The recession across the eurozone has continued into a sixth consecutive quarter, official figures have shown.
Overall, the 17-nation bloc's economy shrank by 0.2 per cent between January and March, leaving the region's economy one per cent smaller for the period compared with a year ago.
On an individual level, nine member countries were in recession and Germany recorded weak growth of 0.1 per cent in the period.
France fell into recession for the second time in four years and now has an unemployment rate of 10.6 per cent.
The 0.2 per cent drop is worse than the 0.1 per cent fall expected by economists, although the gross domestic product numbers are subject to revision.
These new figures mark the longest recession since the euro currency was launched in 1999.
Earlier this month, the European Central Bank cut interest rates to a record low of 0.5 per cent in an attempt to boost growth.
By Gary Cooper