Brussels — This time, the European Commission’s eurocrats didn’t mince words, warning that the euro zone risks “financial disintegration.” It offered bold advice on solving the crisis. But is anyone listening?
BERLIN – In Europe’s latest cliff-hanger, a vote Thursday in favor of Merkel’s Fiscal Pact would endorse a Greece-style prescription for the debt-burdened Irish economy. A vote against it, however, could deliver even worse — for Ireland and the greater euro zone. Irish voters seethe over the choices.
London — Europe's single currency needs an independent central bank and a single bond. It needs a single fiscal policy. Most important, it needs a single democratically elected government to oversee the economy. There’s a word for that, and it begins with an F.
BERLIN – Two years ago he shocked polite opinion with a racist polemic against Muslim immigrants. Now former Bundesbank member Thilo Sarrazin is back with a book in which he says Germany has made itself hostage to the euro zone out of Holocaust guilt.
BRUSSELS – French President Francois Hollande thinks he’s found a solution to the euro zone crisis: the name’s Bonds. Euro bonds. But Angela Merkel’s still playing Dr. No. At a euro zone summit on Wednesday, the new French leader plans to revive proposals for bonds that would be jointly issued by euro zone countries to spread national debt burdens across the whole currency bloc. Hollande knows however that there is little chance the German chancellor will warm to the idea.
BERLIN – Angela Merkel may be a popular leader, but with her natural coalition partner facing electoral oblivion, she could struggle to remain chancellor. Merkel also has a big problem: her junior coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), is in freefall. With their support waning, they are likely to be wiped out in the next federal vote in 2013, leaving Merkel forced to find an alternative partner.