Euro zone in recession again
Those two quarters of contraction put the euro zone's 9.4 trillion euro economy officially in recession, although Italy and Spain have been contracting for a year already and Greece is suffering an outright depression. Germany and France, the euro zone’s biggest economies, could not save the bloc from a double-dip recession even though both countries managed 0.2% growth in the quarter. Large, countries like Italy, Spain and the Netherlands all contracted and Belgium, a big exporter, stagnated.
Millions of people across Europe protested against government spending cuts that EU policymakers say are crucial to ending the debt crisis but which others blame for the economic contraction.
“We are now getting into a double dip recession which is entirely self-made,” said Paul De Grauwe, an economist with the London School of Economics. “It is a result of excessive austerity in southern countries and unwillingness in the north to do anything else,” he said. Not everyone shares that view and the European Commission says labour costs are falling and exports are rising for Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, arguing that austerity is a necessary evil to bring
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