Joaquin Almunia, the Spanish commissioner for competition in the European Union commission in Brussels, hit out at countries like Germany, Netherlands, Finland and Austria which have suggested that heavily indebted countries, such as Greece and Portugal, should lose their membership of the eurozone. “European integration is the only opt ion” said Sr Almunia.

The fragility of Britain's economic recovery was underlined when the index of activity in the service sector fell to its lowest point since April 2001. The sector accounts for three-quarters of Britain's GDP. In a speech during the week Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne described Britain's economy as “a rock of stability”.

Germany's highest court rejected objections that the government's financial commitment to the European Financial Stability Facility, which bails out indebted eurozone countries, breached the country's constitution. However the court ruled that any future commitment should first have the approval of the budget committee of the Bundestag.

Switzerland National Bank set a ceiling SwFr 1.20 against the euro in an effort to reduce the rise in the value of the Swiss currency which has been affecting the country's exports.