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Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, mounted stiff resistance tonight to any swift bailout of Greece, as a rift opened up between European capitals over how best to tackle the risks posed to the euro.
Despite a show of Franco-German unity on the crisis and the first statement from EU leaders pledging to safeguard the currency's stability, hopes on the markets of a German-led rescue plan to shore up Greece's critical public finances were dashed by Merkel, who repeatedly emphasised that Athens would need to put its own house in order and brushed aside all questions of financial support.
"Germany is stepping totally on the brakes on financial assistance," said a senior EU diplomat. "On legal grounds, on constitutional grounds and on principle." Another senior diplomat said of the Germans: "They're not waving their chequebooks."
"We'll see a virtuous cycle of growth," in which rising incomes create more spending, which in turn creates more income, said Peter D'Antonio, an economist for Citigroup Global Markets, an arm of Citigroup Inc. "We'll have better growth driven by demand."
D'Antonio is the winner of the January Forecaster of the Month award from MarketWatch, in recognition of his prowess at estimating 10 key economic indicators released during the month. Compared with 43 other forecasters, D'Antonio had the most accurate forecasts on two of the indicators, and was among the top 10 most accurate on four others.
Although some people insist that there can be no recovery without job growth, actually it's just the opposite: There can be no job growth without recovery. "Income is the main fuel for consumer spending," D'Antonio said.