Monday, March 02, 2009

Economy: EU turns its back on eastern Europe

European Union leaders have rejected a multi-billion dollar financial bailout package for eastern European countries struggling with the global financial crisis.

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany pushed hard for a $240-billion rescue package, warning that a new Iron Curtain could split Europe between rich and poor.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after a summit in Brussels Sunday that a single bailout is unwise. She said each country is in a different situation and must be looked at case-by-case.

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said the EU will not leave anybody behind.

Mr. Topolanek also turned down calls to make it easier for eastern European countries to adopt the single European currency, the Euro.

The EU leaders also rejected protectionism when offering help to troubled industries, such as car builders.

Published with the permission of Voice of America
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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