Een agenda voor Europa's vermoeide goochelaars

BRUSSEL – De Europese leiders zullen eind juni weer bijeenkomen. De vraag die ze deze keer moeten beantwoorden is niet of ze dit of dat land kunnen redden, maar of ze de eurozone in zijn geheel kunnen redden – zo niet de Europese Unie in haar huidige vorm.

Om te begrijpen waarom, hoeven we slechts naar de afgelopen twaalf maanden te kijken. In juli 2011 kwamen de Europese leiders een (beperkte) sanering van de Griekse schulden overeen, terwijl ze op hetzelfde moment de financiële steun sneller en goedkoper maakten.  Een jaar later balanceert Griekenland nog steeds op de rand van de afgrond.

Het hele najaar van 2011 hebben ze zich zorgen gemaakt over de stijging van de rente op Spaanse en Italiaanse staatsobligaties, totdat de Europese Centrale Bank uiteindelijk besloot de pijn te verlichten door op grote schaal liquiditeit aan de banken ter beschikking te stellen.  Maar ondanks het aantreden van nieuwe, hervormingsgezinde regeringen in Italië en Spanje bleek de opluchting van korte aard.

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