Sunday, November 13, 2011
Another crazy week in Europe
Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Italy...elections in Spain which the opposition looks likely to win...if anything has highlighted the political nature of the current Euro crisis, it has been the governments which have fallen in the process. At the same time, Angela Merkel's party has had major losses at the state level in Germany, where even the Pirate Party has had some success. This past week saw Italy on the brink, and Silvio Berlusconi finally taking a fall. As one commentator on NPR noted, it was not his sexual scandals or the financial irregularities related to his many businesses that brought him down...in the end it was his inability to lead Italy through it's most critical economic crisis in a generation that led to his resignation. The factors leading to the current crisis in Europe are many, but one major factor in the crisis has been leadership, or the lack thereof. Both Italy and Greece have turned to technocrats as prime ministers, who would theoretically not expect to run for reelection, in a bid to avoid the political wrangling which led them to the brink of insolvency. Time will tell if these economists will be able to succeed where their predecessors failed. The future for Europe and the Euro is still unclear -- and the crisis could still expand to the U.S.