berlin-with political allies weakened or ousted, chancellor [color=#004276]angela merkel
's seat at the head of the european table has become much less comfortable, as a reckoning with [color=#004276]germany
's insistence on lock-step austerity appears to have begun.
"the formula is not working, and everyone is now talking about whether austerity is the only solution," said [color=#004276]jordi vaquer i fanés
, a political scientist and director of the barcelona center for international affairs in spain. "does this mean that merkel has lost completely? no. but it does mean that the very nature of the debate about the euro-zone crisis is changing." ...
... from trading floors to polling stations to the streets of cities across europe, the message appears increasingly to be that countries cannot cut their way to fiscal health. they need growth, too.
in recent months, powerful voices have joined the chorus, including those of the managing director of the international monetary fund, christine lagarde, and italy's prime minister, mario monti. ...
... pressured by the presidential campaign, even mr. sarkozy, once ms. merkel's most prominent ally, has begun to talk of the need for growth. ...