Day by day, fears are growing that Greece or another weak country may default on its sovereign debt obligations, forcing the richer countries in Europe to ride to the rescue or risk having one or more of its most vulnerable members leave the 16-nation euro zone.
Many European economists discount such a fracture as a remote possibility. But that doesn’t mean Europe has safely emerged from crisis.
... France and Germany have already emerged from the recession. Business confidence in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has hit a 17-month high.
Yet on the periphery, the hangover from more than five years of a credit-infused boom shows little sign of diminishing.
Ireland, the first economy to stumble, has taken the most severe fiscal action, cutting public wages sharply. A new Greek government, punished by the rough treatment of bond investors no longer willing to countenance soft promises of reform, is just now promising steep spending cuts. But it is not clear whether the political system in Greece will accept them.
Meanwhile, Spain, to the frustration of many major lenders, seems to be putting off difficult fiscal questions in the hope that its economy will soon recover.
Critics of the euro zone contend that weak governments in the peripheral economies, facing high unemployment and restive voters, will not have the stomach to hold down wages, pensions and public expenditures.
I THINK MUCH OF EUROPE WILL DO BADLY IN 2010 - THE PINKEST PARTS WILL DO THE WORST. TOO MUCH SOCIALISM YIELDS STAGNATION AND A TOP HEAVY GOVERNMENT - WHICH BECOMES A BALL AND JACK.
WHICH IS WHAT OBAMA DREAMS OF, REALLY. DREAMS FROM MY FUHRER AND THE AUDACITY OF MUSSOLINI, MARX AND GRAMSCI.
IT'S THE PROGRESSIVE WAY, DONTCHYA KNOW... TURN LEFT, AND KEEPING WALKING UNTIL YOU FALL OFF A CLIFF.
I THINK OBAMA AND HIS COMRADES WILL ATTEMPT TO ENLARGE THE GOVERNMENT RIGHT UP UNTIL THE NOVEMBER ELECTION.
THEN, THE VOTERS WILL GIVE THEM ALL A RUDE AWAKENING.