Investors no longer believe there is a risk that the eurozone could break up, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced in Lisbon on 3 January - while recognising that the situation in Europe remains 'difficult'.

'2012 ended on a positive note for the European Union,' he said at a seminar for Portuguese diplomats. 'I think it is fair to say that the perception of risk in the eurozone has disappeared.' He continued: 'Investors have understood that when European leaders commit themselves to doing everything to safeguard the integrity of the euro, they mean business'.

Economic adjustment programmes implemented in several countries are 'having a recessionary effect, even though the measures created the...

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