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Monday, May 7, 2012

Merkel’s Fiscal Box

According to the Huffington Post, Germany was ruling out any substantive shift in its approach to Europe's debt crisis despite a rising chorus of opposition to Berlin's austerity policies that reached a crescendo in the elections in Greece and France on May 6, 2012. On the following day, Merkel “rejected the notion that Europe was on the brink of a major policy shift after Socialist Francois Hollande defeated her fellow conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and Greek voters punished ruling parties who slashed spending to secure a foreign bailout. . . . Merkel herself made clear that, while there was scope to discuss tactics, the overall strategy EU leaders committed to by agreeing a compact on fiscal consolidation was ‘not negotiable’.” That seems a bit presumptuous, considering that the “fiscal pact” had yet to be ratified in enough of the states to go into effect.

The full essay is in Essays on the E.U. Political Economy, available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.