10 Jun 2013

Eurozone debt crisis over - Hollande

5:16 am on 10 June 2013

President Francois Hollande of France has declared an end to the eurozone debt crisis which has gripped the region for the past four years.

"What you need to understand here in Japan is that the crisis in Europe is over," he told business leaders in Japan on the last day of his trip there.

Much of Europe is still in recession. As recently as April, the BBC reports, there were fears about the future of the euro due to confusion over bailing out Cyprus.

The island secured a loan package worth 10 billion euros (£8.4 billion) from the EU and the International Monetary Fund.

There have been two bailouts of Greece as well as Ireland, Portugal, and a bailout of Spain's banks.

Unemployment in the eurozone is at another record high - with 19.38 million out work - and the bloc is in its longest recession since it was created in 1999, now in six consecutive quarters of shrinkage.

In a speech on the last day of his visit to Japan, Mr Hollande said that the debt crisis has served to bolster Europe.

"I believe that the crisis, far from weakening the eurozone, will strengthen it," he said. "Now, we have all the instruments of stability and solidarity.

''There was an improvement in the economic governance of the eurozone, we set up a banking union, we have rules on budgetary matters that allow us to be better coordinated and have a form of convergence."

He has pledged to boost jobs and growth at home, but domestic demand has been sapped by the eurozone crisis.

The French jobless rate this month climbed to its highest level in 15 years.

Recently, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund urged France needed to introduce more economic reforms.