Top EU official worried by north-south divide

Head of EU executive worried by Europe's widening north-south divide, calls for solidarity

Associated Press
Top EU official worried by north-south divide

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European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso speaks during a press conference at the federal chancellery …

VIENNA (AP) -- A top European Union official says he's worried by a widening gap between the continent's financially troubled countries — mostly in the south — and the more prosperous ones to the north as a result of the debt crisis.

Jose Manuel Barroso, the Portuguese head of the EU's executive Commission, said during a visit to Austria on Thursday that countries that are doing well "should show solidarity to the others."

Bailing out the 17-nation eurozone's strugglers hasn't been popular in richer countries such as Austria. Meanwhile, many in southern Europe resent the tough conditions imposed in exchange for aid.

Barroso said that "there is a widening gap between what we usually call the north and the south because of the crisis."

He called it "a serious matter of concern."

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