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Europe, Heal Thyself

BRUSSELS – European policymakers like to extol the strength of the eurozone: relative to the United States, it has a much lower fiscal deficit (4% of GDP, compared to almost 10% for the US). Moreover, unlike the US, the eurozone does not have an external deficit, which means that the monetary union holds enough savings to finance all of its members’ budget deficits and resolve their debt problems.

But, despite this relative strength, the European Union’s leaders seem incapable of resolving the eurozone’s sovereign-debt crisis. Despite meeting after meeting, heads of state and finance ministers have failed to reassure markets. Now, Europe’s policymakers are appealing for help from the International Monetary Fund and Asian investors.