“The German economy is expected to grow by 0.6% next year, while Spain is likely to see a 1.4% contraction and the pain in Greece will continue, with another fall of 4.5% forecast.

By comparison, the OECD expects the U.S. economy will grow by 2% in 2013.”

Business & Money

Last week’s deal to avoid Greece defaulting on its huge debt is the latest twist in Europe’s painful, drawn-out saga to rescue the euro and, with it, all hopes of bringing its economies into a true union. The focus remains on a mixture of short-term fixes to avoid a breakdown of the single currency, and complicated longer-term measures such as the establishment of a banking union.

But stepping back for a moment, it’s useful to look at the impact of all the measures that have been decided and implemented, both in national capitals and at a pan-European level, in an endless series of emergency meetings and carefully constructed communiqués. Have they actually made a difference?

The short answer is that the economic picture throughout Europe still looks very gloomy, and in fact is getting even gloomier, with recession continuing across the continent and unemployment continuing to rise. At the…

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