Europe Goes to War

After years of movement towards a more close-knit European Union, sharp divisions over how to deal with the economy are pushing member states into opposing camps. Calls for a bailout package from hard-hit Eastern members, the group's newest, were rejected over the weekend, with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for countries to be dealt with on a case by case basis rather than through bold collective action. Countries have also been split over how to reboot the economy, with Merkel being notably stingier in crafting stimulus plans than in places like Britain, which has taken a more active response. U.S. officials are watching with interest, as a more divided Europe may prove more difficult to seek help from on issues ranging from Afghanistan to stabilizing financial markets. “All of that is in doubt if the cornerstone of the EU — its internal market, economic union and solidarity — is in question,” a former State Department official said.