Oliver Marc Hartwich

The sublime irony of Draghi's dilemma

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ECB president Mario Draghi has the power to move European economies, but the policies he advocates also stall the chances of a genuine, sustainable recovery.

There's only one cure for the eurozone's terminal disease

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Anaemic growth rates in the eurozone are having a deleterious effect on debt levels, making it near impossible for countries to turn their finances around. There is a solution, but it's a politically messy one.

The calm before the eurozone storm

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The ECB's implicit guarantee of a bailout may have calmed the euro crisis temporarily, but it has also caused governments to become complacent with their reform agenda.

Schooling the anti-capitalists on inequality

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The redistribution of a shrinking wealth pie will not solve the West's inequality woes. Providing education for all while protecting the wealth-creating ability of the free market is a better way to achieve prosperity.

A new legal challenge to the ECB's mandate

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As with its intervention to do 'whatever it takes' to save the euro, there are serious doubts about whether the ECB has a legal mandate to deal with the region's banking mess.

The political cost of Germany's uber-competitiveness

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The frugal and efficient mentality that has driven Aldi's retail success also drives Germany's attitudes towards economic policy, but it is winning the nation few friends in the eurozone.

Do market fundamentals still matter?

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In a perfect world, investment decisions would be made by rational investors on the basis of market fundamentals. But in reality, errors, bias and political interference are major obstacles.

The welfare state is enslaving European workers

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The redistributive state in Europe is creating a big wedge between gross and net incomes. It's unpleasant for taxpayers and highlights the enormous challenge facing policymakers in ageing societies.

Setting the stage lights for Europe's second crisis

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The success of the eurozone's stopgap measures has merely reduced the pressure to reform. Now political shifts are laying the foundations for another blow-up.

The fallout from Merkel's waning power

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For the first time, Angela Merkel doesn't have the ability to control developments in Europe. This is bad news for her, but it's even worse news for Europe.

Lithuania's eurozone entry is a big problem for Germany

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Thanks to the ECB's peculiar system of governance, eurozone monetary policy will soon no longer require approval of all member states.

Behind the ECB's smoke-and-mirror show

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The ECB's introduction of negative interest rates has seen more controversial policy measures quietly slip under the radar.

The EU's unique definition of democracy

Jean-Claude Juncker's triumph in the European Commission elections is causing problems for his own party while antagonising sceptics across the channel, highlighting the EU's innate dysfunction.

The fallout from Europe's political earthquake

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The European Parliament elections have shaken up political landscapes in countries across the EU, making its fragile consensus even harder to maintain and good policy making all but impossible.

Europe's elections: pick a party, any party

Effective political decision-making has never been the EU's strength, and the grand European elections give a good indication of why that is the case.

Europe’s institutional house of cards

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Vladimir Putin's aggressiveness on Ukraine shows more clearly than ever how the EU is made for fair weather circumstances and unable to withstand the slightest breeze.

'Whatever it takes' is not the whole story

Whether or not you accept the ECB's view on new euro strength as a deflationary risk, the need for a weaker currency is not a given. In fact the ideal exchange rate for each euro country is vastly different.

Snails, worms, concert halls and airports: Germany's endless waste

Germany's track record of managing large government projects is a far cry for the efficiency it pretends to parade before the rest of Europe.

Miracles and mirages in the eurozone wonderland

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A nearly-bankrupt Greece is planning its return to capital markets, while the ECB impresses markets despite its inaction. Now more than ever, absurdity reigns in the eurozone.

France is Europe's largest time bomb

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An electoral thrashing and the token replacement of his Prime Minister won't stop François Hollande from determining France's direction, but his track record so far offers little cause for optimism.

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