Europe 'not ready to cope' with a new financial crisis

Credit ratings agency Moody's has warned that Europe remains highly vulnerable to a fresh economic downturn despite all its work to fight off crises over the past few years.
The report comes as tax and spending plans by Italy's new government present the latest potential threat to the region's markets.Moody's said that Europe "is not ready to cope with another major slump stressing the financial system".The credit agency's assessment is published as experts assess the fallout from the last crisis that began 10 years ago - with one leading expert recently telling Sky News that the next one has already begun.Moody's said a series of vulnerabilities including higher debt levels, peaking asset prices and regulatory risks could deepen the impact of a fresh downturn in Europe.Paolo Leschiutta, senior vice president at Moody's, said: "Overall, the amount of wiggle room available to mitigate the impact of another downturn is shrinking."It follows a relatively calm period for the 19-country eurozone, which enjoyed strong growth last year and saw unemployment fall to a decade-low rate of 8.1%.
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