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Eurozone drifts into zone of uncertainty

world Updated: Sep 09, 2011 23:00 IST

With markets still volatile, and politicians only marginally closer to a solution of the euro's troubles than they were two years ago, the future for the euro zone remains uncertain at best.

Economists and financial analysts point to a series of land mines that lie ahead.

Growth is slowing, even in Germany, where exports are down and imports are stagnant. A team of experts stalked out of Greece last week to force Athens to live up to its debt-cutting promises as its bills continue to mount.

The Italian government is applying fiscal Band-Aids to its deficit instead of surgery, while there is new budgetary pressure on Rome and Madrid, considered too big to bail out.

On Thursday, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development provided only the latest gloomy assessment of the prospects for a new recession and a European banking crisis. "The sovereign debt crisis in the euro area could intensify again," the group said, urging the recapitalisation of some European banks and better financial management in the 17-nation euro zone.

And the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, scolded Athens, warning that European aid would be provided only "if Greece actually does what it agreed to do."