American Elephants

President Obama. Foreign Policy 101. The European Crisis. by The Elephant's Child

At the recent G-20 summit in Mexico, the state of the euro zone was the dominant theme.

While euro-zone members are well aware that the crisis affects the entire world, they are becoming increasingly allergic to advice from abroad. On Monday morning EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso lost it when a Canadian reporter in shorts wanted to know why the North Americans should be responsible for the problems of rich Europeans. “We are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy,” Barroso fumed. “By the way, this crisis was not originated in Europe. This crisis originated in North America and much of our financial sector was contaminated by, how can I put it, unorthodox practices from some sectors of the financial market.”

The article from the Spiegel reporter in Los Cabos went on:

Even before the summit, Barack Obama and Merkel met for a bilateral talk to smooth over their differences. The US president is among Merkel’s loudest critics due to the degree to which the euro crisis affects the US economy — and with it, his chances of being re-elected.

Germany is worried about the euro-zone, and wondering how far they are willing to go to hold the euro zone together. The  criticisms from the White House and the unwanted advice are not going down well:

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble rebuffed recent criticism of Germany’s handling of the euro crisis from Barack Obama, telling the US president to get his own house in order before giving advice.

“Herr Obama should above all deal with the reduction of the American deficit. That is higher than that in the euro zone,” he told German public broadcaster ZDF on Sunday night.” It is easy to give advice to others,” he added.


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