10European governance and its contradictions

1 Introduction

During the period immediately after the recent financial meltdown, European officials were caught up in an unexplained optimism. Nevertheless, the developments that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers struck at the heart of the euro. From this point onwards we all became witnesses of the most grotesque course of events. Strong beliefs about the past collapsed completely and were converted into their opposites: the economic miracles suddenly became the “PIGS” of today; giant European financial companies became zombie institutes, non-existent in the absence of the ECB’s efforts and pivotal interventions; the powerful European Monetary Union (EMU) became as strong as its weakest over-indebted ...

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