Growth offers hope

Europe’s economy is seen as both stagnant and crisis-prone yet it is proving resilient with new signs of growth. Duncan Weldon looks at both its tenacity and its flaws

The World Today Published 27 September 2018 Updated 9 November 2020 5 minute READ

Duncan Weldon

Head of Research, Resolution Group

To outsiders, especially Anglo-American outsiders, the eurozone economy sometimes appears to have only two settings: ‘acute crisis’ and ‘semi stagnation’. Most media coverage falls into these two well-worn clichés.

The year 2010 saw the outbreak of the Greek crisis, coupled with TV-friendly images of street protests, while 2011 to 2012 saw the wider eurozone crisis at its most severe. Over the next two years outsider attention drifted away only to reappear in 2015 with the election of the far-left Syriza in Greece and a tense six-month stand-off between that country and its creditors in the rest of the eurozone.

Commentators once more were given the opportunity to speculate on whether the single currency area, made up of 19 countries, was doomed to break up.

This summer’s formation of an anti-establishment coalition government in Italy, coupled with a few days of dramatic moves in the price of Italian government debt, elicited a renewed bout of interest.

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