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Europeans are having fewer children because of the crisis, reports Jyllands-Posten. Between 2008 and 2011, the number of births declined by an average of 3.5 per cent in 31 European countries.

“The problem is at its most acute in southern ’Europe,” explains the newspaper, which cites several recent scientific papers, before adding that if the trend is not reversed European welfare states will be on a shaky footing —

Few would doubt that Europe is faced with a serious problem. In today's Europe, there are four active members of the workforce for every pensioner. By 2060, there will be only two.