Paul Taylor
– Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Higher taxes? Lower public spending? Devaluation? Inflation? Investment in green growth?

European governments are pointing in very different directions as they debate an exit strategy from the global financial crisis. Despite European Union efforts to coordinate economic policy, there are clear signs that the main European economies will charge off in disarray towards separate exits.

Germany is stressing an early return to fiscal discipline despite economists’ warnings against a premature withdrawal of fiscal stimulus. Berlin has just amended its constitution to anchor a timetable for a balanced budget, and is holding down labour costs to promote an export-led recovery.

“This means that the German constitution now forces a very harsh austerity stance on Germany for the coming years,” economist Sebastian Dullien wrote on the Eurozone Watch blog.