The ebb and flow of confidence in Europe was well-illustrated this week by a sudden spike in the price of Italian and Spanish debt, with a corresponding fall in yields for assets such as German bunds, and even Norwegian and Austrian bonds. The episode was caused by a combination of banking and political scandals in Italy and Spain, along with the inexplicable political rise of Silvio Berlusconi. But, fundamentally, with parts of the EU starting to return to growth, the currency bloc is in much better shape than this time last year.
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