German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the sparkling new French President Francois Hollande recently made big news by reaching an agreement that is expected to rejuvenate the economies of the region, especially those of Italy and Spain. Yet, whether the €120 billion growth pact will indeed bring about the momentum needed to pull the Euro-zone out of crisis, is a moot point. In fact, not many are willing to believe that this would work.
Here’s my take on the “monstrous” Euro-zone Crisis and the two leaders on whose shoulders rests the responsibility of reviving the Euro-zone’s finances.
When Francois Hollande flew to Berlin, to meet Angela Merkel, the world watched it with a lot of interest. The reason was simple. The chemistry between Angela Merkel and Hollande’s predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy was fantastic. Perhaps it was because Sarkozy’s personality is Merkel’s opposite. Sarkozy’s quick wit and humor would make Merkel smile, and they appeared to enjoy each other’s company. However, when Sarkozy lost the Presidential crown to Mr. Hollande earlier this year, this happy political relationship came to an abrupt end.
Merkel’s first meeting with Hollande was dubbed drab by the media. Hollande and Merkel didn’t warm up to each other, the way people had hoped they would. So, when the time came for Merkel to visit Hollande in Paris, everyone was even more worried than before. When they met, however, they shared their thoughts and talked about Growth vs. Austerity.
The recently concluded Brussels Summit apparently brought some good news for the Euro-zone but after the initial euphoria has died down, we can now hear the experts say that the package is good, but not good enough. What may be good enough for rest of the Europe, however, isn’t good enough for Merkel as Germans won’t be happy footing a bill that’s not theirs, and the unhappiness of Germans can jettison Merkel out of the Chancellor’s chair in the 2013 Bundestag elections.
If you are interested in a metaphorical story that explains the genesis of the Euro zone crisis, read “The Euro-Zone Crisis.“
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