Marco Buti, the most senior member of EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn's staff, isn't exactly viewed as a friend of Germany in Brussels. The chief economist of the European Commission, a native of Italy, has a tendency to blame many euro-zone ills on the nature and effects of German economic policy.
Sometimes he is troubled by austerity dictates from Berlin meant to clean up the finances of crisis-ridden countries. And sometimes he feels that Germany is too stingy because it's unwilling to spend more to jump-start the economy.
Buti is especially irked by the imbalances within the euro zone. In his view or the world, countries like Germany are partly responsible for the turbulence in southern countries because they flood them with goods.
Buti will have yet another opportunity to call the Germans to order next week when, on Nov. 15, the European Commission releases its early warning report. The report identifies those countries whose deficit or surplus is particularly large in relation to economic output.