nations. Even so, countries like Germany can only blame themselves for not insisting onrealistic European oversight of Greek statistics, which were widely believed to be false fortwo decades.Some analysts argue that this latest crisis will inevitably mean further Europeanintegration, with more fiscal oversight and coordination. Constance Le Grip, a Frenchmember of the European Parliament, said that “it is clear that the E.U.’s hesitations have worsened the Greek situation.”She added: “Pragmatism and the E.U.’s adaptation skills are not sufficient anymore. Wehave to create new institutional responsibilities, for a new European economicgovernment.”But others are doubtful, arguing that most Europeans are already fed up with “moreEurope” and that Germany, which might like to meddle in the budgets of others, wouldnever accept any meddling in its own. It is also very likely that the GermanConstitutionalCourt, which has put limits on the ceding of sovereignty, would throw out any suchoversight.Some, like Mr. Kirkegaard, fear that the German court will rule against the Greek bailoutfunds, too, especially if they are spread out, as now envisaged, over a three-year period.Still, this continuing crisis is leading to a more fundamental one, about European andnational capabilities. “Questions are asked to nations, not to the E.U. — but nations cannotdeal with this problem alone,” said Dominique Reynié, director of theFoundation forPolitical Innovationand a political scientist at theInstitut d’Études Politiques de Paris.
“The silence of the E.U. and its institutions has become deafening. It is incapable of demonstrating that an entity called Europe exists. This is a situation that cannot go on.”The European Union “seems to be in a state of permanent self-promotion,” he said. “But itcannot ask its voters to relinquish part of their nations’ sovereignty and then not answerthe call when there’s a problem.”
Maïa de la Baume and Nadim Audi contributed reporting from Paris.
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In Greek Debt Crisis, a Window to the German Psyche(May 3, 2010)Germany Approves Assistance for Greece(May 3, 2010)POLITICUS; Pondering the German Question(May 3, 2010)Greece Takes Its Bailout, but Doubts for the Region Persist(May 2, 2010)
A version of this news analysis appeared in print on April 30, 2010, onpage A1 of the New York edition.
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