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News Link • Economy - International

Banks saved, but Europe risks "losing a generation"

• http://www.reuters.com, By Luke Baker
 Since the region's debt crisis erupted in Greece in late 2009, the European Union has created complex rescue mechanisms to prop up distressed countries and their shaky banking sectors, setting aside a total of 700 billion euros. 

But little has been done to tackle the devastating social impact of the crisis, with more than 26 million people unemployed across the EU, including one in every two young people in Greece, Spain and parts of Italy and Portugal.

  That crippling level of unemployment has led to protests and outbreaks of violence across southern Europe, raising the threat of full-scale social breakdown, including rising crime and anti-immigrant attacks that can further rattle unstable governments. 

"We saved the banks but are running the risk of losing a generation," said Martin Schulz, a German socialist who has led the European Parliament, the EU's only directly elected institution, since January last year.

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