Why Angela Merkel wants Christine Lagarde to be president…of the EU

Fortune

50greatest_logoEurope is not quite the basket case it was a few years ago. But with low-as-you-can-go-growth, mounds of debt, throngs of unemployed youth and a rising tide of Euroskepticism, the European Union, to put it kindly, is still in a tough spot.

As if the above didn’t make it obvious already, it’s also in need of a strong leader.

In theory, Europe has a spot at the top in which a real leader might sit and wield some gavel of authority, clarity, and resolute power—and that is the high office of President of the European Commission.

In reality, Europe has nothing of the kind. Which would explain why few but his immediate family and a handful of bureaucrats in Brussels know precisely who the current holder of that office is. (For the record, it’s Jose-Manuel Barroso, a former Prime Minister of Portugal, law professor, and one-time student at Georgetown.)

All…

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