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Photograph by Maarten Wouters/Getty Images

Photograph by Maarten Wouters/Getty Images

Contracts, Schmontracts

So much for the “binding” economic-reform contracts once championed by Angela Merkel. The German chancellor’s game-changing idea, back in 2012, was for European governments to make contractual, legally enforceable pledges to fix things like their labor markets or social security...

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Photograph by Ryan Goebel/Getty Images

Photograph by Ryan Goebel/Getty Images

Schaeuble’s Fire-and-Brimstone Message Sets Electoral Tone

The words “grave economic catastrophe” aren’t commonly among the crafted Swabian pronouncements of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble when he discusses the European debt crisis. But they did emerge Tuesday evening in Berlin as he fielded questions from Christian Democratic...

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Photograph by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Photograph by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Draghi Tells German Skeptics Bond Plan Is Averter of Catastrophe

If you want to send a clear message to the German public, the place to do it is apparently Shanghai. As in Shanghai, China. A week before Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann gives his views on Mario Draghi’s euro-saving OMT program...

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Photograph by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

Photograph by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

Hollande: Give Me Governance, Not GovernFrance

French President Francois Hollande wants “stronger governance” and “strengthened economic policy coordination” in the euro zone — as long as France isn’t governed or coordinated by it. France’s embattled leader performed this logical backflip last night after putting out a...

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Photograph by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Photograph by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Banker-Bonus Rules Stoke Tempers in Berlin

Draft rules to scale back banker bonuses were enough to prompt a public spat yesterday between Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Officer Juergen Fitschen and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble as the two men sat side-by-side on a panel discussing finance...

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Photograph by Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

Photograph by Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

Monti’s Virtue vs. Germany’s Vices

For once, Mario Monti had a sympathetic audience — dozens of European officials he mingled with and presided over during a 10-year European Commission career that, by the looks of it, he will remember more fondly than the 15 months...

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Photograph by Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Photograph by Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Italy’s Vote Was Bersani’s to Lose, and He Almost Pulled It Off

The Italian elections were his to lose, and Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani did a really good job of almost doing just that. Bersani, a former communist who backed Prime Minister Mario Monti’s technical government, squandered a 15-point poll...

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Photograph by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Photograph by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Calls for Spanish Premier to Quit Echo Attacks That Made Aznar

Spain’s socialist opposition leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba is trying to make the most of graft allegations against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. His campaign to get Rajoy to quit brings back memories of when the Socialist Party was ejected from power...

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Photograph by Ursula Alter/Getty Images

Photograph by Ursula Alter/Getty Images

France Is Psyched for Deficit Valentine

Meeting budget-deficit targets isn’t France’s strong suit, but it’s looking increasingly likely that President Francois Hollande will be given some breathing space next week, when the European Commission puts out economic forecasts for the euro zone. The previous forecasts, in...

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