It looks like French President François Hollande is the real thing, after he led a revolt against Germany’s austerity doctrine while the European Union agreed Friday to a closer union—and to fight the financial crisis—at the 19th European summit in Brussels. Hollande, elected on a mandate to fight austerity, fought German Chancellor Angela Merkel and pushed through concessions for Spain and Italy, winning easier requirements for them to take bailouts and reshaping the balance of power in Europe. Stocks in Asia and Europe surged on the new agreements, the scale of which were unexpected.
Whew! Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP Photo