— One: The German government has proven to be stingier than I thought. Pre-Greece, I thought that the German political class would on some level welcome an opportunity to open the German pocketbook in exchange for political domination of the entire continent. This turns out not to be the case. Germans would really like to mind their own business and export capital goods and luxury cars to China.
— Two: The informal “everyone must agree, but in reality France + Germany = ‘everyone’” rule of EU decision-making is in somewhat rocky shape. First Finland and later Slovakia held things up over domestic political controversies that were only loosely related to the core issues. This makes it extremely difficult for the EU to make credible commitments. Olli Rehn can’t make promises about the stability of the coalition government in the Netherlands.
— Three (and perhaps most important): We learned from Greece that EU member states have greater capacity for secret budget shenanigans than I would have thought possible. We always knew that governance in Greece and is weaker than governance in Denmark, but it turns out that the quality of the supervisory governance from Brussels is also rather poor. Given that Italy, especially under Berlusconi, is not exactly above suspicion in terms of governance quality Greece gives us reason to wonder whether the easily accessible public data about Italy is accurate.