December 2nd, 2011
04:05 AM GMT
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London (CNN) – Just like the credit crunch three years ago, the current eurozone crisis will no doubt spawn endless books and provide many an interesting case study for the world’s future economists. Whether the lessons will be learned and future crises avoided depends largely on whether you believe history repeats itself. And that’s another topic that divides opinion as much as the eurozone itself.

Already academics at Oxford University’s Centre for International Studies have identified 10 key failures of Europe’s leaders in how they have handled the issue, even though the saga is far from over.

Associate Fellow Kirsty Hughes says that the errors are largely political, democratic and economic in nature.

Here’s a list of where Hughes says EU leaders got things so wrong:

1) Lack of European political vision and strategy

Aside from the talk about balancing budgets together and pooling Europe’s giant debt pile, Hughes says what the region needs now is vision “to show that the EU is more than just a single currency, that it has a current and future political, social and economic purpose and dynamic.”  How can you get bond markets to invest in you for the next 10 or 20 years without a clear vision on your combined goals? Especially with countries squabbling about the erosion of sovereignty that may result with proposed changes to the EU treaties– changes Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel says are essential for future integration.

2) Imbalance of power strains relations between member states:

Here’s a question for you: Who really counts in the European Union? The two largest economies, France and Germany? The 17 EU countries that share the euro? Or the full 27, including the 10 more that aren’t part of the currency union?

The answer depends on who you are. As the crisis has deepened, France and Germany – with significant amounts of political and financial capital invested in the euro project – have taken on the lead role. Hughes says the concentration of decision-making on two countries and a handful of unelected officials “represents the worst of all worlds.”

Not only has the process been painfully slow and behind the curve, she says it has often visibly failed to bring other interested parties into the negotiations, namely the other 15 members that share the same fate.

Even less attention has been paid to the ten more EU members that aren’t part of the euro zone.

3) Neglecting the EU’s role on a global stage

Though progress has been painfully slow when it comes to solving Europe’s domestic woes, Hughes also says the E.U. has taken its eye off the ball on its foreign policy at a key time of upheaval in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Hughes says that after the Arab Spring uprisings, Europe should be ‘asserting and defining its role in the new order to retain influence.’

4) Lack of policy choices. Is austerity the only answer?

Throughout the eurozone crisis, the Franco-German wonder cure has been austerity. Those swallowing the medicine like Greece and Portugal have been vocal about their skepticism, saying deep cuts will stifle any future growth and lead to a lost generation however very few credible policy alternatives have been put forward by any of the EU’s members.

5) Failure to put people first

Hughes says Europe’s leaders have acted as though there were almost academic economists, failing to see the hopelessness brewing in places like Spain for instance where unemployment among the young runs at 40 percent. She goes as far as saying those heads of government who do not give hope to their citizens should not deserve the title ‘leaders.’

6) Emergence of technocratic governments

Two eurozone countries – Greece and Italy – are now run by technocrats, unelected by the people. That in itself, Hughes says is a failure of democracy on a national and international level.

7) The EU’s democratic deficits

The EU’s weaknesses were exposed long before the eurozone crisis gained momentum. French, Dutch and Irish voters rejected new constitutional treaties for the bloc, exposing the lack of cohesion. While some argue that transforming the EU into a Federal entity would be the best answer to the crisis, Hughes says given the substantial ‘No’ votes to previous treaty changes, any such moves would be premature at this stage.

8) Macro-economic failures

Germany and the United Kingdom espouse the view that more rigorous budgetary discipline is the answer for countries like Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Italy – nations that have large debts and little hope of paying back their borrowings soon. Having said that, not all economists agree that cuts are always the key to solving a crisis. Such countries were already suffering from low growth and now public sector layoffs and pension cuts could also prompt a slump in demand for goods and services, a drop off in consumer and business confidence, which all in all will dent output.

9) Failure to confront the financial markets

The failure of Europe’s leaders to reassure financial markets early about Greece has magnified the cost and scale of the crisis today and left the region with a situation in which some of its largest economies  (like Italy) may soon be unable to finance themselves as nations normally do: on the open bond markets. Hughes says it’s time to throw out the ‘neoliberalism’ rulebook, in which control is shifted from the public to the private sectors. Or else, Europe’s politicians will continue to repeat the errors of 80 years ago.

