Tuesday 6 December 2016

Merkel, Sarkozy must act now

Published 15/09/2011 | 05:00

If the joke weren't on us it would actually be funny. Confronted by the worst financial crisis since 1931, and with the US and the Chinese governments screaming at them to do something about the ever-worsening euro crisis, the best that Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy can manage is a teleconference.

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Let no one be under any illusions. This is by far the most serious crisis the euro has experienced in its near 13-year history. With a Greek default, probably followed by its departure from the eurozone, now virtually inevitable, the very existence of the single currency is under threat.

Political and economic crises often bring out the best in our leaders. Not this time. Ever since the crisis first erupted almost three years ago, both Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy, the leaders of the two strongest eurozone economies, have performed abysmally. At a time when bold and innovative leadership was called for, we have had to make do with a pair of political midgets instead.

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