Despite what people say, Angela Merkel has been extraordinarily willing to bail out weaker states in Europe. Obviously, she’s tried to get a good deal in terms of forcing some structural reforms in Greece and places like that. But the real story is that she did this despite German public opinion, which is now 75% opposed to any kind of bailout. This German opposition to bailouts will surely remain going forward.
And if that is the trend going forward, the Europeans are going to have a very, very big problem. There really is no way you can make the numbers work without a much more substantial German commitment of resources than there is now. If that doesn’t come through, it’s very difficult to see how the euro in its current form survives.
The key to Europe’s future is how Germany conceives of its interests. If it does so in a way that would be perfectly normal (it is important to emphasize there is nothing scary about Germany simply saying that it wants to do what’s right for Germany as well as Europe rather than always putting Europe above Germany) this might be the end of Europe as we’ve known it.