EU Track Record Casts Doubt on Crisis Fight

Market rally on ECB's debt-buying plan has run out of steam.

Mario Draghi sees reason to be “optimistic” about the euro-area financial crisis now that he's committed the European Central Bank’s balance sheet to ending it.

That confidence depends on political leaders who have rarely missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity since Greece’s 2009 deficit blowout began upending the 17-nation euro zone. Their track record and the compromises required to put their promises into action leave Juergen Michels, chief euro-area economist at Citigroup Inc. in London, skeptical.

Rajoy’s Delay

Delay is the order of the day in Madrid. Rajoy, in power for 10 months after winning the biggest parliamentary majority in almost three decades, is balancing the need for aid with the potential for political and economic fallout.

Greek Verdict

While late homework has typically meant punishment, Greece is winning some respite and may get easier terms as Europe’s chiefs try to cement the market rally and keep from reheating the euro-exit trade. A verdict on the country’s fiscal plans will now wait until October when European leaders next gather.

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