THE European crisis is officially receding and concerns about the euro have been diminished, European commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has said.
"I think we can say that the existential threat against the euro has essentially been overcome," Mr Barroso said in Lisbon.
However, his comments are being viewed with caution by investors. His remarks are in sharp contrast to the new year's message from German chancellor Angela Merkel, who told TV viewers that the currency zone faced another rocky 12 months.
Cuts to essential public services in Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal are expected to increase unemployment and lead to further social unrest.