Ottawa is not exactly on the front line of the European debt crisis. Still, after Chancellor Angela Merkel returned to work following a three-week Alpine getaway, she’ll emerge only today in front of reporters in the Canadian capital during a two-day trip.
Markets accustomed to the real-time grind of the crisis will take keener-than-usual notice of the chancellor, who was last seen in public on July 25 — at the Bayreuth Festival to take in a performance of “The Flying Dutchman”. Among the tea leaves could be a reaction to the European Central Bank’s increased willingness to open its coffers — or any movement on possible leniency toward Greece.
Merkel dined with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on her arrival and held talks before making a stopover in Halifax. The German leader last met her Canadian counterpart at the Group of 20 meeting in Mexico in June, where he was among G-20 chiefs demanding that Europe let out the stops to overcome a crisis now threatening the global economy.
Far away from the cycle of European summitry often consumed by the mechanics of bailout financing, sovereign-debt spreads and bond purchases, Merkel is more likely to offer a broader assessment on where euro leaders are in the crisis.
Europe has made progress, she’ll tell Harper, according to a German official earlier this week.