News / Economy

World Markets Soar After EU Approves Debt Plan

A woman walks past a screen displaying the Hang Seng stock index in Hong Kong, October 27, 2011.
A woman walks past a screen displaying the Hang Seng stock index in Hong Kong, October 27, 2011.

World financial markets soared Thursday after the European Union approved a plan to cut Greece's debt in half and significantly increase a bailout fund designed to contain the eurozone debt crisis.

The Paris stock exchange jumped more than six percent, with the Frankfurt market advancing more than five percent. The London exchange closed up nearly three percent, and U.S. indexes were all ahead by more than two percent in midday trading.

Reaction to agreement

French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrives for an EU summit in Brussels on Oct. 26, 2011.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrives for an EU summit in Brussels on Oct. 26, 2011.

European leaders said the debt-relief agreement could help resolve the continent's two-year-long crisis and give Greece a chance to regain its economic footing. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "we have done what needed doing." French President Nicolas Sarkozy said it was a "credible and ambitious" plan, while Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the result would be "a new era, a new chapter" for his country.

U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the deal as a "critical foundation" to help solve the eurozone crisis and said the United States will support its European allies to address global economic problems.

What's included

Following 10 hours of tense negotiations in Brussels, EU leaders said they had convinced banks and investors to accept a 50 percent loss on Greek government bonds, effectively reducing Greek debt by $140 billion. At the same time, the banks are required to raise an additional $148 billion by June. The 17-nation bloc that uses the euro currency is increasing the firepower of its bailout fund to $1.4 trillion to cover future assistance for debt-ridden nations.

The deal still leaves Greece with a significant debt burden - estimated at 120 percent of its economic output in 2020, down from 160 percent now. But Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said that debt level "becomes viable" for the country.

The Euro

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said the deal has effectively saved the European single currency, telling French radio that it will "stabilize the eurozone and global growth."  World Bank chief Robert Zoellick welcomed the deal, as did officials in China and Japan.

Financial analysts and world leaders outside Europe have said in the past that the continent's leaders were too timid in dealing with the crisis. International creditors have approved single bailouts for Ireland and Portugal and two for Greece. Those bailouts failed to calm the fears of financial markets that Greece would evenutally default on its obligations, and that the debt contagion would spread to bigger European economies in Italy and Spain.

Analysts said Thursday the Brussels agreement could give the continent's weaker economies more time to grow and adapt to the austerity measures their governments have imposed.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7866
JPY
USD
109.25
GBP
USD
0.6139
CAD
USD
1.1120
INR
USD
61.428

Rates may not be current.