The stresses on the system are now so great that to contain panic and contagion, while protecting countries too big to bail out, would require political choices and financial commitments that many countries, including Germany, Finland and the Netherlands, seem unlikely to make — the prime reason they would prefer that Greece remain.
The problems of Greece and Spain are complicated enough, but the pressure on euro zone leaders to resolve the evident contradictions in the common currency and to move faster toward more political and fiscal integration is rising by the day. The election of François Hollande, a committed European, as president of France may help push Berlin toward more collective responsibility for the euro zone, but Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany , with her own domestic political concerns, has rarely been willing to move quickly or boldly, which many believe has prolonged and deepened the euro crisis.
Even the British prime minister, David Cameron, warned Europe of the urgent need to fix its economic imbalances and structure. Britain is outside the euro zone and has no intention of joining, so Mr. Cameron’s words were resented. But they rang loudly. Europe, he said, “either has to make up, or it is looking at a potential breakup.”Page 2 of 8 | Prev Page | Next Page