News / Europe

    Optimism Over Euro Crisis Eases Market Pressure

    Henry Ridgwell
    Eurozone finance ministers had a spring in their step Friday as they gathered in Cyprus for talks on the debt crisis as market pressure eases on the single currency.

    Spain - whose debt threatens the whole currency union - saw its 10-year borrowing costs drop from a dangerously high 7.64 percent in July to around 5.5 percent following the European Central Bank’s announcement that it could buy unlimited Spanish bonds, should it apply for a bailout.

    Spain’s finance minister Luis De Guindos gave little away when asked if he would ask for a bailout.

    He said that in the next couple of days Spain will make important announcements. What Spain needs, he said, is to adjust its public deficit to the level they are committed to.

    But there are plenty of pitfalls still ahead, said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the analyst group the Centre for European Reform.

    “The ECB is certainly doing all it can given the political constraints. But it needs to be remembered that the bond purchases will be conditional on countries signing up to bailout programs, programs of structural adjustment," he said.

    Another obstacle was overcome this week with the German constitutional court’s approval of the eurozone’s permanent bailout fund worth nearly $650 billion - the European Stability Mechanism.

    The building blocks are starting to fall into place,Tilford said.

    “But even that could be over-egging it. ECB action is necessary but so is a proper Eurozone banking union, so is some form of debt mutualization,” he said.

    And, Tilford added, the Germans are still reluctant to take on the debt of southern Europe.

    With confidence in the entire European Union project shaken to its core by the crisis, there was relief from the Netherlands where voters gave pro-EU parties a sweeping victory, said Andre Krouwel, an associate professor at Vu University in Amsterdam.
     
    “People know the Dutch cannot survive outside the European framework. It is a large economy but it’s not an internal market, we’re an export country,” he said.

    But there is still little optimism in the eye of the debt storm - Greece. EU and International Monetary Fund  officials - the ‘troika’ - are in Athens to persuade Greece to stick to the timetable of spending cuts. Junior coalition leaders are resisting.

    Fotis Kouvelis is leader of the Democratic Left party. Kouvelis said the troika and European partners must understand that no measure can be imposed on a society which is disintegrating.

    The EU-IMF report on Greece is due out next month and there are fears the country has fallen further behind in its austerity program. The current market optimism could evaporate rapidly if that report makes grim reading, analysts say.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rob Swift from: United Kingdom
    September 17, 2012 4:25 PM
    The British government is in a state of panic, with the value of the british pound against the euro being manipulated down daily. Industry here is crippled by exhorbitant road fuel prices being manipulated up by the government. Today a litre of diesel road fuel is 1.46 pounds a litre in Britain compared with 1.08 pounds a litre (equivalent) in France. This is a recipe for national disaster.

    by: Samuel Claudius from: New York NY
    September 16, 2012 6:32 PM
    If you want a strong curency and a Unidet Europe,Europeans they should stop bashing the curency and they should keep their savings in EURO curency and not run to the banks to exchange the curency for Swiss franc or USD dollar because of the fears the EU curency collapse,they should spend more in EURO products,and as destination European spots as holydays,Europeans they should stop to be so conservative and sometimes nationalist and be all Unidet and accept the sacrices when they are imposed,a good lifestyle always come with sacrifices,If europe can imagine can exist without Greece they mistaken,The whole world know the Greece is the heart of civilization that influence a lot of the balance civilization system around the world,France should stop discriminate to gypsy nomads people and other nationalities and be more responsable behave like Euopean partner not like macho power that many times not consult European Union when they take decisions that can affect the European democracy.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora