French president Francois Hollande has declared that the eurozone debt crisis has come to an end.
Speaking before business leaders on a visit to Japan, Hollande said that the crisis – which has blighted the region for four years and led to fears that the 17-nation strong currency bloc could collapse – will ultimately strengthen the eurozone.
“What is important for you here in Japan, it is understood that the crisis in the eurozone is completed,” the president said.
Last month, official figures show the French economy slipped back into recession during the first quarter of 2013, contracting by 0.2 per cent over the three-month period. This helped to push the eurozone into its longest downturn on record.
Furthermore, unemployment across the currency bloc remains at record highs while there were fears over its survival as recently as April after Cyprus became the fifth eurozone member to require a sovereign bailout from the EU and the International Monetary Fund.
Hollande added: “I believe that the crisis, far from weakening the eurozone, will strengthen it.
“For now, we have all the instruments of stability and solidarity, there was an improvement in the economic governance of the euro area, we set up a banking union, we have rules on budgetary matters that allow us to be better coordinated and have a form of convergence.”