Economist . They’re bust. Admit it. Greece, Ireland and Portugal should restructure their debts now
IT IS a measure of European politicians’ capacity for self-delusion that Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, called the euro-zone summit on March 24th-25th a “big step forward” in solving the region’s debt crisis. Something between a fudge and a failure would be more accurate. The leaders fell short on almost every task they set themselves. They agreed on a “permanent” rescue mechanism to be introduced in 2013, but couldn’t fund it properly, because Mrs Merkel refused to put up money her finance minister had pledged. The Brussels gathering did little to help Greece, Ireland and Portugal, the zone’s most troubled economies. Their situation is getting worse—and Europe’s leaders bear much of the blame.