News / Europe

Spain, Cyprus Looking for Outside Aid for Ailing Banks

A man pushes a pram past a Banco de Valencia bank branch in Madrid, June 25, 2012.
A man pushes a pram past a Banco de Valencia bank branch in Madrid, June 25, 2012.
VOA News
Spain and Cyprus - one of the euro currency bloc's biggest economies and one of its smallest - both sought eurozone bailouts Monday for their financially troubled banks.

Spain asked for up to a $125 billion rescue for banks left holding bad real estate loans. Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Margallo said details of the bailout will be determined later, including whether the loans would have to be paid by the Spanish government or the banks alone.

"About the issue of finance help for bank recapitalization, today it's just a formal procedure. The important thing is the negotiation of the contract terms, the repayment period, the longer the better, and interest rates, the lower the better. The question about if help should go directly to the banks or to the state is still open," Margallo said.

Late Monday, the Moody's ratings agency downgraded the credit ratings of 28 Spanish banks between one and four notches, citing the government's ability to support the banks.

Meanwhile, the island nation of Cyprus became the fifth eurozone country looking for financial aid from others in the currency bloc, following Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. The Cypriot government did not say how much it wants to borrow.

It says its banks are vulnerable because of their "large exposure" to the economy in nearby debt-ridden Greece. Cypriot-held Greek government bonds were written down in value earlier this year.  

The Fitch ratings service became the third such firm to downgrade Cyprus' credit rating to "junk" status.

In Washington, the White House says President Barack Obama spoke with the new Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras Monday and congratulated him on his election. Obama urged the prime minister to work closely with the European Union and International Monetary Fund in implementing Greece's economic reform programs.

Samaras has said he wants to renegotiate the terms of the 2 multi-billion-dollar EU and IMF bailouts for Greece.

Also Monday, Greece's newly designated finance minister, Vassilis Rapanos, resigned before he could be sworn into office. He was hospitalized Friday after complaining of severe abdominal pain. He wrote in his resignation letter that his health does not permit him to carry out the job.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs