The euro-zone unemployment rate has unexpectedly jumped to 8.5 percent -- the latest sign that the 16 euro-zone economies are deteriorating faster than expected amid the global financial downturn.
Economists are revising their full-year forecasts
The EU statistics office said unemployment in the euro zone rose to 8.5 percent in February. Some 319,000 more people were seeking work in the euro zone than in January, when unemployment was at 8.3 percent.
Analysts said they expect the unemployment rate to reach about 10 percent later in the year, as the recession deepens.
More pressure on ECB
The latest figures are likely to increase the pressure on the European Central Bank, which was set to meet Thursday, April 2, to discuss lowering euro-zone interest rates.
On Wednesday, the European Union's statistics office, Eurostat, said the jobless rate across the entire 27-nation bloc is now 7.9 percent, up from 7.7 percent in January.
Unemployment is highest in Spain at 15.5 percent, Latvia at 14.4 percent and Lithuania at 13.7 percent. All three have been hit hard by the bursting of a housing bubble and a sharp economic downturn.
Britain will increase funding to stop migrants who camp near the French port of Calais before trying to cross the English Channel. The amount of money remains under discussion.
The Bundestag has begun debating on whether to expand the right to assisted suicide as some of their European neighbors have done. Four competing draft laws have been presented for consideration.
The founder of France's far-right National Front should be reinstated to the party, said a local court. Jean-Marie Le Pen was suspended by his daughter Marine following a refusal to back down from controversial rhetoric.
Drunken tourists staggering on the beach of Barcelona, loud louts shouting down the alleys of Lisbon. Tourism in many popular European cities is attracting criticism and some towns are concerned about their image.