Friday, August 5, 2011

EU leaders urged to act on debt crisis

European Commision President Jose Manuel Barroso (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Head of the European commission Jose Manuel Barroso urges European countries to re-assess the eurozone bailout fund, calling it insufficient to contain the EU's debt crisis

"Whatever the factors behind the lack of success, it is clear that we are no longer managing a crisis just in the euro area periphery," Barroso wrote in a letter to European Union leaders.

He said European governments should rapidly review the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) -- the EU's bailout fund -- to reduce the risk of an overflow of the growing debt crisis across the eurozone.

The EFSF was set up in a bid to help maintain stability in the eurozone by lending up to EUR 440 billion to its member states.

Barroso's letter indicates that some states may already be pulling back from their commitments.

After the Greek bailout in July, eurozone member states agreed to widen the scope of the EFSF, and allow it to intervene in secondary bond markets and to pump money into troubled banks through government loans -- changes which yet have to be implemented by individual Eurozone states.

So far, Greece, Ireland and Portugal have already received bailout packages from the European Union, which has spent much of the past 18 months trying to battle its debt crisis.

Fears are, nonetheless, growing that Italy and Spain - eurozone's third and fourth largest economies -- may be next in line to eclipse the previous bailouts and further undermine the euro.

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