Paris and Athens give Brussels a policy headache

Luke Baker, Reuters, 07.05.2012

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Pity Europe's policymakers. For 2-1/2 years they have sought a way out of the biggest crisis to strike the European project since its founding over 50 years ago, and for 2-1/2 years one drama after another has stumped them. […]

The destabilizing impact has already been seen in financial markets, with the euro weakening against the dollar, European bank stocks falling to three-year lows and yields on government bonds in Italy and Spain rising.

"The situation today is much more complicated than it was yesterday," said Janis Emmanouilidis, a senior analyst at the European Policy Centre, a Brussels think-tank.

"Uncertainty has been a driver of this crisis since the beginning, and what has emerged from the Greek vote in particular has only underlined that uncertainty." […]

Others echo that view in part, although they emphasize that it may be some time before anything positive emerges.

"The immediate outcome is negative, but that doesn't mean there aren't positives in the medium-term," said Emmanouilidis. "This is going to put pressure on everyone to deliver."

One advantage for the euro zone is the weakening of the euro, which will help exporters and growth. For two years, the currency has remained firm against other major currencies despite the debt crisis. That trend has shifted in recent weeks. [...]

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