The north-south split is becoming more pronounced as the eurozone economy shrinks.
Gross domestic product for the 17-nation currency bloc contracted by 0.3 percent in the final three months of last year from the previous quarter.
Germany’s economy contracted slightly by 0.2 percent and growth in France was anaemic at 0.2 percent while Italy’s GDP fell by 07 percent and Portugal’s 1.3 percent.
Greece’s economy shrank by a stunning seven percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, much worse than a Q3 decline of five percent. The austerity measures demanded by its lenders are likely to make things even worse.
Underscoring just how poisonous the debt crisis has been for businesses and the economy, gross domestic product grew just 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier after posting 2.4 percent growth at the start of 2011, when Europe was recovering strongly from the 2008/2009 global financial crisis.
The 27-nation EU economy also shrunk 0.3 percent in the October-to-December period.