January 9, 2011
The euro zone crisis seemed to vanish from the headlines for a brief moment as 2011 ticked over into 2012, but it is about to return with a vengeance.
The coming months will be decisive in determining whether European leaders can hold their increasingly fragile currency bloc together or will stumble in the face of a daunting set of political, economic and financial obstacles lined up in their path at the start of the new year.
In Greece, where the crisis started over two years ago, the government is in a race against time to agree a bond-swap deal with banks that is crucial to a new 130 billion euro bailout package from European partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Without that package, Athens faces the threat of a debt default in March.