 10) Micro-economic failures

The Eurozone project has demonstrated that without similar levels of productivity, the economic strains that monetary union members suffer will continue to become more apparent, Hughes says. Wages, prices, unemployment and a whole raft of other factors will continue to vary widely among member nations. If the balance is right, the country can remain competitive, Hughes says. If it’s wrong, it may well spend to make up for the shortfall – such as building new motorways and airports –which create jobs. Such spending leads to large deficits, which later widen when the economy slows.

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Filed under: BusinessEuropean Union

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. OzGlobal

    What are this news agency's motives in pushing a hyper-grim Euro catastrophe? Let's list the ten most likely vested interests that benefit from a Euro collapse...

    December 2, 2011 at 7:27 am |
  2. Herman

    The EU should be run as a Confederation of European States, similarly to the United States. Participating countries should be run by Governors, with responsibility and full accountability to the EU headquarters in Brussels (simarlarly to Washington). Only then is thre a real chance of a common goal... a strong and financially healthy Europe!

    December 2, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  3. John

    Simple! You cannot have a single currency and multiple economies with multiple growth or lack of. I'm a common person and I know this. This is simple economics, the valus of your currency depends on you economic growth, well if all countries in the EU are not trading or selling at exactly the same rate, and all EU countries economies are not growing or failing at exactly the same rate, then the currency will never be worth a certin steady value, and I find I hard to believe that the politicians didn't figure this out before they voted to adopt the Euro. I think they treated this huge change of taking on the Euro like a trip to the casino, its a gamble you win or loose. The best option is to cut the losses and start thinking of a way to exit the Euro. Yes there will be some heavy loses but thats what happens when you gamble. The leaders were elected to ensure situations like this never happen, but they made it happen, and their duty is to fix it.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  4. AJ

    Goldman Sachs are moving in as they always do to prey on the corpse, What is their holding in this news agency? That would be interesting to see...

    December 2, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  5. Samuel

    and again a absolutely overdrived Article, Eurogeddon, what happend to CNN and the people ? It was once a seroius Company but this is to much, Lets see what happend in the next few years, maybe your Eurogeddon is a USA-Bailout, better called Amerogeddon

    December 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  6. Georges Blanc

    IN ORDER to save PIGS( Portuguese, ITALY, GREECE and SPAIN) the WEST will CONRTROL BRICS.
    The WESTERN solution to stop Second GLOBAL RECESSION or may be GLOBAL depression : 1. NEO COLONIZATION, occupy MENA, SE ASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA.
    2. DEVELOP MASS WEAPONS and SELL them to BRICS, so that TERRORISM can be controlled.
    3. CIA to FUND terrorist( TALIBAN) via SWISS BANKS, so that they can act as a VISA or PASSPORT for NATO and USA to enter any nation on the PRETEXT of WAR ON TERROR.
    4. West will CONTROL CHINA( by east turkestan and TIBET movement) and INDIA( by KASHMIR and ASSAM) so that WEST can grow

    December 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  7. C.Solinger

    I think that the U.S. is not in a position of teaching Europe how to deal with this €uro crisis. The U.S. is not in a better position than the EU does. This whole big financial mess has been produced in the U.S. and has affected now Europe, in spite of all their regulations, like Sarbanes Oxley, after the big clash of Enron. Europe should set out his own course and not depending so much on the U.S.

    December 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  8. Georges Blanc

    INORDER to save PIGS( Portuguese, ITALY, GREECE and SPAIN) the WEST will CONRTROL BRICS.
    The WESTERN solution to stop Second GLOBAL RECESSION or may be GLOBAL depression : 1. NEO COLONIZATION, occupy MENA, SE ASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA.
    2. DEVELOP MASS WEAPONS and SELL them to BRICS, so that TERRORISM can be controlled.
    3. CIA to FUND terrorist( TALIBAN) via SWISS BANKS, so that they can act as a VISA or PASSPORT for NATO and USA to enter any nation on the PRETEXT of WAR ON TERROR.
    4. West will CONTROL CHINA( by east turkestan and TIBET movement) and INDIA( by KASHMIR and ASSAM) so that WEST can grow

    December 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  9. clody

    Euro is around 1.35 on dollar, not bad.
    Let's see in the next weeks when US has to decide the budget who is in bankrupt :)

    December 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  10. I.S.

    @Herman: The Idea of a United States of Europe is not that new, but recent developments show, that this idea is not functioning here in Europe. You can't equalize the situation of Europe with that of early USA due to their different history. People and nations in Europe are too diverse to put them into one single state, the EU. That was the vision and the goal of politician like Merkel but do you remember what M.Thatcher told us? She said that this diversity of European nations is an important factor for the success of Europe and a suppression of this variety would highly damage Europe. And now look what the suppression led to. You can't unify the people of Europe as easily as those of early USA.
    I recommend you to read the Bruges Speech. Very interesting and previsional.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  11. jo_smith456

    European countries should have more autonomous, if not, better compliance/monitoring financial governance, than the US.

