World Markets Rally as Rescue Plan Gains Traction

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There's a break in the stormy economic weather over Europe, at least for now.

Two days of stocks market gains brought smiles to investors pleased to see growing support for a comprehensive plan designed to head off a global crisis.
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered encouraging words to the world markets Wednesday, saying her country would provide all the assistance it could to the country at the center of the instability: Greece.

The debt-ridden nation has pledged to cut spending and hike taxes in return for the bailout.

"I can guarantee that Greece will live up to its commitments," Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou vowed.

But those austerity measures have angered Greek citizens.

Demonstrators took to the streets, throwing plastic bottles at police officers outside the Greek Parliament as lawmakers voted on a controversial new property tax.
    
Greek citizens have already seen salary and pension cuts and increased taxes across the board.
    
Despite the displeasure of its residents, Greece must convince all 17 countries in the eurozone it can be fiscally responsible and is deserving of rescue loans.
    
Otherwise, global growth will decline, American exports will take a hit, and U.S. investors will feel more pain.

"It hurts people very directly and very quickly when stock prices fall and the value of their pensions fall," U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told ABC News.

"It makes people more tentative, and that's why it's so important to us that they move," he said.

Meanwhile, a top European Union official is calling the current crisis "a baptism of fire." He says that's why European states need to unite even further.

However, others in the region are not sure that's such a good idea.   

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