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Economics

Europe’s Voters Wisely Stick With Frugal Leaders

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- For the last three years, the Anglo-American and south European news media have presented German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the scourge of the recession. But on Sept. 22, she won an overwhelming victory in Germany’s parliamentary elections. Her Christian Democratic Union obtained 41.5 percent of the votes cast, its best result since 1990, five seats short of a majority in the Bundestag.

Her success should give us pause to reconsider what has happened in Europe since the global financial crisis erupted in September 2008. Contrary to what most of our loud commentariat would have us believe, “austerity” or fiscal responsibility is apparently popular. Merkel’s success shows what has been wrong in so much of the public debate about the global financial crisis.