EUROPE 1, LE FIGARO (France)

Worldcrunch

PARIS - Unemployment has reached a new record high in the eurozone, with European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi saying Friday that the single currency would not recover until the second half of 2013.

"We have not yet emerged from the crisis," Draghi told France's Europe 1 radio on Friday morning. "The recovery for most of the eurozone will certainly begin in the second half of 2013.”

"It's true that budgetary consolidation entails a short-term contraction of economic activity, but this budgetary consolidation is inevitable," Draghi said.

While in Paris for a conference with financial officials, Draghi stressed that governments within the eurozone should further talks on creating a banking union.

This idea has often been criticized by Berlin, preferring a banking union between only the largest and strongest banks within the European single currency member states.

Meanwhile, it was announced Friday that the eurozone's unemployment rate figures were at a record high for the month of October, rising to 11.7%.

French daily Le Figaro reports that 25.9 million people living in the European Union (EU) were jobless in the month of October, with 18.7 million of those people living within the eurozone. In comparison to September, the number of unemployed people has risen by 204,000 in the EU, and 173,000 in the eurozone.

While Italy and Spain continue to struggle, the better performing eurozone countries such as Germany and France also faced disappointing figures Friday, with growth of just 0.2%.

Retail sales in Germany shrank 2.8% in October, down 0.8% on last year.

However, there were some positive signs, as the European single currency spiked to 1.3029 against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, its highest level since Oct. 23.

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