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Eurozone economy under pressure

Despite initially appearing to hold up well during the worldwide recession the Eurozone economy is now under severe pressure. Retail sales in February were down 0.6% compared to January but down a whopping 1.1% compared to February last year. When you also take into account that unemployment in the Eurozone has now risen above 10% it is not difficult to see that confidence in Europe has been hit.

Today's news regarding the Greek debt debacle is also another hammer blow to the European economy and there serious concerns about the short to medium-term outlook. It is common knowledge that the Spanish, Portuguese and Irish economies are also struggling and if debt issues continue to cloud the economic picture there are concerns we could see further casualties and further bailouts required. Despite putting on something of a united front in public it is becoming more and more apparent that behind the scenes there is significant in-fighting with French and German governments leading the way.

After initially seeming to handle its first major economic crisis fairly well, the European Union is now struggling to contain what could turn out to be a disaster. If the Greek issue is not contained in the short-term there will be complications within European debt markets and the opportunity to refinance and refloat economies such as Spain, Portugal and Ireland may well be lost. This is a situation which needs to be monitored very carefully.

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