Maybe the French should have stopped protesting gay marriage and instead gone to work or bought some stuff. France slipped back into a recession as the entire euro-zone economy shrank more than expected in the first quarter of 2013, according to European Union data released Wednesday. France’s economy shrunk by 0.2 percent, its first decline in four years, and officials worried that France will continue to fall further behind throughout the year if it can only keep up the current pace. Germany, the largest economy in Europe, posted modest growth after suffering a sharp decline in the last quarter of 2012, with the EU Statistical Office commending Germany for “slowly picking up steam.” But things were especially bleak for Italy, the third-largest economy in Europe: its economy shrunk by 0.5 percent, putting the economy in recession for its seventh straight quarter.
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