News / Europe

Eurozone Braces for Greek Election

Scene in GreeceScene in Greece
x
Scene in Greece
Scene in Greece
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Bryant
PARIS - Eurozone countries will be anxiously watching the outcome of  second-round of legislative elections Sunday in Greece, which may determine the country's future role in the eurozone.  

Greek voters will be choosing between parties that call for two different ways of dealing with the country's creditors: either largely adhering to the austerity commitments Athens made in return for bailout funds, or to abandon them and negotiate for better terms.

If Greek voters choose the more radical Syriza party, which rejects the austerity measures, experts believe Greece will leave the 17-nation eurozone. However, other economists, such as Simon Tilford of the London Center for European Reform, say Greece is heading for the exit regardless of the election's outcome.  

"I struggle to see how Greece can stay within the eurozone. I think for that to happen, the country would need ongoing support," said Tilford. "I don't just mean loans, but ongoing transfers of money from elsewhere within the eurozone."  

The Greek legislative vote caps a grim week for the currency union, during which Spain and Italy saw their borrowing costs soar, underscoring investor concerns about their economies. Following talks in Rome on Thursday, French and German leaders said they hope Greece will keep the euro as its currency.
 
French President Francois Hollande emphasized this in an interview on Greek television.  

Hollande says that if Greeks give the impression they will not meet their bailout engagements, then some eurozone countries will want Athens to leave the currency union. He called for Greece to remain in the eurozone, but also for a relationship built on trust.

Economist Tilford says European governments have low expectations.  

"Although they know that no Greek government is really going to be able to abide by the terms of the bailout, because the bailout places unrealistic demands on Greece, they hope that by at least having a committed government there, they will be able to buy some time and that the pressure on Spain and Italy will dissipate," said Tilford.

Divisions are also sharpening about how to tackle the eurozone crisis, with France and Italy calling for more growth measures and Germany sticking by its austerity prescriptions. These competing visions will be on the table in Brussels, during a European Union summit later this month.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid