Tuesday, February 12, 2013

GIDEON RACHMAN at the Financial Times:

A rare beast has reappeared in Europe. In recent years, there were no confirmed sightings. But in the past few weeks, this shy animal – known as “good news” – has been spotted in various European locations.

Last Friday, the beast even appeared fleetingly in Brussels. For once, an EU summit did not end in acrimony or farce . Instead, European leaders reached an agreement on a budget – and nobody laughed.

Good news also made an appearance on Europe’s battered periphery. Ireland reached a deal that will ease the crushing burden of debt on its public finances. Enda Kenny, the prime minister, was applauded in parliament as he announced a “historic step on the road to economic recovery”. The Financial Times also reported a “brighter outlook” for Greece’s economy. In January, Portugal managed to return to the long-term debt market for the first time since the country was bailed out in 2011.

So is this the beginning of the great European bounceback?

Keep reading.