Photos of the Week


source: The Economist

The euro-zone rescue package does not mean common economic government. But the rules are clearly changing..

SINCE 1949, Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty has bound NATO members to a solemn vow: an armed attack on one of the alliance shall be treated as an attack against all. With international markets closed to Greece, and contagion threatening Portugal and Spain, European Union leaders agreed to a similar pledge after a pair of gruelling, late-night meetings on May 7th and 9th.

From now on, they in effect declared, markets betting against one member of the euro zone would meet a swift response from all 16. Emergency finance would be channelled to vulnerable governments from an array of fighting funds of up to €750 billion ($950 billion) variously loaned or guaranteed by EU countries, euro-zone members and the IMF (see article).

The European Union’s policymakers were forced to act with unaccustomed speed and unprecedented force. A promised huge rescue fund and central-bank help for indebted governments have eased the euro area’s crisis. The respite must be used wisely.. (see article)

Electoral defeat at home and the euro-zone rescue package have rocked Angela Merkel’s chancellorship. She now faces some tough decisions..

MAY 9th is not a day Angela Merkel will soon forget. First voters in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state, booted the chancellor’s allies out of office, meting out her worst political drubbing in more than five years in office. That evening European finance ministers meeting in Brussels armed a financial bomb to deter speculators threatening the stability of the euro (see article). It seemed to work, but may also demolish Germans’ long-term trust in the single currency. Both events will transform Mrs Merkel’s chancellorship. (see article)

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