    Significantly, European financial mess is DIRECTLY linked with the US financial mess. IOW, the US financial market gross imperfections and lack of effective oversight significantly brought about the financial mess in Europe....

    December 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  12. Oscar D

    Very disappointed with CNN's use of headlines and imagery ('Eurogeddon', 'bond yields fall' etc. ). Ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecies?

    December 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  13. Al

    From within the core of the thunderstorm, Italy, that the Euro was not going to work and that we were facing funy and yet macroscopic effects, was something that Italians told their government since day one of the new currency: all the Italian prices raised, actually over than doubled, instantly and yet wages did not. Our governments, of all colours, insisted saying that it was our imagination, or that it could possibily be the case of a few rascal shopkeepers that doubled up their prices and that avoiding buying from them was all that was needed. No body ever believed that all we Italian were already in crisis 10 years ago. Somehow, our governments thought that the entailed benefits were so big, that the people's pleas that something went wrong could be dismissed.
    Said which, it's all about your point 5: the Maastricht Treaty was all about money and made no mention of job – it was already founded upon the idea that what could make money were not human beings, but... money. We're now rightful prey of this logic.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  14. Ian Williams

    The paper – or CNN’s summary of it – is superficial. It fails to consider root causes and assumptions. The 10 “reasons” given for the Euro crisis variously beg questions about the absence of a European demos to justify and enable EU-wide government; the desirability and feasibility of a common EU foreign policy; ditto a currency union across disparate economies; and the assumption that Euro break-up would, in the long term, be politically and economically undesirable. In this respect, the authors – or those who have summarised them – are themselves part of the inexorable progression that is the Euro-catastrophe.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  15. Victor

    Europe should have its own credit rating agencies. Europe should not depend upon American credit rating agencies, such as Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investor Service, and Fitch Ratings.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  16. Victor

    Eurozone should launch Euro bonds to fund the debt of Euro countries.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  17. Gil Hooley

    This article is absolute rubbish and based purely on speculation with complete disregard for fact. A pointless exercise in journalism and a complete waste of five minutes of my life reading this.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  18. Victor

    EU funds, such as money for Agricultural Policy, should be frozen and not transferred to EU Member States that do not comply with the Stability and Growth Pact (public budget deficit of 3% GDP and public debt of 60% GDP).

    December 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  19. Durendal

    I don't really like the word "austerity" as it assumes government spending is very meager when in the EU and the Eurozone government spending is enormous as a % of total economic output.They also have a very high living standard.What is called austerity is nothing else but governments spending within their means. Meaning they mostly spend what they collect in taxes.Thats not austerity by any means.The word "reforms" is better to use.It can be all sorts of reforms from increasing taxes to cutting government spending.As these countries rebalance it's unlikely to see economic growth.This is normal because the money and wages move from the public sector to the private sector.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  20. Hmmm,

    Always negative points, but points nonetherless. So, to ask a simple question; How many of you 400,000,000+ U-rope-eans want to move to Africa, Asia, South America, and/or North America? I would pick Australia as an alternative, but fruit and veggie prices are far too high and the metals and other commodities are going to drop in the hole when China runs out of cash.

    C'mon real U-rope-eans, where certainly not going to kill each other for... money?

    December 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  21. Hmmm,

    Did I mention that our U-rope-eans political leaders make great cartoon characters?

    Other leaders will kill you for that!!!

    December 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  22. Patrick

    Hughs forgot point 11: Failure of many euro-states (e.g. Italy and Greece) to fully collect taxes from their populace. Nations should be financing themselves with tax revenues, not ringing up dept on the open bond markets!

    December 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  23. m.s.mohamed ansari


    M.S.Mohamed Ansari 13 April 2009

    All press and Media Arabs leader and G20 leader at. Headquarters of All association
    By. A TO Z + 8. QUEEN + 8
    Royal wedding. And royal security force 10 generation total cost $ 57 trillion
    Each every politician rolling 8 years only just like chess board Game
    But queen family enjoying 10 generation y

    GLOBAL ECONOMIC COLLAPSE REASON WAR. Improve Economy only 6 points. Peace, prayer
    Liberty, Unity, friendly And simplicity.

