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Yearender: Out of debt crisis grows new momentum for global economic rebalancing

By Wang Fan, Xie Peng (Xinhua)

13:17, December 13, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- When the history books are written, "debt" is sure to dominate the story of the 2011 world economy.

Back in 2009, the financial meltdown provided a cautionary tale that the deficit-financed growth model, which used to be the order of the day, could not go on forever. Two years on, the debts that once wreaked havoc on the global financial system have not gone away, but been passed on to governments from the private sector.

Over the past 12 months, the crisis has reshaped the global economic landscape, leaving Europe to struggle with its mounting debts, the United States to focus on spurring growth and emerging economies to strive to avert risks.

MOUNTING DEBT HANGOVER

The first glimpse of Chryssa Salavrakou's home was a collection of foreign decorations and a set of antique furniture, indicating that this was a well-off Greek family. However, the hostess was not in a good mood.

Salavrakou told Xinhua the debt crisis had brought her pain she had never before experienced. A significant rise in tax had squeezed her family's income sharply and forced them to change the way they lived, she said.

Greece is the epitome of the two-year-old debt crisis, which emerged in Iceland and Ireland, then consumed Greece, before spreading to Portugal, Spain, Italy and even France. In the past few weeks, ratings agencies have been threatening to cut the credit-worthiness of most European countries and some Western financial commentators are crying about the possible disintegration of the eurozone.

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