Last night’s deal on the Euro represented the EU’s last best chance to find a way out of this crisis. In another demonstration of the power of effectively locking people until until they agree, the Heads of State & Government produced a series of conclusions that went beyond many of the opening positions of the previous weeks. Certainly, after much delay and prevarication, there appears to be a move to attempting a more long-lasting solution, although there is still a strong sense that Europe’s leaders are trying to get away with as little as possible, rather than building in extra room for manoeuvre. This is the product of German unwillingness to be put on the hook any more than they already are and of the PIIG’s unhappiness about further encroachments on their sovereignty.
However, once again, it will be the financial markets that decide whether this is a ‘good’ deal. Given that this is a deeply subjective process, while the initial signs have been positive, it will only be in the coming weeks (when the detail of the package is revealed) that we will know for sure whether the Eurozone has moved out of the woods and back onto the very long path to stabilisation and recovery. The only thing that we can know for sure is that even in a best-case scenario, a lot of people (and politicians) are going to be feeling a lot of pain for the foreseeable future.