An update on the eurozone crisis from Der Spiegel nicely sums up the state of the blame game:
- Portugal, Greece and Spain accuse the Irish government of unsettling the financial markets with its obstinacy and driving up interest rates.
- Together with Ireland, they accuse Germany of having caused the latest debt crisis through its insistence that private-sector creditors take their share of losses in future debt crises.
- Germany in turn sees itself as the guardian of the long-term stability of the euro zone and wants to ensure that taxpayers are not left to foot the bill in future crises.
- The ECB is insisting that Ireland should avail itself of the EU’s stabilisation fund, so that it can roll back its existing emergency support for the country. In October, the ECB made €130 billion in emergency loans available to the Irish banking system — one-fifth of the total funds that the central bank currently has on loan to all euro-zone banks. Without this help, the Irish banking system would collapse. The ECB argues that the current situation is not sustainable in the long run.
Sounds bad, and not every cohesive, and yet we’ll say this… we can’t imagine the leaders of 49 states getting together and talking about how they have California’s back for aid, and that all California has to do is ask for the cash, and it’s standing buy. So as divided as Europe is right now — and remember, ostensibly we’re talking about countries here — the situation in the US may be worse. It will take an acute crisis to find out, of course.
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