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Berlin budges on boosting euro crisis firewall

BERLIN – Germany is bending to international pressure to boost Europe’s firewall as concerns mount about bigger countries like Spain and Italy.

EU austerity watch: Two test cases

BRUSSELS — Opposition in both countries to austerity requirements underscores just how difficult it will be to bring the EU economies in line with Germany’s painful budget requirements.

In the EU, economic growth seems elusive

BERLIN — A glance around the EU shows that austerity is draining the region's ability to grow. But there are no easy solutions.

Why Germans still love Angela Merkel

BERLIN — Merkel remains a popular leader, not despite but because of the euro crisis. How she does it.

Euro zone slips into double-dip recession

ROME — The official forecast of a 0.3 percent contraction across the eurozone in 2012 came as a grim confirmation of sovereign-debt crisis' impact on the wider economy.

French towns discover toxic assets, ask for bailout

ASNIERES — At least 5,500 French towns have taken out toxic loans from the failed French-Belgian bank Dexia. With no place to unload that debt, and no way to pay it back, these towns are suddenly under water.

EU leaders leaning toward growth v. austerity

ROME — The leaders of the EU's two leading economies did not sign up, leading many to see the letter as a challenge to Merkel and Sarkozy.

Greeks fear bailout will bring more economic woes

ATHENS — If the government falls behind on reforms, Europe will demand more austerity. That would push even middle-class Greeks to protest.

EU OKs second Greek bailout, but worries loom

Next up for the EU: Finding jobs for 1 in 5 Greeks, ending a five-year recession, and ensuring that Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy don't share a similar fate.

Iceland's debt rating gets a bump on strong recovery

The international ratings agency Fitch raised its assessment of Iceland's long-term debt rating from junk to investment grade.
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