PARIS – For better or worse, Europe is now engaged in an insurrection against the fiscal pact condemning European Union member countries to austerity without growth. Will it take a military coup to acknowledge that the situation is untenable? Or will the election of François Hollande as French President shift Germany’s uncompromising stance?
The prospect of reducing public deficits to less than 3% of GDP is unrealistic in both the Netherlands and Spain. Unless it is ready to take punitive measures now, the EU will have to give these countries additional leeway – mindful that the European public tends to respond negatively every time it is consulted. In Greece, the recent election has not yielded a majority coalition capable of taking ownership of the austerity plan, making yet another popular vote likely.