Resentment is growing over German chancellor Angela Merkel's leadership and fiscal austerity measures.
Banks cut 5 500 branches across the European Union last year, 2.5% of the total, leaving the region with 20 000 fewer outlets since 2008.
European Union leaders have announced the indefinite postponement of a key summit with Japan intended to launch crucial free trade negotiations.
The economic week ahead will blow in with a massive storm in the US - the world's largest economy - and end with vehicle sales figures here in SA.
European car sales have fallen for the 12th consecutive month and are heading for a double-digit decline this year.
China's latest growth figures, an EU summit and earnings reports from some of America's largest companies will dominate the global economy this week.
The dismal failure of Europe's monetary union means it should be abandoned to save countries.
PMI readings from around the world, America's jobs report and central bank meetings will keep investors on their toes in the final quarter of 2012.
In the sleepy, picturesque towns and villages of southwest Germany, the paragons of thrift are doing what they do best.
Germany is not just Europe's biggest economy and the message from the eurozone's paymaster is simple: if we can do it, so can you.
European events are likely to set the tone for global markets this week as speculation mounts that Spain may request a formal bailout from neighbours.
The Greek economy is on the verge of a 1930s-style Great Depression, as the Athens government predicts a 25% fall in gross domestic product by 2014.
Greece has had to impose budget cuts of more than 20-billion in three years - the most any eurozone country has been forced to endure.
The Fed and ECB's open-ended stimulus programmes have lifted markets around the world, writes Matt Quigley. Will the rally continue?
As Greece's government wrestles with the prospect of more austerity, anger and fear are darkening the streets.
There is one good reason for Greece to stay in the euro: to combat corruption. The country is riddled with it.
The US's central bank is set to rule on the need for more stimulus and Germany will decide where it stands on the funding for EU bail-outs.
EU officials pushed on Saturday to stem the debt crisis as Italy's Mario Monti warned that economic suffering was fuelling divisive nationalism.
Lower demand for South Africa's merchandise exports from the eurozone will have a substantially negative direct effect on the economy.
The ECB takes centre stage this week as officials gather for a critical policy meeting. Will it cut rates or announce plans to assist Spain and Italy?