French president Francois Hollande has caused raised eyebrows among financial experts after declaring the eurozone's economic crisis is over.
Mr Hollande made the bold claim in a speech during a state visit to Japan and it has sparked a great deal of debate.
"You must understand that the crisis in the eurozone is over," he remarked during an event in Tokyo.
"Europe has become more stable, but it must now be oriented toward growth."
His comments came shortly after new statistics confirmed unemployment rates have reached 12.2 per cent across the eurozone, with the likes of Spain and Greece being particularly badly affected.
The European Central Bank is also far from optimistic about the future of the euro area and recently opted to cut the region's economic growth forecast for 2013.
Despite this, Mr Hollande stated that the high-profile financial troubles of the last few years will strengthen the eurozone in the long run, rather than weaken it.
By Tony Aynsley