Sunday 4 December 2016

Consumers in full retreat as Europe bows to austerity

The politicians squabble about national interest while the union they designed starts to creak, writes Jody Corcoran

Published 28/08/2011 | 05:00

In Europe they talk of little else. Austerity alone is still the order of the day: France, Spain and Italy are to follow the lead of Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Before long, the Continent will be a wasteland.

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Last year, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a €10bn austerity package, essential, it was said, to "maintain" the confidence of the financial markets.

At the time, his government was predicting an economic growth rate of a relatively modest two per cent this year followed by 2.25 per cent next year.

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