December 2nd, 2011
04:05 AM GMT
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London (CNN) – Just like the credit crunch three years ago, the current eurozone crisis will no doubt spawn endless books and provide many an interesting case study for the world’s future economists. Whether the lessons will be learned and future crises avoided depends largely on whether you believe history repeats itself. And that’s another topic that divides opinion as much as the eurozone itself.

Already academics at Oxford University’s Centre for International Studies have identified 10 key failures of Europe’s leaders in how they have handled the issue, even though the saga is far from over.

Associate Fellow Kirsty Hughes says that the errors are largely political, democratic and economic in nature.

Here’s a list of where Hughes says EU leaders got things so wrong:
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November 23rd, 2011
05:59 PM GMT
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(CNN) – Turn on CNN, open the ‘papers, check your emails. If you hadn’t noticed yet, the European economy is pretty close to crumbling around us. Or is it?

Meet the shining stars of the European business world and the big picture is more boom than doom. At least that was the message we got at the European Business Awards in Barcelona.

The Marketplace Europe team headed to Barcelona for the Awards ceremony this week. The event is designed to showcase innovation, drive and resourcefulness from companies of all sizes, nationalities and sectors around Europe.

So far, so predictable. But what made it more than just another date in the November “events season” diary was that we weren’t baffled by power-point presentations or bored with a load of corporate-speak. We were buoyed by the upbeat mood.

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November 23rd, 2011
04:28 PM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – China's mighty industrial machine is stalling. New figures today show something that will be worrying authorities.

First the broad numbers: An index put together by HSBC – with no government input - shows a reading in November of 48. Anything over 50 shows that factories are increasing production, under 50 they are cutting back.

The figure is perhaps not surprising given that China's two big export regions, Europe and the U.S., are in deep trouble. But it's not exports that are drying up, it is local demand. And that could be a problem.

Export orders actually grew in November, while domestic demand shrank as a result of all the moves taken by the Chinese authorities over the last 18 months to cool the overheating property market.

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November 10th, 2011
07:45 PM GMT
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London (CNN) - He's been dubbed 'super Mario' but the man at the helm of the European Central Bank might as well be 'superman' such is the monumental responsibility that rests on his shoulders - a responsibility that doesn’t really fall into his job remit either.

As Italy successfully braved the bond markets this week with a €5 billion sale, traders say the country had much to thank Mario Draghi, its former central bank chief, for.

At 6.08%, the Italian Treasury had to offer a whopping 2.51% more than when it last sold bonds on October 11. Having said that, Italian 10-year bond yields traded lower than their recent euro-era highs. That means Italy is out of the panic zone for now at least.

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November 10th, 2011
03:14 AM GMT
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Editor's note: CNN anchor Nina dos Santos spent four years in Italy as a correspondent and covered Silvio Berlusconi’s re-election in 2008.

(CNN) – As world leaders battled to stave off another recession, Silvio Berlusconi spent much of the summit season eyeing the contours of his female counterparts.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was the latest to suffer the ignominy of being ogled by the Italian Premier at the G20 in Cannes, while cameras caught Berlusconi leering at Denmark’s Helle Thorning-Schmidt in Brussels.

Berlusconi clearly has a head for figures. Unfortunately he has been focussing on the wrong kind for too long – much to the detriment of his long-suffering electorate.
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November 6th, 2011
04:11 PM GMT
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The party’s over and the guests have finally gone. Now, it’s time to tackle the washing up.

After weeks of hosting summits in Brussels, then Cannes, designed to sort out everyone else’s problems, French President Nicolas Sarkozy returned to Paris at the weekend to tackle the economic battle on his home front.

The French Cabinet will hold a belated weekly meeting on Monday and the agenda is likely to be dominated by the nation’s home-grown austerity plans. The timing couldn’t be more apt, given the precarious nature of Greece (and France’s $56 billion exposure to it.)

If there’s one thing France has in common with its smaller, weaker eurozone neighbours - like Greece - it is that with growth stalling it is becoming increasingly difficult for such countries to keep to their deficit targets.

Just last month, France cut its growth outlook to 1 percent for next year from 1.75 percent. That figure had already been revised downwards from 2 percent during the summer. As growth slows, so the revenues otherwise needed to pay down the deficit also flow less freely.

This is why France has said it will need to push through an additional $8 billion to $11 billion worth of extra austerity, to make sure the public shortfall does not exceed its targeted 4.5 percent of GDP.

You see, France must show it is serious about tackling its finances - or else it could find itself losing its coveted AAA rating.

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November 5th, 2011
03:37 PM GMT
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Athens, Greece - What a difference a day can make. It's saturday and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has survived the midnight confidence vote, seen President Karolos Papoulias and is now going about forming a coalition government with a few smaller parties.

Does it matter who forms a coalition government?  Not really. The bottom line is that whoever is the next Prime Minister - and my money is on Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos – s/he will still have to cobble together a majority of the 300-member parliament to do one thing and one thing only: pass the massive austerity package agreed in Brussels on 27 October. It’s that simple.

The Greeks don’t like the pain and austerity that has been imposed on them by their own government in return for massive loans from the IMF and the European Union. But there is really no choice. Sure, the opposition party, New Democracy, has promised less pain - but don’t parties out of power always promise that? Anyway, the word on the street in Athens is that New Democracy will not be a part of any coalition government.

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November 4th, 2011
02:45 AM GMT
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Editor's note: As world leaders gather in Cannes for the G-20 summit, CNN's Diana Magnay and Phil Han are traveling around Europe this week to talk to European youths about the economic crisis.

Marseille, France (CNN) – All week, Diana Magnay and I have been crisscrossing our way across parts of Europe to gauge how young people have been reacting to the eurozone crisis, but today, something quite unexpected happen.

We had driven some five and a half hours from Milan through torrential rain and high winds to finally make it to Marseille in the south of France for our next pit stop. All morning we were keeping on top of the latest coming out of Greece over rumors that the Prime Minister might call it quits, but nothing concrete had emerged.

Both us went ahead with the plan to hold our third social media town hall at the EuroMed Management campus with several young people who would share their frustrations, angst and anger. FULL POST



November 4th, 2011
12:42 AM GMT
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(CNN) - Have you ever been to an event where you felt out of place?

You toy with the option of going home. Cocoa and slippers suddenly regain their appeal.

Then again, you might get some benefit from staying: you might meet someone interesting – your knight in shining armor.

When you do finally head for the door it turns out to be locked and your only alternative is creeping out of the window (hopefully unnoticed).

That is the situation Greece is facing today. FULL POST



November 3rd, 2011
03:11 AM GMT
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Editor's note: As world leaders gather in Cannes for the G-20 summit, CNN's Diana Magnay and Phil Han are traveling around Europe this week to talk to European youths about the economic crisis.

Milan, Italy (CNN) – Phil, why are we driving these distances? 14 hours in two days, same still to go – I need to run to Marseille to get my legs working again!

But once again, our little group in Milan made it worth it. FULL POST



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