Thursday, February 2, 2012

Monti Monte au Créneau

Is Mario Monti replacing Nicolas Sarkozy as Angela Merkel's privileged interlocutor? Mediapart suggests as much and goes on to say that Monti's technical competence and persuasive but low-key style have been helpful in persuading Merkel that austerity alone cannot save the euro and risks provoking a political explosion:
« Assiste-t-on à l'émergence d'un nouveau duo, en amont de la campagne présidentielle française ? Il est encore trop tôt pour le savoir », modère Piotr Maciej Kaczynski, un chercheur au sein du CEPS, un centre d'études à Bruxelles. Principal atout de Monti, aux yeux de ses défenseurs : sa crédibilité en Europe. « Il a un CV que personne n'a au Conseil européen », tranche Sylvie Goulard, une eurodéputée libérale (Modem). « Pour la première fois depuis le début de la crise, nous avons en poste quelqu'un qui travaille ces questions depuis 40 ans. »
If this is correct, and Monti succeeds in moving the Germans off their entrenched position, Europe will owe him a debt of gratitude, along with his fellow Mario, Draghi, who seems to have stanched the sovereign debt hemorrhage that threatened the banks.


Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos said...

Loucas Papademos, the current Greek PM, has an equally impressive CV and the required technical expertise to act like Monti and many in Greece (and beyond, perhaps) would want him to do so. The trouble is that he is currently shackled by the populists in the parties that 'support' his ineffective government. In other words, Greece's problem remains largely political.

randcoop said...

What's remarkable is that you all keep imagining that Monti and Papademos and Draghi are qualified to solve the crisis because of their vast experience. You ignore that experience is often crippling, blinding people to alternatives and to creative thinking. Draghi has not staunched the sovereign debt bleeding...he's simply made the blood flow more slowly. But as Tim Duy points out today (, nothing is actually solved.

Before he even considered any growth programs for Italy (and the ones he is working on are anemic), Monti's first order of business was to push through draconian austerity measures. In this sense, he follows in the deep footsteps of LaGarde, who also now says that growth is important (after having advocated strenuously for austerity).

Italians will soon end their love affair with Monti (as the austerity kicks in). I can only hope that the rest of Europe will then follow suit.

thisnameisinuse said...

It might be Monti.

It might just be that even the self-satisfaction of Merkel, Schäuble et al. is no longer strong enough to shield them from the fact that they've been horribly and cruelly wrong.

randcoop said...

One more about the ECB and Draghi and why it can't fix the problem: