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News Summary: Eurozone recession drags on

The Associated Press

DUBIOUS RECORD: The eurozone is now in its longest recession, a six-quarter slump that has topped the downturn that hit the region in the financial crisis of 2008-9.

FRANCE ADDED: The European Union statistics office said Wednesday that nine of the 17 EU countries that use the euro are in recession, with France a notable addition to the list. Overall, the eurozone's economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the January-March period from the previous three months.

AUSTERITY PAIN: The single currency bloc is grappling with a debt crisis that has prompted governments to slash spending and raise taxes. Unemployment across the eurozone is at a record 12.1 percent.