Western Europe: Calculated Risks

WESTERN EUROPE

Western Europeans long ago settled the issue of whether to trade with Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Last year their transactions through the Iron Curtain amounted to $3 billion—and they are scrambling for more. The new argument, which divides governments and stirs the competitive instincts of businessmen, is what credits should be granted to cover all this trade. Pressure is mounting for Western European governments to trust Communist countries with easy, long-term credit instead of demanding, as in the past, repayment in five years or less. Despite U.S. and West German protests, Britain and Italy have already given in...

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