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July 6, 2015

Just Say No

The No vote to austerity by a margin of 62 to 38 is a stunning vindication of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s tactical gamble and political savvy. But the Greek crisis has demonstrated how deeply divided are the leaders of the E.U. and its most powerful member nations. The one potential bright spot is the partly dissident role of the IMF as abetted by the Obama administration. The best hope is that the IMF -- nominally part of the “troika” of Greece’s creditors but more realistic than the Germans and the European Commission -- will break more openly with the austerity camp. The stakes, however, are larger than Greece, as Europe enters its eighth year of stagnation. Though politicians like Scheuble have been all too ready to jettison Greece to purify fiscally austere Europe, it’s increasingly clear that the E.U. needs to change course -- not just to save Greece but to save itself.

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