    I am also Happy to kill osma bin laden
    Turing point of global Economy. Islam not allowed to be Terrorist and Terrorist people are not a Muslim
    1. Please avoid war. Day by Day war cost increase $ 3.5 trillion
    2. Global economy and food price every Day increase
    3. International job less Y. All businessmen effected business.
    4. Global financial crisis every CNC manufacture. New technology energy product Effected FDI investors.
    5. Every Day OPEC Oil Price Increase
    6. World poverty problem. Bankrupt 170 Bank overalls 87000 Branch
    7. Each every single man Effected
    8. Ignore future Death million of already Death
    9. Million of People Wounded
    10. Global environment climate will be change this will lead Global Agriculture problem

    A. International criminal court. B. white house. global human right association .C.IMF
    D. euro union. E. united nation F.ALL international famous press and media


    From. Mr.M.S.Mohamed Ansari,
    154, Angappa Naicken Street,
    Chennai – 600 001.
    Tamil Nadu,
    To , The Hon’ble Chief Justice,
    The Supreme Court,
    United States of America,
    Washington, D.C.
    Fax no: 213.547.8080
    Dear Sir,
    Sub: Prosecution of previous President Mr. George W.Bush, for violation of International Code of Conduct.
    Mr. George W.Bush, the previous President of United States of America, initiated a war against IRAQ, without obtaining the previous sanction of United Nations Organization (UNO) on the pretext of having nuclear weapons, even though the then IRAQ government openly exhibited to the whole world that it has no nuclear weapons.
    According to the CNN WORLD report, in the war 6, 75,000 civilians killed, 7500 troops of USA and its allied forces killed 3 25 000 people wounded and $ 3.5 Trillion Dollar spent for the war. This spending of $ 3.5 Trillion Dollar is the main cause of action for the present economic crises prevailing all over the world.
    After winning the war against IRAQ, the United States of America’s President Mr. George W.Bush, also admitted the same fact, and he openly stated that the Intelligence agency misguided him.
    Later on, even the United Nations Organization (UNO) also certified that the IRAQ has no nuclear weapons.
    Then it is the bounded duty of the United States of America and its allied forces to withdraw from IRAQ.
    But instead of withdrawing from IRAQ, the United States of America and its allied forces formed a government in IRAQ, under their control and administered the entire IRAQ, and its peoples.
    This indicates a clear violation of duty by the President of United States of America Mr. George W.Bush and also a clear case of violation of the International Code of Conduct for UNO members.
    Thus Mr. George W.Bush attracts prosecution for the above said offence.
    Thus I hereby pray this Hon’ble Court initiate criminal proceedings against Mr. George W. Bush, and give him maximum punishment for
    a) initiating the war against the IRAQ
    b) killing its innocent IRAQI peoples civilian 6, 75 000
    c) Killing troops of USA and allied forces and 7 500
    d) The present economic crises.
    e) 3 25 000 civilian and coalition 39 000 wounded
    Dated on this day of 13th day of April, 2009.
    Yours truly, (M.S.MOHAMED ANSARI)
    The Chief Justice, the International Court of Justice, The Hague, Netherlands.
    The Secretary General United Nations Organization
    The Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, IRAQ.
    His Excellency Mr.Barack Obama, the President of United States of America, White House, Washington D.C.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  24. Hmmm,

    A good war never kills anybody... but, where were we, oh yeah, U-rope.

    How about we kill rich people, take their property and money, give it all to the poor people so they can buy... telephones (smart phones, of course), then they can all film the global collapse of the sugar driven food chain. (i.e. weapons of mass disfunction)... Beer?

    December 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  25. Max

    Your right. CNN and the AngloSaxon media so desperately want Europe, the EU, the Euro to fail it is beyond news. We need to call it what it is: Propaganda. They have been pushing Europe is doomed stories for years now. It is getting beyond shameful. And now as Bonds yields are Falling. As Germany and France are actually pushing treaty changes for long term financial oversight, as the IMF says it now has enough backing to help even Italy if would be needed then CNN once again goes into overdrive to push for Euro is doomed stories. All the while this Crisis started in the United States and the US is sitting on the largest Debt Pile in the history of the world while they have yet taken NO austerity measures but instead are borrowing more. 1.4Trillion Debt INCREASE for 2011 alone.

    The declining status of the AngloSaxon system on the wold Stage in the past decade because of the rise of EU, China, Russia, Brazil, India growing influence has really put them into hyper drive to demonize these communities. Just look at their articles about China. 14 Doom stories for every 1 somewhat positive. This is not a news Agency, this is a US Propaganda channel. CNN you S...!

