News / USA

Obama Addresses European Debt, Leaked Intel

President Barack Obama approaches podium to discuss about the economy, White House, June 8, 2012.
President Barack Obama approaches podium to discuss about the economy, White House, June 8, 2012.
WHITE HOUSE - President Barack Obama says Europe's debt crisis poses risks for the U.S. economy and is calling on European leaders to ensure growth while locking in reforms and dealing with debt and deficits.

Addressing a White House news conference, Obama said Europe needs to avoid what he called a "downward spiral" involving too much austerity too quickly that weakens demand and increases unemployment.

Noting nervousness in markets affecting the ability of eurozone countries to borrow, the president called challenges facing Europe "solvable."

“As some countries have discovered, it is a lot harder to rein in deficits and debt if your economy is not growing," he said. "So it is a positive thing that the conversation has moved in that direction, and leaders like Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are working to put in place a growth agenda alongside responsible fiscal plans.”

Obama warned Europe against simply cutting spending while unemployment increases and consumer spending goes down.

He pointed again to potential negative impacts on the U.S. economy, and he said it would be in everybody's interest for Greece to remain inside the eurozone.

Obama also pressed Congress -- specifically opposition Republicans -- to pass key elements of a jobs bill he sent to Capitol Hill last year. He said lawmakers would have to explain to Americans if they fail to act on proposals to help the economy even in an election year.

Speaking in Iowa on Friday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney attacked Obama's "to do list" for Congress, accusing the president of failing to lead a real economic recovery.

"I won't have to have a long to-do list in a drawer in the White House," said Romney. "My to-do list is written on my heart and the first three entries are these: jobs, jobs and jobs. I'm going to go to work to get America working again."

Addresses data leaks

President Obama also commented on the controversy over what lawmakers on congressional committees describe as serious leaks of classified and sensitive information about U.S. counter-terrorism operations.

Obama declined to comment on details of what he said "are supposed to be classified items." Pledging thorough investigations, he strongly denied suggestions that the White House deliberately leaked information to help his re-election chances.

"The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive," he said. "It is wrong, and people, I think, need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people here around me approach this office."

Obama added that intelligence matters involve the safety and security of Americans, military personnel, and U.S. allies, saying "we don't play with that." Whenever classified information is made public, he said, "we try to find out where that came from."

Lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees have vowed thorough investigations into leaks, and legislation to deal with the problem.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid