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Tue May 1, 2012, 09:14 AM

What Merkel's Isolation Means For the Euro Crisis

from Der Spiegel:

Angela Merkel's euro crisis strategy is unpopular and she has lost a number of allies. Worse yet, French presidential candidate François Hollande has pledged a change of course from the strict austerity measures she supports. But in the end, the Paris-Berlin alliance will likely survive and austerity will continue, albeit with a few growth initiatives thrown in.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood behind a podium at the DZ Bank at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, gazing sullenly into the cameras. She had just received the wrong prop for a photo op, and she needed to get it out of sight as quickly as possible.

To thank her for her speech marking the International Year of Cooperatives, a gray-faced official had thrust a porcelain piggy bank into her hands -- an ugly thing with a milky sheen that appeared to reflect the very coldness said to characterize her policies.

Merkel reflected momentarily, then had the gift quickly tucked away in a box. Photos of the piggy-bank chancellor are not exactly what she most urgently needs right now. In fact, for the past few days, she has endeavored to put a more friendly face on her image as the strict belt-tightening politician who is forcing Europe to adhere to Germany's budgetary discipline dictates. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,830594,00.html

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