The eurozone is stuck firmly in a sharp economic contraction, with the region’s escalating debt crisis hitting Germany with increasing severity, according to a closely watched survey.
The outlook for Europe's economy has worsened significantly, the European System Risk Board (ESRB) said on Thursday, warning that a slowdown along with an intensification of the debt crisis could put further strain on the already weakened banking sector.
Euro-area manufacturing output shrank at the fastest pace in three years in June and a Chinese output gauge indicated contraction as Europe’s worsening fiscal crisis clouded global economic-growth prospects.
But all this does not seem to bother the Brussels top eurocrats at all. José Manuel Durão Barroso, the former Portuguese maoist who is now President of the European Commission, continues to brag about the European Union being "the world´s largest donor" as if nothing would have changed.
This is what Barroso had to say at the opening session of the Rio+20 mega conference:
The European Union and its members will remain the world's largest donor, with a significant share of our aid around the globe already going to "Rio-priorities".
We remain staunchly committed to reaching our collective objective of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on aid by 2015, and we will mainstream sustainability considerations into our cooperation programs and all other EU policies even more in the future.
For 2012-2013 alone, our EU aid to all three dimensions of sustainable development already amounts to almost 8 billion Euro – more than 10 billion US Dollars.
And on the front of sustainable energy, I will propose to mobilise 400 million Euro over the next two years to support concrete new investments in this key area. In this regard, we very much welcome the Secretary General's initiative to ensure Sustainable Energy for All.
Isn´t it nice to be able to "mobilise" an additional 400 million Euro of taxpayers´ money to some "mainstreamed" sustainability projects, while Europe is burning, with EU youth unemployment at almost 23% (in Spain 51%) and poverty on the increase everywhere.