Euro-spawned divergent growth and inflation caused external payments imbalances. Government profligacy did not divide ‘saints’ from ‘sinners’. In the good years Germany was a near-sinner. Its budget deficit exceeded the Eurozone average and was a whisker below the 3% Maastricht limit. Spain and Ireland were saints with budget surpluses.
|—||Lombard Street Research, Special Report – March 5, 2012, p. 7|