The Euro Area on its Own—With Some Heavy Lifting to be Done

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The recession in the euro area is almost officially over, but that doesn’t mean the economy is back to normal—far from it. As long as no structural growth policies are enacted, the outlook for the EMU will remain grim and member states will have as much trouble meeting their fiscal targets as before. This leaves just two options open. Either Europe reverts to austerity—in which case the recovery will collapse and we’ll be in for another slump with highly unpredictable consequences—or the ECB completely overhauls its policy stance. The latest developments in the international arena make this second option increasingly likely.