The bad news from the European Union is growing almost daily. Germany, the largest economy in Europe, had almost no economic growth at all in the last quarter The entire 17-nation European Union grew at the miniscule rate of .2 percent from the prior quarter. The prior quarter’s eurozone economic growth had been .8 percent, larger than last quarter but still far short of what is required to create confidence that the sovereign debt crisis can actually be managed. That represents the slowest economic growth since late 2009. The French economy also stalled during the quarter and the Italian economy grew only .3 percent.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met to discuss how to address the sovereign debt crisis that began in Greece and Ireland, quickly spread to Spain and Portugal, and now threatens to produce tremendous stress on the European Union. Furthermore, the recently announced Italian plan for a combination of austerity and tax increases may not work. Sarkozy has called for a "new economic government" for Europe that would meet at least twice a year with European Union President Herman Van Rompuy.
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Photo: French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose with delegates of the Junior summit during the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy on July 9, 2009.: AP Images