As Greek Drama Plays Out, Where Is Europe?

Stephen Erlanger, International Herald Tribune / New York Times, 30.04.2010

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With new European Union leaders practically invisible and some national leaders acting largely for domestic political reasons, the burden of shaping a rapid and credible restructuring program for Greece has fallen primarily to the International Monetary Fund — exactly where proud European Union leaders had insisted it should not be. [...]

The European monetary union was simply “not ready for bad weather,” said Janis A. Emmanouilidis, a senior policy analyst at the European Policy Center in Brussels, saying it had no mechanisms in place to deal with issues of debt or the potential default of a member state. “In the absence of such clear mechanisms, you need political leadership,” he said. “But the past months have seen a lack of leadership.” [...]

But even worse, “the current crisis has done enormous political damage,” Mr. Emmanouilidis said. “It is decreasing the trust among member states,” he said, with Germany feeling betrayed by the “Club Med” countries of southern Europe, while those nations feel that Germany has procrastinated and shown an egregious lack of solidarity.[...]

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