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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8033
JPY
USD
117.19
GBP
USD
0.6372
CAD
USD
1.1634
INR
USD
63.622

Rates may not be current.