Euro crisis: April is the cruellest month…

Apart from all the others…  And it doesn’t matter how big your umbrella is.  BBC Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt, on springtime in Europe

What is being exposed is a major flaw with Mrs Merkel’s fiscal pact. It is undemocratic. It ties the hands of future governments – and that, of course, was its intention but it doesn’t stop voters opposing further cuts.

In the eurozone, deficits are being reduced. But debt – in many cases – is still growing. Growth is almost non-existent. Recession has returned for countries like Spain and Italy. The gap between the German economy and the southern economies is only widening.

Privately in Brussels there are fears that a revolt against more cuts will draw them in. They have become the enforcers of austerity. Some officials are worrying they will be caught in the backlash. Last week over 30% of French voters supported parties hostile to Brussels. The vote was dismissed as “populism” – which is the default response to most criticism – but they were the votes of real people.

The economist Nouriel Roubini described the eurozone crisis as a “slow-motion train wreck”.

As we go into May, there are signs of a revolt against austerity gathering pace. If it happens it will be a new and unpredictable phase of the eurozone crisis.

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