PARIS: With the humiliating defeat on Sunday of the Socialists in Spain, the two-year euro crisis has already toppled eight governments, sending shivers of anxiety through the Elysee Palace and even the White House.
The main theme of recent elections has been voters' unhappiness with austerity, uncertainty and whatever party or coalition happens to be in power. But under the pressure of the markets and the demands of Germany, Europe's de facto financial leader, new governments have largely had to promise more of the same.
As the markets have swung from one vulnerable target to another, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Finland, Denmark and Slovakia have all altered their governments, either through elections or parliamentary maneuverings.
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France fears being next, with French bond costs rising to record highs, growth flat and a presidential election in April. The danger of a downgrade of French bonds has weakened Sarkozy, undermining his efforts to stay a full partner in the Franco-German couple that is leading efforts to solve the euro crisis. Read more...