Europe "biggest risk for global economy" in 2013, according to Stiglitz: "In the outlook for 2013, the biggest risks for the global economy are in the US and in Europe," Nobel Prize-winning US economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote in a column for the business daily Handelsblatt, published on 2 January. But "the real risk for the global economy lies in Europe," he warned, making specific reference to economic difficulties in Spain and Greece. "Spain and Greece are in an economic depression with no hope for a recovery," he noted. The eurozone's 'fiscal pact' is no solution, and the European Central Bank's bond purchase is a temporary palliative at best," Stiglitz wrote. The European Central Bank (ECB) must not impose further conditions for financial aid to countries, he continued. "Otherwise, the medicine will lead to a deterioration in the patient's condition," Stiglitz argued. European policy makers have not until now been able to put in place a real growth pact for peripheral eurozone nations, he wrote. Stiglitz did not rule out further turbulence in the eurozone in 2013.

Outgoing Cypriot president slams European austerity pill: In his last New Year's Eve address to his fellow countrymen, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias hit out, on 31 December 2012, against the harsh austerity measures being meted out by the eurozone against his small country - severely affected by the Greek crisis. Cyprus is experiencing a full-blown recession and has just adopted a 2013 budget, which involves a sharp decrease in civil servant salaries and tax hikes. Cyprus is also negotiating a 17 billion bailout plan - the equivalent of its GDP - with the EU, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "It must be admitted that policies implemented on a pan-European level have not succeeded in providing a solution to the economic problems created by the crisis," said Christofias, who will not be a candidate in the upcoming February presidential elections. "On the contrary, they have recycled and worsened economic and social injustice," he added in his televised speech. Christofias said the picture painted by many European countries in trouble does "not honour" the EU. "The future of a united Europe cannot be poverty, deprivation, unemployment and homelessness," said Christofias - who was still, for a few hours, at the helm of the rotating Presidency of the EU. "A different approach is needed, which will emphasise development, social cohesion and true solidarity...

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