    December 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  26. Peter TW

    The same things could be said about the US and UK economies really...but when they all learn how to bridge unequal differences without creating victims, they would secure progress.. And that spans from political and economic to social both local and international.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  27. Phil BZ

    The Brits should be the last ones to criticize the failures of the European Union, since they are sitting on the fence with the Euro and nobody knows whether they still belong to the EU. A majority of them wants out. Remember: The Brits were against any form of European integration when the the European Community was launched in the 1950's, then they try to derail it under Thatcher, then they refuse to join the Euro under Blair. So why don't they let the Continentals do what they can to save both the EU and the Euro, rather than preaching from Oxford. Do what I say, not what I do, right?

    December 2, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  28. Billy Jean

    The next time I need an "alarmist" image I'm going to use this same A-bomb photo. "Bedbugs take lower Manhattan" – A bomb image. "Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are in re-hab" – A bomb image. Etc...etc..

    December 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  29. Claire

    Using an H-bomb image for the Euro while it was the US that began the financial crisis and it is the US that`s sitting on the largest Debt Pile in the History of the world (and quickly rising). Not to mention the Bond rates for Italy, Spain and others have actually began to fall lately and Europe is moving for treaty changes for long term fiscal Union. CNN as you read from many above comments you are loosing all credibility with your audience with these type of articles. Only someone extremely biased could achieve such massive ignorance.

    December 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  30. Victor

    An H-bomb image? Really. This is no longer news is it. CNN you have officially lost all credibility.

    December 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  31. Declan

    "Especially with countries squabbling about the erosion of sovereignty" – I would love to see what the reaction in the US would be if they were told there country was going to be dictated to be another....

    December 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  32. Declan

    "Especially with countries squabbling about the erosion of sovereignty" – I would love to see what the reaction in the US would be if they were told there country was going to be dictated to by another....

    December 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  33. enkephalin07

    "4) Lack of policy choices. Is austerity the only answer?"
    It really is a horrible solution, but in light of Greece's waste and mismanagement in both spending and revenue, this is the only solution that could be considered lasting. Germany doesn't want to just hand them money, but they're willing to invest in a fundamental change in their fiscal behavior, and sucking up austerity is the only gesture outside markets can trust at this point.

    If they pull through it, they'll have a greater financial integrity than they've had in modern memory, and they'll be too valuable a euro partner to consider letting go of. If they don't, the eurozone is going to have to let them go.

    December 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  34. enkephalin07

    "9) Failure to confront the financial markets"
    They could've, they should've, but any neglect has been magnified and any attempt has been undermined by alarmist press. You, author of this article, shoulder some blame for that.

    December 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  35. octopus

    What a stupid idea it was from the beginning.

    Everything was already ok in Europe.

    Don't fix something that's not broken.

    December 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  36. lolrates

    is it just me or are those example the same as U.S. policies?

    December 2, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  37. bernardwesly

    Agreed completely with the article.

    December 2, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  38. Victor

    Article is a complete and utter joke. Using a picture of a nuclear explosion. What is this. The Spongebob news channel.

    December 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  39. John

    What a typical statement(from Herman), thinking that Europe is a country. This just shows how uneducated people are. Not sure if you know, but Europe is a continent and there are country's on that continent, for example, France or Italy. The US has states, and those states are not countries, they are simple land that was divided up by Europeans that came to this continent.

    December 3, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  40. Caboclo Capiroba

    An European Federation is THE most impossible missions ever envisioned .
    I would never accept to give away autonomy in my country of the world oldest.





    December 3, 2011 at 12:37 am |
  41. Caboclo Capiroba

    ".....10) Micro-economic failures

    The Eurozone project has demonstrated that without similar levels of productivity,...."

    This is so obvious ..but so obvious ..that we can only understand that all this was premeditated .

    Portuguese produtive tissue has been so attacked by socialists in the last 40 years ..since the revolution ...that almost nothing is produced in Portugal anymore...
    The abyss betwen the German productivity and the Portuguese productivity is so big but so big... that have the same currency is something absolutly impossible.
    That is such a basic concept that no one need to know even how to read to understand that .

    This is so obvious ..but so obvious ..that we can only understand that all this was premeditated .

    December 3, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  42. Caboclo Capiroba

    In Portugal, the socialist regime ..destroyed all traditional comerce and traditional industry that work along .

