The euro crisis summit has caused a deep split and talk of the end of Britain’s E.U. membership. Merkel wants to stop Britain and the euro zone drifting further apart, but the French hope they will carry more weight in a union without Britain. And while Germany has always seen the E.U. as a political partner of the U.S., the French want it to be an independent and competing power bloc.
What’s the Big Idea?
German Finance Ministry officials assume that the monetary union will continue to consist of 17 members. But an alternative scenario, which they believe is less likely to occur, assumes that Greece will leave the euro zone, while all other countries stay. If necessary, they say, the two bailout funds will still have hundreds of billions of euros available, enough money so that even Italy could be kept afloat for a few months.