EUROPEAN DEBT KEEPS GROWING, DESPITE AUSTERITY MEASURES

The euro region´s combined debt burden surged last year to the highest since the start of the single currency as governments struggled to fill budget gaps and contain the fiscal crisis. The debt of the 17 nations using the euro climbed to 87.3% of gross domestic product in 2011 from 85.4% the previous year, the European Union´s statistics office in Luxembourg said. That´s the highest since the euro was introduced in 1999.

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