News / Europe

Obama Meets with European Leaders on Debt Crisis

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) walks with French President Nicholas Sarkozy, after Obama's arrival at Espace Riviera for the G20 summit in Cannes, France, November 3, 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) walks with French President Nicholas Sarkozy, after Obama's arrival at Espace Riviera for the G20 summit in Cannes, France, November 3, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

President Barack Obama has arrived in France for the G20 economic summit.  Europe's debt crisis is adding urgency to the gathering and to the president's Thursday meetings with European leaders.

President Obama arrived in Cannes with Europe's debt problems on his mind.

The crisis, which spread from Greece, is likely to dominate the two-day summit of big industrial countries.  The problem has slowed the world's economic growth.

European Union leaders agreed last week on a proposal to ease the debt crisis, which includes a fund from which indebted countries can borrow and more money from banks.

But Greece's government threw the agreement into question this week when it announced that it would have voters, many of whom oppose requisite austerity measures, decide whether to implement the plan.

After landing in France, President Obama was set to meet separately with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  The leaders of Europe's two largest economies have been trying to talk Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou out of holding the referendum.

Greece is not a member of the G20, but Papandreou is in Cannes to explain his government's decision to the group's members.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday the events in Greece underscore the need for Europe to unite behind conclusive action to resolve the crisis.

“Our goal is for there to be a unanimity of purpose coming out of the G20, which is the pre-eminent forum, as this administration desired, the pre-eminent forum for these kinds of discussions about the global economy.  And, clearly, Europe is a high priority right now," he said.

Heather Conley, the director of European programs at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the Greek decision puts additional pressure on the G20 delegates to find solutions.

"The stakes could not be higher.  And, you are seeing where European leaders who just about killed themselves at the 14th summit in 21 months to get this finely crafted decision, may have just been unwound with this decision," she said.

President Obama and members of his administration have been meeting regularly with European officials, to look for solutions to the debt crisis.

Europe's problems are having a direct effect on the American economy.  The head of the U.S. central bank, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, told reporters Wednesday the European leaders sometimes accept Washington's advice and sometimes reject it.

“Well, it is a bit frustrating.  Obviously, the key decision makers in Europe are the European leaders and economic policy makers there, and ultimately, it is their responsibility to find solutions to this very difficult problem," he said.

In Cannes, Obama was expected to promote his $447 billion American Jobs Act, which is stalled in Congress.  Other G20 leaders, mainly in Europe, are skeptical about whether the president can overcome intense opposition from Republicans and his own approval ratings.

Obama was also scheduled to meet Thursday with labor leaders from major industrial countries, before taking part in several meetings with the other G20 representatives.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid