In October 2014 we wrote that deflationary risks had risen in the euro area and warned of the dangers deflation poses for the economy. Where do we stand now? Has deflation been avoided or has it started to bite? 

After years of preparation and debate, the euro banknotes and coins have finally arrived. Since 1 January cash dispensers in the 12 member countries of the euro zone have provided crisp euro banknotes instead of national currencies, and all payments by credit card, cheque or transfer have had to be made in euros. Any national currency banknotes and coins left could be spent in parallel before losing their status as legal tender, generally by the end of February 2002.

The EU’s ban on discarding caught fish in February 2013 has received widespread applause. Why?

The EU’s crisis has as much to do with leadership and solidarity as resolving fiscal and debt problems. It is time to dispense with caricatures and write the next chapter in the EU’s ongoing history. And for that, clear and transparent data will be needed.

©Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters

The euro area has been at the centre of the global financial storms for two years. Some serious observers have begun to question whether the euro area will survive these currents. The recently published OECD Economic Survey of the Euro Area shows how Europe’s bold experiment in economic integration can be made to work. 

©Deutsche Bank

The new euro architecture that is to come into effect from July still suffers from shortcomings, and problem countries have yet to prove that they can survive within the euro says Thomas Mayer. It would be premature to sound the all clear on the euro crisis. 

European leaders should shift their focus from austerity to growth, not least to fight unemployment, says the ETUC, which urges a Social Progress Protocol to be attached to the European treaties. 

The crisis-induced trend towards inward-looking policies poses great dangers for Europe. 

©Reuters/Albert Gea

Young, skilled, well-educated, well-travelled and yet jobless: these are the characteristics of the so-called “lost generation”. The challenges young people in Europe face today are many, and vary from region to region and from person to person. Many are facing high levels of unemployment; some need to fight for their basic freedoms; others for their right to build up representative youth structures, or face different types of discrimination. There are plenty of indignados out there! 

How can the euro crisis unfold? For David McWilliams, Irish economist and best-selling author, the answer is probably a two-speed arrangement between core and periphery. 

Economic data

GDP : +0.5%, Q4 2014
Employment rate: 65.9%, Q4 2014
Annual inflation : 0.60% Mar 2015
Trade : -3.0% exp, -3.7 imp, Q4 2014
Unemployment : 6.993% Feb 2015
More moderate expansion ahead? Composite leading indicators
Updated: 12 May 2015

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