After its $140 billion EU and IMF bailout in May, Greece has found another big spender: China, which has dramatically boosted investments in the country. Recent agreements include $5 billion to upgrade Greece's merchant marine, a 35-year deal to lease and operate the country's main port, and the building of a logistics terminal to connect with southeastern Europe.
Even as Washington and Beijing slug it out over trade deficits and exchange rates, Europe has quietly overtaken America as China's No. 1 trade partner. Not only did Chinese trade with the EU soar to $306 billion through July of this year—compared with $243 billion of trade with the U.S.—China has also become far more dependent on Europe for importing the technology and infrastructure that underpin its breakneck development.
Decades after such figures appeared elsewhere in Europe, Germany finally has produced its own high-profile star of the anti-immigrant right. But only for about a week. Thilo Sarrazin, a former Social Democratic politician, set off the fiercest storm of public outrage in recent memory with his new book, "Germany Abolishes Itself," in which he lays bare the failures of German education, migration, and welfare policies.
Economists used to ridicule the idea of "decoupling"—that the economies of China and other emerging powers could move independently of developments in the West. The recession refuted them. Now markets are starting to recouple again—except the other way around: China has turned into a locomotive for Western growth.
Almost three years after the first tremors of the financial crisis, Europe is finally running "stress tests" on its banks. The results, due this week, are supposed to restore the confidence of weary investors by declaring which financial institutions are reliable enough to survive market shocks.
On Sunday, Poles voted for a new president in an election noted less for its outcome than for its tragic circumstance—the emergency vote followed the April 10 plane crash that killed the previous president and his wife along with the head of the Polish central bank, the armed forces chief of staff, and 84 other high-ranking Polish officials.
Blame economic worries, another freezing winter, or the cascade of scandals emerging from the world's leading climate-research body. But concern over global warming has cooled down dramatically. In über-green Germany, only 42 percent of citizens worry about global warming now, down from 62 percent in 2006.
Europe's gargantuan bond and bank bailout this weekend is nothing but "morphine to stabilize the patient," according to the International Monetary Fund's Director for Europe, Mark Belka.
Europe stood at the precipice of another financial crisis last week as Greece, for all intents and purposes, went bankrupt. The interest rate on Greek bonds briefly shot up to an eye-popping 38 percent—the result of a market frozen by investors' worries about a default.
Europe stood at the precipice of another financial crisis last week as Greece, for all intents and purposes, went bankrupt. The interest rate on Greek bonds briefly shot up to an eye-popping 38 percent--the result of a market frozen by investors' worries about a default.
Greece holds the record for the developed world's most crooked economy: with fully one quarter of its GDP earned off the books in illegal construction and unreported employment, Greece could easily have avoided its debt crisis had it found a way to tax even half of that income.
Europe's public debt crisis has lead to clamorous predictions of the euro zone's imminent breakup. With Greece already threatened by government default, last week attention shifted to Spain, a much larger economy stuck in a downward spiral of 20 percent unemployment, ongoing recession, and a public deficit that's soared past 11 percent of GDP.