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.
Dollar strength and waning investor confidence are driving the lira lower
Greece has already received two bailouts totalling 240 billion euros but fellow euro zone member Ireland said last week that it would have to negotiate a third programme.
The Ukraine crisis has tested the loyalties of Bulgaria, a Balkan country with historical ties to Moscow and heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies.
Syria expels three United Nations aid workers hindering aid development in the country
Russia has overcome a "psychological barrier" and is ready to deepen its economic ties with China, Deputy Prime MinisterArkady Dvorkovich said
With Chancellor Angela Merkel's right-left coalition plus the opposition Greens, it was the biggest majority for any euro zone rescue package so far in the 631-seat chamber.
The agreement commits Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to cooperate with the United States in customs issues, ease red tape at borders, reduce customs wait times and harmonize trade standards.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has unnerved China with his re-examination of certain projects that Chinahas invested in, including a $1.5 billion "port city" project in Colombo.
EU energy chief Maros Sefcovic invited Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Demchyshyn for talks
Gazprom and Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz have accused each other of not sticking to agreements on gas supplies.
The new canal, that will allow two-way traffic of larger ships, is supposed to increase revenues by 2023 to $13 billion.
A day after euro zone finance ministers agreed to a four-month extension of a financial rescue, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis gave a frank assessment of Greece's financial position.
The agreement is the culmination of talks that began in September after the government decided its own solutions to its fiscal crisis were failing to convince investors.
Energy union highlights bloc's attempt to seek independency from its main gas supplier - Russia.
Merkel's right-left coalition is set to prevail, despite vocal pockets of resistance on the right and left.
Republicans passed the bill to increase pressure on Obama to approve the pipeline, a move the president said would bypass a State Department process that will determine whether the project is in the U.S. national interest.