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Money Flows, but What Euro Zone Lacks Is Glue

November 30, 2011
Money Flows, but What Euro Zone Lacks Is Glue

PARIS — As European Union leaders prepare for yet another crisis summit meeting next week to discuss fundamental changes in economic governing, there are growing concerns that the latest potential approach — a more aggressive intervention by the European Central Bank — will not be enough to stabilize the markets and preserve the euro.
Mr. Johnson is a euro hawk, predicting a breakup of the euro zone. Others say Europe has more time, especially if the European Central Bank can intervene to support Italy more forcefully, which by its charter it is not supposed to do, at least not directly.

If so, Mr. Rogoff said, “the Europeans can stretch it out a long time, they have the money.” Nevertheless, he said, they “need to take a big step toward economic and political union, whoever wants to be a part of it.” Germany “is right to hold out for systemic changes,” he said. “The Europeans hoped to have 30 to 40 years to integrate more fully. Right now they don’t have 30 to 40 weeks.”

Some say they have far less than that.

“We are now entering the critical period of 10 days to complete and conclude the crisis response of the European Union,” said the bloc’s economics commissioner, Olli Rehn, on Wednesday.

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