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The slowing European economy is receiving neither fiscal stabilisation nor monetary stimulus. Imposing punitive austerity measures and prolonged recession on countries with large deficits will not help them to address weaknesses in their economies. The real roots of the current crisis are therefore going unaddressed.

The decision, taken last month by the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P), to downgrade nine of the eurozone’s 17 member states was a humiliation for those nations. It was also a wake-up call—a reminder, if one were needed, that Britain cannot remain a passive spectator in this European crisis. There is an urgent need…

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