News / Europe

New Fears on Europe, Italy's Borrowing Costs Jump Again

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti addresses a news conference at the EU Council in Brussels, November 22, 2011.
Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti addresses a news conference at the EU Council in Brussels, November 22, 2011.

Italy had to pay nearly double the interest rates to borrow money in a six-month bond auction Friday, reflecting new fears about economic problems in the countries that use the common European currency.

The euro currency and world stock markets also fell in value Friday.

The office of Italy's new Prime Minister Mario Monti issued a statement Friday saying that Germany and France had agreed with him at Thursday's mini-summit of the eurozones three largest economies that a debt collapse in Italy would be "the end of the euro."

Both French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at Thursday's meeting they would support Italy and the euro, and called for changes to European treaties to force better fiscal policies.  However, there was no agreement about increasing the role of the European Central Bank in supporting troubled eurozone economies, or selling unified eurobonds.

The lack of concrete action at the meeting in Strasbourg, France, fueled investor fears of possible debt defaults by southern European countries. Italy's sovereign debt currently is estimated at $2.6 trillion - far more than Greece or other European countries that have been given EU and IMF bailouts.

In Friday's auction of six-month Italian bonds, the government had to agree to pay 6.5 percent interest, nearly double the rate in a similar auction last month. Longer-term interest rates for Italian bonds are once again above seven percent - rates similar to those faced by Greece, Ireland and Portugal when they were forced to seek international bailouts.

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Belgium's rating by one notch Friday, making it more expensive for Belgium to borrow in the future.

Belgium's rating was cut to AA from AA+ which is still investment grade, but the agency warned it is considering further cuts.

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

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid