they look at increasing the firepower of the (IMF) fund," she said.

European countries have pledged nearly $200 billion to the IMF, but so far other countries have been reluctant to contribute more money unless Europe bolsters its own rescue fund.  The 17 countries that use the euro currency are set to discuss the "strength" of their bailout resources next month.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said G20 ministers are encouraged about the progress Europe has made in the past few months, but that rescue funds are not the only solution to the crisis. "A durable solution requires both a sustained period of economic reform and a substantial financial firewall to support those reforms.  European policy makers recognize the magnitude of the challenges ahead and they will be reviewing additional steps in the weeks ahead," he said.

Following the G20 meeting, European economic minister Olli Rehn praised what he called a "clear roadmap" and said he was confident of a positive conclusion.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9238
JPY
USD
119.51
GBP
USD
0.6614
CAD
USD
1.2119
INR
USD
63.562

Rates may not be current.