Summit shows how far EU has moved

Catherine Field, The New Zealand Herald, 31.10.2011

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The Italian delegation was in a mixture of fear and sulkiness. There they were, representatives of the eighth largest economy in the world and a founding culture of Europe, and they were being treated like schoolchildren who had been caught fibbing about their homework. [...]

In political terms, though, a line has been crossed. To the surprise of eurosceptics who had derided it as ponderous and weak, the EU has responded with speed and vigour.

The change can be attributed to a revival of the Franco-German alliance, the EU's traditional political locomotive, says Janis Emmanouilidis of the Brussels-based European Policy Centre think-tank.

"EU institutions and eurozone governments - led by Berlin and Paris - now seem more determined to get ahead of the crisis curve," Emmanouilidis believes. "Compared to a year ago, in Europe and beyond, there is now a strong appreciation of the fact that the euro is 'too big to fail'." [...]

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