The 17 European Union nations that share the euro don’t have that much time, of course, to convince investors that they have a plan to hold the currency together and prevent a run on the Continent’s banks. Some analysts say they have less than five weeks, until the Group of 20 summit meeting in November; others say a bit longer.
But rapid action comes hard to a union that works in increments, with political agreement required at every step.
In the short term, Greece remains the central problem. Two bailouts have not been enough. Greek public debt continues to mount, and so does the pressure on the government to find more revenue and make more cuts. Europe’s strategy, to the extent it can be discerned, is to put off restructuring Greece’s debt as long as possible and build up enough backing for a bailout fund so that banks with large exposure to the sovereign debt of Greece and other troubled euro-zone countries, like Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain, can survive an all-but-inevitable Greek default.
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Credit Markets Currency Markets Euro European Central Bank Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market The Banking System/Sector Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Europe Greece
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