EU Finance Ministers End Meeting Without Breakthrough

Posted September 17th, 2011 at 11:40 am (UTC-5)
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European Union finance ministers have concluded a two-day meeting with little progress on solving Europe's growing debt crisis.

The ministers ended the session Saturday in Wroclaw, Poland without agreeing to a tax on financial transactions that could raise money for the European Union.

The meeting ended sooner than planned as thousands of demonstrators gathered in Wroclaw to protest proposed economic austerity measures, including a reduction in public benefits payments, fewer services, and possible tax increases.

Many EU countries have been resorting to austerity measures, as the grouping tries to deal with a spiraling financial crisis affecting the 17 countries that share the euro.

Officials also delayed a decision to give debt-strapped Greece $11 billion more in emergency loans, until Greece shows it is meeting its bailout conditions.

Greece was the first EU country to secure an international bailout for its government operations. The aid was partly financed by stronger European economies such as France and Germany.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who attended some of the meeting, urged the EU to take quick action on its financial crisis. But news reports suggest European officials reacted coolly to his suggestions for handling their debt and banking problems.

Geithner's appearance at the meeting signaled growing concern that Europe's problems may threaten the U.S. economic recovery.