Data confirms recession in the eurozone's weakest economies last year, breathing new life into a heated debate on whether aggressive austerity measures may come at the cost of economic growth.
A woman begs on a street in central Rome, Italy on December 14, 2012. On Monday, official statistics showed that Italy's economy shrank by 0.9% in the 4th quarter from the 3rd quarter, confirming a previous estimate which said the recession in the countryy was deepening.
The dire individual statistics for Italy, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus come just days ahead of a EU summit where the bloc's leaders are to mull ways to tackle the debt crisis, with countries led by France calling for growth measures while others led by Germany are holding firm for fiscal discipline.
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