The infected leg camp

For Germany, the Grexit debate echoed nearly every negotiation over Europe’s common currency since its founding document, the 1992 Maastricht treaty. Should it be a German-led monetary union made up of a small number of neighbouring states with similar economies or a broader political project that welcomed even those less competitive economically?

As a scientist trained to search for certainty, Ms Merkel began her own attempt to answer that question in the months leading up to her 2012 summer break. It would be an exaggeration to say she privately consulted every great economic and political mind in Europe during those weeks. But only a slight exaggeration.

During a Berlin meeting in early June with Mr Barroso, she solicited ...

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