Europe Ponders ‘Fiscal Union’

Hard times bring people together. That idea may be put to the test in Europe, as leaders in euro countries contemplate a transnational finance ministry—once thought a pipe dream—as stocks slipped for the fourth day in a row Monday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is leading her country in support of a powerful new European finance ministry that would have direct influence over national budgets. The German leader has become more aggressive after her plans for a “fiscal compact” faltered. “The fundamental question is relatively simple,” one German government official told Reuters. “Do our partners really want more Europe, or do they just want more German money?”