Greece moved to end its protracted political impasse Wednesday, swearing in a new prime minister to lead a largely pro-bailout coalition tasked with saving the country's place in the eurozone and easing a European financial crisis with global repercussions.
Those looking for a bit of humor in the European debacle can find it in statements from Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the eurozone finance ministers.
Juncker says "I don’t envisage, not even for one second, Greece leaving the euro area. This is nonsense. This is propaganda. We have to respect Greek democracy."
Bear in mind this statement comes from the same man who said "When it becomes serious, you have to lie."
By Peter Boone and Simon Johnson
The big news is France. With sentiment worsening across Europe, France has lost its relative safe haven status – credit default swap spreads on French government debt were up sharply today.
BRUSSELS – Children across Europe are being driven into poverty by harsh government austerity and youth unemployment is soaring, threatening to create “lost generations” that could fire up a new continental crisis.
Global charity Caritas said on Thursday that around three out of every 10 children in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain are in or have been pushed to the brink of poverty.
Greece said its youth unemployment had now exceeded 60%. Spain’s is above 50% and Portugal has just topped 40%.