With Europe now back in recession, Greece still resisting austerity, and Italy so distrusted that it needs foreign scrutiny over its finances, is there a role for the rest of the world to save the Continent?
A valiant but beggarly start was made Thursday and Friday by the Group of 20 nations, whose leaders met in Cannes, France.
This gathering of the world’s largest economies – from China to Saudi Arabia – all seemed to grasp the gravity of Europe’s debt overhang and the need to work together. The non-European nations at least offered a listening ear. After all, Europe’s economy is too large to be allowed to sink and create a global whirlpool.
But what was missing was clarity about what each European country would exactly sacrifice for the greater good. The weaker nations of the 17-member euro tribe, starting with Greece, aren’t yet on a solid path to reducing their debt.