This may be the year that Europe stops being the ticking time bomb of the global economy.
Ireland is on track to leave international bailout limbo by summer. Talk of Greece’s departure from the euro is off the table. And financial speculators have generally stopped betting the euro zone will blow up.
But even as the sense of emergency fades, Europe is potentially facing a starker problem.
For three years, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and a phalanx of policy makers have been working to shore up the euro’s foundations to prevent the currency union from coming apart. As they gather with academics, executives and various experts this week at the World Economic Forum, which opens Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland, the biggest concern is that leaders might become less vigilant now that the heat is off, ushering in a spate of new troubles that could dog the euro for years to come.
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