THE eurozone recession has moved into its sixth quarter and is now in a longer slump than that which hit the area during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.
This recession, though not as deep as the one in 2008, is the longest in the history of the euro, which was launched in 1999.
All across the continent, governments are cutting back spending, companies are laying off staff, Europeans are buying less and young people have little hope of finding employment.
A total of nine of the 17 eurozone countries are now officially in recession, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistics office.
France was added to the list this week.
Overall, the eurozone economy contracted 0.2pc in the three-month period from January to March.
There was also bad news for the wider 27-country EU, which includes non-euro members such as Britain and Poland.
It too is now officially in recession after shrinking by a quarterly rate of 0.1pc in the first quarter.