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Christine Lagarde must jump-start change in Europe's economy

The new ECB president must encourage governments to take more pro-growth policies

A highly regarded doctor assumes the care of a chronically impaired patient who is growing weaker and more vulnerable. The patient’s longstanding treatment is not only becoming less effective; now it is also introducing harmful side effects. A better approach exists, but it is not available at the new doctor’s hospital. And in the facilities where it is available, the doctors are too distracted to take on the case.

The new doctor is Christine Lagarde, the widely admired former managing director of the International Monetary Fund who will soon succeed Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank (ECB). Her challenge will be to avoid a second lost decade of low, insufficiently inclusive eurozone growth. How the patient fares under her care – and whether she can get key eurozone governments to provide the necessary treatment – will define not just her own legacy, but also that of Draghi.

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