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Europe's outlook darkens as Germany, Britain make cuts

LUXEMBOURG — Europe's economic picture darkened further Monday as Britain's prime minister declared the nation's finances to be worse than feared — requiring sacrifices that will affect "our very way of life" — and the euro slid further toward parity with the dollar.

From small EU nations like Hungary and Greece to big ones like Germany, which on Monday announced its own harsh austerity measures, the continent's economic and fiscal crisis is showing no sign of letting up.

Germany, Europe's economic powerhouse, promised a raft of spending cuts, vowing to "set an example" for heavily indebted Greece, Spain and Portugal, which are buckling under their debt loads and threaten to drag Europe's currency union down with them. Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany needs to save $96 billion through 2014.

British Prime Minister David Cameron warned in a speech of painful cutbacks that may shape the nation for an entire generation and are necessary because "the overall scale of the problem is even worse than we thought."

Cameron's government will announce cuts in a June 22 emergency budget, less than two months after coming to power at the head of Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. On Monday, he remained vague on details of how his government plans to close its record deficit, which reached $221.5 billion or 10.9 percent of economic output in the last fiscal year.

Europe's outlook darkens as Germany, Britain make cuts 06/07/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 7, 2010 10:06pm]
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