Europe Austerity May Have Reached its Political Limits

European policy makers expressed a willingness to consider new ways to revive their ailing economy as they confronted fresh U.S. pressure to take action.

The bloc’s finance ministers and central bankers left weekend talks of the Group of Seven signaling that they’re poised to scale back austerity, are open to increased monetary aid and looking to unfreeze bank lending. European officials will meet in Brussels today to discuss the economy and review aid payments for crisis-struck nations from Greece to Spain.

Europe’s governments are in the midst of a policy rethink after three years of slimming budgets as they face up to a deepening recession in the euro area and a record unemployment rate that’s exceeded 12 percent. Still in doubt for economists is what kind of stimulus will actually be delivered and what effect it could have in the crisis-torn 17-member currency bloc.


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