January 27th, 2012
02:44 AM GMT
Davos, Switzerland (CNN) - To hear the European leaders in Davos you would think the eurozone crisis had only just occurred and there was an urgency to deal with it hitherto unforeseen.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and European economics commissioner Olli Rehn -– just about any leader in Davos - is now saying that time is of the essence –- that it is time to actually sort out the eurozone's problems. Forgive me. What on earth have the European leaders been doing and promising over the past three years?
It is strange that now as we enter a new year they believe 2012 is the right moment to actually take the necessary decisions and implement the changes. And yet they were saying similar things in 2011, in Davos. So it is entirely understandable if we are now skeptical that they have the willpower and ability to put things right.
The rest of the world is furious with the Europeans and are now letting them know in no uncertain terms. Canada’s finance minister is frustrated. Juan Somavia of the ILO is furious. Viviane Reding of the Commission agrees it's time to act. Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Bob Diamond of Barclays… so on and so on. Everyone says it's time to get on with it.
So what’s stopping them? The usual rhetoric of 27 national governments, different agendas and a load of hot air.
Nothing has changed in the reasoning since last year except the European dithering has made a bad situation worse.
I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies that at last the leaders are saying “now is the time." But before I put any money on their success, I want to see them act.
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