Both Italy and France are increasingly chafing at the budgetary constraints imposed on them from Brussels, and policed from Berlin. Mr Renzi argues that Italy’s problem is not deficit spending but a lack of economic growth, which is making its debt burden ever more crushing. President François Hollande of France is said to have argued that the EU can have a live France with a deficit of more than 3 per cent of GDP or a dead France that has succeeded in meeting the EU’s budget constraints. However, those arguments are unlikely to be met with much sympathy in Germany.
Unfortunately, Mr Draghi has no sway over the Russian government – and not that much influence over the domestic politics of France, Italy or Germany. Yet developments in all of these nations could yet reverse the progress in the eurozone that the ECB president did so much to engineer.
I do not doubt that Mr Draghi will try to do “whatever it takes”. I just fear that, ultimately, it may not be enough.