Angela Merkel is facing a European revolt.
In the past 10 days, the normally staid, diplomatic politics of the European Union have more closely resembled the bitter partisanship of Washington. A meeting of European leaders descended into a contentious five-hour showdown, ending in acrimony and explosive leaks. Heated rhetoric, negative political ads, impassioned public appeals and bitter references to World War II now fill European papers.
At first glance, this dispute over a bond seems obscure. Yet this is in fact a fight over the future of Europe. The common European bond proposal hits at the core of what Europe’s union is for. It is an act of unity that says that, in this time of crisis, Europe stands not as 27 separate nations but as one — in a union. A common E.U. bond would take the debt that individual European states accrue to fight this crisis and make it a collective European responsibility.