World Bulletin / News Desk
The European Union said it will honor its commitments to Greece in an effort to make sure it remains within the euro area but said Athens too must meet its obligations to the EU, the head of the head of the European Commission said on Thursday.
"As far as Greece is concerned, I would like to reaffirm very clearly that we want Greece to stay in the euro area. And the European Union will do all it takes to ensure it," EC President Jose Manuel Barroso said in prepared remarks to the United Nations.
Barroso made reference to upcoming Greek elections after attempts to form a government failed following an inconclusive vote on May 6. New elections are set for June 17 in which rising leftist leader of the SYRIZA party, 37-year-old Alexis Tsipras, is calling for an end to "barbaric" austerity policies he said were bankrupting the nation.
"We will honour our commitments toward Greece and we expect the Greek government - current and future - to fulfill jointly agreed conditions for financial assistance," Barroso said.
Barroso said that while the EU respects the will of the Greek people and their vote, it also must bear in mind the will of the 16 other euro area nations that have agreed on conditions for giving Greece financial assistance.
Greece's long-running economic crisis turned into a full political crisis after parties opposed to the terms of a 130-billion-euro ($168 billion) bailout made strong gains in the May 6 vote, leaving the country without a government and raising the chances that it would renege on terms of the deal.
Barroso is taking part in the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Thematic Debate on the State of the World Economy and Finance in 2012. It is bringing together high level ministers, mainly from emerging market nations in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.