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George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, has been meeting EU leaders to assure them that the country is implementing crucial budget cuts needed to receive $11bn in bailout money.
Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France, a country also plagued by austerity woes, assured Papandreou of his full support on Friday.
But the European stock markets wobbled again later in the day - in the run-up to what could be their worst quarter since 2008.
Europe's strongest economy, Germany, saw the biggest fall of 2.9 per cent in retail sales in four years. Protests, in the meantime, continued at government ministries in Athens.
Al Jazeera's Simon McGregor-Wood reports.