Saturday, 4 October 2008

Verdict Is In: Europe will Respond Nationally

It looks like the question I posed in yesterday's post has been answered. In a press conference just now over at the Elysee Palace, the leaders of the European countries in the G8 laid out a very general plan for dealing with the crisis in Europe, after meeting all day to figure out what to do. And the verdict in, Europe will go forward with reforms on a national level, and there will be little in the way of a EU-wide policy. Sarkozy had reportedly been seeking an EU bailout fund similiar to the one just passed in the US, but apparently Angela Merkel was very opposed to any such plan. So European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced that the EU will temporarily relax its competition rules to allow individual countries to undetake sweeping changes such as Ireland's decision last week to guarantee deposits in Irish banks.

So in the end, it appears the leaders decided the EU was just not ready to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. They said that the response by individual EU nations would be "coordinated," but they were short on details of what that might mean. At the same time, they were very specific about what they will be calling for when they meet with the wider G8.

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