“As European Union leaders head to a summit meeting Thursday, they face a crisis that could be even harder to fix than the region’s debt problems: Europeans are losing trust in the EU itself and the benefits of unifying the region.
“The long economic slump in much of Europe is breeding animosity toward EU institutions, visible in opinion polls and in national politicians’ growing tendency to blame the EU for high joblessness and budget strains.
“That animosity makes curing the economic malaise—and overcoming the design flaws in the euro—more difficult.
“EU officials and many analysts say the medicine must include centralizing more policy-making in Brussels. But European voters appear less and less open to that, creating political tensions that are breaking into the open.
“Top French officials have attacked the European Commission, the EU’s Brussels-based executive, for telling countries how to run their economy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, facing elections in September, has backed away from bold ideas for deeper European integration.”
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