Davos, Switzerland (CNNMoney)
The message was unmistakable: The austerity push that has dominated Europe in the past year will continue even as the economy struggles.
One after another, politicians and central bankers queued up at the World Economic Forum in Davos to warn against the risk of fiscal complacency. They urged European governments to stay the course and continue to cut budget deficits, make economies more competitive and drive closer eurozone integration.
But with the 17-nation currency zone economy set to contract for a second year running, regional leaders are still trying to square the circle of austerity and growth.
The hope is that cheap central bank cash will sustain confidence and activity long enough for reforms to bear fruit in two or three years’ time.