Wednesday, October 26, 2011
European leaders are meeting in Brussels for the second time in four days in an attempt to come up with a comprehensive deal to resolve the euro zone's debt crisis. The Talks will concentrate on how much Greek debt held by private sector institutions should be written off, and whether the euro zone's man bailout fund should be increased. Christian Fraser, correspondent for the BBC, reports on the latest details from Paris.
Monday, October 24, 2011
European officials were meeting all weekend long to discuss bailout plans — not only for debt-ridden nations in the euro zone but also for specific banks affected by the debt crisis. The European taxpayers paying for these bailouts are concerned about how this money will be used. Perhaps American tax payers should be too.
Monday, October 17, 2011
The Occupy Wall Street movement went global over the weekend, with protests held in 950 cities in 80 countries around the world. While the majority of the demonstrations were peaceful, protests in Rome turned violent, with 135 people injured and over €1 million in damage. Cars were burned, bank windows were shattered, and a church was desecrated as the protests over austerity measures and irresponsible banking practices degraded into violence. BBC correspondent Hugh Sykes has the latest on the aftermath.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
On Thursday, Slovakia's parliament approved the latest proposal to address the Eurozone's debt crisis, but it was the second time that the measure came to a vote this week. On Tuesday, the parliament had rejected it. On today’s second Backstory, Peter Spiegel, Brussels Bureau Chief for the Financial Times, discusses some of the reasons behind the rejection and how the Eurozone’s smaller countries feel about the plans to stabilize the economy that have been developed by the larger economies of France and Germany.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
In Europe, political parties in Slovakia are figuring out their next step a day after the Parliament there dramatically rejected plans to expand the European Union bailout fund. Slovakia is the last euro zone state to vote on ratifying the expansion of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). The E.U.'s plan is to expand the fund's effective lending capacity to €440 billion, roughly $600 billion, as well as empowering it to buy eurozone government debt and offer credit lines to member states and to banks. Top E.U. officials have today been urging the country to ratify the bill swiftly — and a new vote on the fund is likely by the end of this week.
Monday, October 03, 2011
The New York police department arrested over 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters Saturday, for allegedly walking across the Brooklyn Bridge's roadway, instead of using the pedestrian path. Now in its third week, the movement has spread to other cities around the nation. Meanwhile, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to testify before Congress tomorrow on the economic outlook for the country, and unemployment figures are set to be released Friday, as President Obama continues to push his jobs bill. And Nevada has moved its caucus date back, ahead of Florida's, which will likely affect the race for the Republican nomination.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
German Chancellor Angela Merkel scored a major political victory on Thursday as the Parliament voted to expand the European Union's bailout fund. While the measure passed, the divisive vote had threatened Merkel's control over her own governing collation. The legislation increases Germany's share of guarantees from €123 billion to €211 billion. Six out of 17 euro zone nations still need to pass the agreement. Analysts are skeptical, saying the fund is too small to help seriously indebted European countries.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The Greek Parliament passed an extraordinarily unpopular new property tax on Tuesday, prompting Greeks to once again take to the streets in protest of yet another austerity measure. The tax, which would raise €2 billion this year alone, was seen as a necessary to secure international financing to help Greece avoid defaulting on its debts. Elena Panaritis, a Greek MP from the ruling PASOK party, discusses why she voted for the tax.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Greek Prime Minister George Panpandreou is in Germany to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss a new strategy to keep his country from defaulting on its debt. Greece needs a further €8 billion to pay its bills. Without it, hundreds of thousands of civil servants will not get paid. Early Tuesday, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said his country will receive bailout funds.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Italy's debt one notch late on Monday. The Italian government is furious this morning at S&P's decision to lower the rating from A+ to A. S&P defended its decision, citing Italy's weak economic growth and high levels of government debt. The agency also expressed doubts over the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Parliament's ability to manage the growing crisis.
Monday, September 19, 2011
While hundreds of leaders from around the world are in New York this week at the United Nations, Greece's prime minister, George Panpandreou will be conspicuously absent. Panpandreou cancelled his planned trip to the U.S. this week to stay at home and deal with his country's rapidly deteriorating debt crisis. This morning, European stock markets fell sharply as tensions mount over Greece's inability to solve its problems. Yanis Varoufakis, professor of economic theory at the University of Athens, has the latest on the story.
Friday, September 16, 2011
The European Central Bank announced yesterday it will work with the Federal Reserve to open new lines of credit to banks in the 17 nations that use the euro. The Bank of England, Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank are also pitching in to help. The ECB says it will allow banks in the euro zone to borrow money for three months — rather than the previous rule of a week — which injects dollar liquidity into European banks. The news comes as European banks are suffering from chronic financial squeezes.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reassured Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou that Greece is an "integral" part of the euro zone during a telephone conversation on Wednesday. As concerns over whether Greece will default on its debt, the Greek government has restated its commitment to meet deficit reductions required by the two bailouts it received from the European Union. The BBC's Steve Evans reports from Berlin, where German citizens are skeptical of bailing out another country.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
As the financial crisis in the euro zone has continued to spiral in recent months, Europe may be moving closer centralizing coordination of debt and spending policies. Some global financial officials are endorsing a central European financial authority, with powers to tax, issue bonds, and approve budgets, as a way to combat inefficiencies in dealing with economic strife. Such a change could make Europe's 17-nation economic union into a sort of United States of Europe.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Greece's financial woes continue to teeter on the brink of collapse as they face the possibility of becoming the first Euro-zone country to default. Finance ministers gave the fledgling nation two weeks to shape up its finances or face not receiving anymore bailout money. On top of this, Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a vote of confidence in Parliament today, and the result of that could have major consequences as to which direction the country will be going.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
As Greece’s economic stress continues, the rifts between the eurozone members are deepening. Persistent worries over Greece's looming debt drove down Europe's stock indexes by two percent and the euro dropped nearly one percent against the dollar, and Wall Street too took a hit. Meanwhile, there are doubts over whether the eurozone can resolve this regional debt crisis. Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times, charts the growing rift.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
The small eastern European country of Estonia will officially adopt the euro as it's currency on January 1. Boasting a population of just over one million, the 17th country to adopt the euro also has the lowest governmental debt in the EU. But who gets more from Estonia's transition? Many economists say the small country will benefit greatly from a more international currency, and Estonian officials seem eager to show the country's entrance to the West and independence from Russia and the former Soviet Union.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Last week, the European Union voted to help bail out Ireland’s government, hoping that it would help calm the markets. Matthew Bishop, the U.S. Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief for The Economist, explains whether the EU has succeeded, has helped stabilize the markets, and why investors continue to be worried about Spain, Portugal and Italy. Plus, a look at what the current crisis means for the future of the Euro.