The worst economic upheaval since the Great Depression is not over. Not yet. But there are, at last, signs that it may be coming to an end.
They were airlifted to safety as floodwaters swept through many towns and villages in the south of the country.
Mauro Busani, 26, tells of his struggle to find work, as Italy's unemployment rate reaches a reported 36-year-high.
Conservative minister Ken Clarke has joined forces with Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander and Labour's Lord Mandelson to warn that leaving the EU would be an "historical error".
The politicians insisted the UK should work to reform the organisation from within rather than walking away.
Mr Clarke, regarded as the sole Conservative europhile in the Cabinet, said: "David Cameron has already shown what can be achieved in Europe through strong, determined leadership.
"We earn our living in a globalised economy and a world in which nations are interdependent in tackling global and regional problems.
"We can help to promote our own interests best by reinforcing our role as a leading nation in the EU."
Flood levels in the eastern German city of Dresden were expected to rise further today as the Elbe river flooded large parts of the old town.
Some 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes so far and the city issued a level four flood warning - the highest on the scale.
The Bavarian city of Passau has seen its worst flooding since 1501. Residents are doing all they can to protect themselves and their property. The city is home to 50,000 on the border with Austria.
This helicopter footage shows how far floodwater from the River Danube has engulfed the historic town of Melk in northern Austria.
The town's famous Benedictine abbey can be seen safely out of touch on its hill, but the old town all around is partly submerged.
Residents of the southern German town of Passau have been counting the cost after several feet of floodwater engulfed the town.
Homes and businesses close to the water level suffered extensive damage. The owner of one book shop had to throw away all of the books that had filled its shelves.
Passau lies at the confluence of three rivers and reportedly saw some of the highest water levels in 70 years.
The level of the River Vltava has reached its peak and is expected to begin returning to normal levels, according experts cited in the Prague-based daily Mlada Fronta Dnes.
Some 60 roads remain closed as well as large parts of the city's metro system, the newspaper reports.
This was the scene in the early hours of this morning:
Flooding in the Czech capital Prague is expected to get worse before it gets better as water levels in the River Vltava reach their peak later this morning.
The Prague daily Lidove Noviny cited the Prime Minister Petr Necas as saying that water flow was expected to reach 3,300 cubic metres per second, up today from 2,900 last night.
The situation is made worse by the fact that the Orlik reservoir, which helps control the flow, is close to full capacity.
Temporary flood barriers and sandbags have been used to keep the water from Prague's Old Town - a World Heritage Site - after record floods in 2002 caused serious damage.
Floods across central Europe forced factories to closed, drove thousands from their homes and killed at least eight people.
Sandbags have been piled up by volunteers to keep a swollen river from overwhelming the Czech capital Prague's historic centre.
Six people died in the Czech Republic from the worst flooding in a decade and a state of emergency was declared, while in Austria two people died and another two were missing.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated in the Czech Republic after floods claimed the lives of five people, transport has been disrupted and some schools remain closed as the government declared a state of emergency in all but one of 14 regions.