Recession has gripped France – Europe’s second-biggest economy – for the first time in four years and its elder brother Germany narrowly escaped the sword, as data released yesterday by Eurostat shows a Eurozone’s economic health further slipping into intensive care unit, with no immediate strategies and cure to restore its pride and health.
These morose figures come at the time when Paris continues to battle the demons of unemployment, with the number of jobless people hitting 3.22 million – a record high since 1997.
Despite inheriting a poisoned gift from his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, French President François Hollande is paying a heavy price for the country’s economic woes, as austerity measures foment anxiety and unhappiness among the people.
Election fever-hit Germany has, however, managed to sail in despite the waves of economy uncertainty, but escaped de justesse. While the economy of the 17-nation Eurozone shrank by 0.2% in the first quarter of this year, overall the European Union saw its Gross Domestic Product go down by 0.1%.
EU heads of state will meet in Brussels to plan the way forward, but analysts fear that there may not be an immediate response to prevent the economy from slipping further into a pit.