Somewhat reluctantly and to my own surprise, I must agree with Kaletsky that Nein may not be the only optimal answer to any attempt to run the EU. We need imagination and ideas, not just dogged sticking to policies which would have been disastrous had they not been countered by the ECB’s activism. The ECB saved the euro single-handedly, with Germany’s opposition. Even on Russia, Merkel dragged her feet and waited past the last minute, before admitting that good friend Vlad Putin wasn’t such a nice guy, after all. Renzi has the energy and vision to move things forward – if he can survive long enough to run Italy, considering the fierce opposition of some in his own PD party. However, I disagree with both Kaletsky’s and Renzi’s attempts to dump the sanctions against Russia – too early and counterproductive, considering that Russia hasn’t kept any of its promises on Ukraine.
As the EU disintegrates, Germany has shown that it cannot provide the leadership needed to save it. With the UK, France, and Spain unwilling or unable to take on the role, that leaves Italy, which is resuming its historic role as a source of Europe’s best ideas and leadership in politics, and also, most surprisingly, in economics.