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5 scary things that happened in Europe while you were watching Ukraine

LISBON, Portugal — What's taking place on the rest of the continent while no one's paying attention.

Spanish disaffection mounts despite improving economy

BURGOS, Spain — Until recently, Spaniards associated this chilly capital of the northern Castille region mainly with its magnificent Gothic cathedral and morcilla, or pork blood sausage. Ask anyone about it today, however, and you’re more likely to hear about a working-class neighborhood that made international headlines in January.

Spaniards try to sew up economic recovery

MADRID — Indicators continue pointing to a tentative recovery on the horizon after the longest recession of Spain’s democratic era prompted by the 2008 bursting of a housing bubble that left the country with millions of unsold homes and banks laden with bad debt.

Spain hopes to export its way out of recession

VIGO, Spain — At this bustling harbor, the 500 tons of seafood hauled ashore each day are being upstaged by cranes lined along the quayside half a mile upstream, where piles of containers, hunks of granite and hundreds of automobiles wait to be hoisted onto ships at Vigo's booming commercial port. The latest figures from the Economy Ministry in Madrid show exports rose 8.3 percent in September compared to a year before, a spurt that’s prompting hopes that overseas sales could drag the Spanish economy out of its deepest recession in decades.

Green shoots show in Europe

BRUSSELS — It's official. The euro zone has clambered out of recession for the first time in 18 months with a surprisingly high 0.3 percent growth in the second quarter of 2013. Despite the good news, data released on Wednesday showed continued deep divergences between north and south, although there were encouraging signs even in the countries hardest hit by the debt crisis.  

Europe's southern discomfort

LISBON — From Portugal through Spain and Italy to Greece, the risk of political crisis is threatening to re-ignite the euro crisis as governments tasked with balancing their books and hauling economies out of recession are instead struggling to survive scandals or bouts of political infighting.

Bank and budget deals boost EU summit

BRUSSELS — European Union leaders opened their latest crisis summit Thursday boosted by breakthrough agreements on bank bailouts and the bloc's $1.3 trillion spending plan.

Greek TV shutdown prompts outrage

BRUSSELS — The Greek government's surprise decision to shut down the state broadcaster has sent shockwaves though a country that's become accustomed to closures and mass layoffs during six years of unbroken recession.

Europe's troika adrift

BRUSSELS — Olli Rehn and Christine Lagarde used to be good at teamwork. Lagarde, who heads the International Monetary Fund, was a member of the French synchronized swimming team in her youth. Rehn, the European Union's economic and monetary affairs commissioner, played soccer in Finland's top division. Lately, however, both have raised doubts about whether they’re following the same game plan as they attempt to lead efforts to pull Europe out of its economic crisis.

Greece: Removing the middleman and other ways to combat the crisis

ATHENS — Like hundreds of thousands of other Greeks, Dimitris Nikolaidis lost his job after Greece first entered recession five years ago. The electrician used to work for Viomichaniki Metalleutiki, or VioMe, an affiliate of the country’s largest producer of ceramic and tiles, until the crisis finally forced it to shut down in May 2011. But eight months later, he’s back on the factory floor, this time as one of 35 workers who occupied the plant and restarted production.
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