“Marry in haste; repent at leisure.” Full of impetuous ardour, Germany’s partners seduced – some might say blackmailed – the continent’s most powerful economy into sacrificing monetary independence two decades ago. But, as the prince in Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s Leopard remarked of his own indissoluble union: “Fire and flames for a year; ashes for 30.” Now is the eurozone’s time of ashes.Heads of government of the group of 20 leading countries who do not come from the eurozone must feel like marriage counselors trying to reconcile partners far too different in character and values to live happily together. The careless lending before 2007 aggravated the danger. That carelessness, exacerbated by the notion that the marriage made all equal, has made the crisis far worse.
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