More Stimulus for Europe? Note which countries are doing best and which ones the worse

So which countries in Europe are having problems? The ones where government spending over the last few years have been completely out of control. Which are doing best? The ones where spending has been restricted: Germany and Poland being obvious examples. The New York Times has this headline: "European Leaders Use Debt Downgrades to Argue for Austerity, and for Stimulus." But the accompanying story has little arguing for an Obama type Stimulus.

European leaders sought to limit damage from a ratings agency’s downgrade of nine countries on Friday, or even turn the news to their advantage, saying that it showed the need to impose more austerity or else do more to stimulate growth.

Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, said Saturday that the downgrade by Standard & Poor’s meant the euro area must speed up measures to create a more centralized currency union.

“We are now challenged to implement the fiscal pact quickly,” Mrs. Merkel said in a statement Saturday, a day after S.& P. downgraded France, Austria and seven other countries — but not Germany. She added that leaders should not water down the agreement and instead quickly pass other measures they have agreed to, like limits on debt.

In Italy, Prime Minister Mario Monti used the downgrades to bolster his argument that austerity alone would not solve the euro crisis. Europe needs to support “national efforts in favor of growth and employment,” Mr. Monti told the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, according to Bloomberg News. . . .

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