    Now there are in Oporto ( the second city )..the european biggest shopping ..nothing that is sold there is produced in Portugal ..absolutly everything is imported ..
    Those gigantic shoppings grew like mushrooms..and now there are plenty ..all of them from two guys ..Belmiro and Amorim
    Ah forgot to say.. Portugal produces a lot of cork but all are owned by Amorim...
    The perfect road to economic colapse..absolutly expectable and is happening...

    December 3, 2011 at 1:39 am |
  43. Caboclo Capiroba

    The Portuguese socialist regime was trusting that money borrowed would be infinite . It isn't..
    They seeded winds storms are collected...expectable ...

    December 3, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  44. bigFreeMealOverForEurope

    europe is kaput!!! Ha Ha Ha Sell your euros before they are worthless. America just bailed you europeans last wednesday via bernanke. At least say thanks you ingrates. We bailed you out three times. once each after the wars and now just last week. Ha Ha Ha Euro is in the toilet. Merkel and Sarkozy are sitting on the seat ready to flush it down. Ha Ha Ha good cartoon ;-). Ha Ha Ha better buy $$$

    December 3, 2011 at 5:47 am |
  45. European

    For: bigFreeMealOverForEurope

    Well, perhaps we have some big problems but if euro falls, US falls. You see, EU is the most important trade patrner of US so if we have financial meltdown here you will suffer too. When your export industry goes to downword spiral, good luck paying your national debt ($ 15,096,216,021,861.00 largest in the world) so with simple math YOU owe to government $48,418.42. Cool, isn't it!? Your nation is broke, you caused international financial meltdown and you have two political parties which can't agree in anything. Yes, we certainly are in peril ;-). My biggest fear is that you will again elect someone idiot like Bush or Reagan as president. I think you americans should just look in the mirror and seriously think why rest of the world secretly loathes you, before you start mocking EU and euro.

    December 3, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  46. LB

    Interesting comment in the first point .... 'Squabbling over sovereignty..'. Believe it or not, some of us think that independence and being able to determine our own futures is actually quite important.

    December 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  47. 9001

    wow, this sounds just like the US.

    December 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  48. bigFreeMealOverForEurope

    YET THE WORLD BEGS TO BUY US DEBT AT < 2% HA HA HA!! CASE CLOSED. Oh I fogot we bailed you guys out thrice twice after ww1 and ww2 and once last week. Be Humble man Bow and thank your benefactors, not cuss and spit around in a hissy fit HO Ho Ho tis the season of giving - giving away the Euro HO HO HO!!

    December 3, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  49. bigFreeMealOverForEurope

    Picture this –Sarkhozy in one stall, Merkell in the stall next to him, MARIO BROS (DRAGHI AND WHOEVER ELSE) in the two other stall, BERLUSCONI not to be left behind with Papandreao in the main stall. Its the big Euro toilet. All have relieved themselves of Euro in unison. On the smell!!. They have stank up the Euro toilet. IN UNISON going 1, going 2, gone..... Flussssshhhh. ITS THE BIG FLUSH. next CNN HEADLINE. – FLUSHEUROGEDDON- . Bettter buy chineese whatever currency their is ;-), or even zimbabwean zzz currency. ;-)

    December 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  50. bigFreeMealOverForEurope

    Claire how right you are!!!
    CNN pl. change your image from H bomb to Toilet flushing. or you can invert it and draw a toilet below. Ho Ho HO. You'll have to excuse me for the toilet jokes ;-) blame the excellent French vine I had just a while back ;-) Ho Ho Hoo!!

    December 3, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  51. Mommary

    40% unemployment?!! I have always heard about how America should be more like Europe, we should have great healthcare like Europe and a higher quality of life, they take more time off in Europe, they work less hours, etc. HA! Proof you can't have it all! Wake up America, things are good here if we stop drinking the kool aid and get back to work!

    December 4, 2011 at 7:39 am |
  52. Samuel

    i have to repeat myself and say it again, most people who write here does not know anything about Europe, they only listen to CNN and still think Europe is going down or something. If Europe in your Eyes is so wrong, did you ever thought about that nearly every white american has his background in Europe, Americans are just europeans wich went over the ocean, stole the Indians Land and called that Land America. Fact is, Europe survived for so many decades, but USA was very close on a bailout. And now the american people think they are the leaders of the world ? Sorry

    December 4, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  53. Jorgen Mortensen

    This crisis is not an euro-crisis. It is a world-wide financial crisis which startetin the US but with severe implications for Europe. Now we should go back and read Frank H. Knight on Risk, Uncertainty and Profit.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  54. Brian P

    The answer is simple.
    All countries that are in debt should declare default and bankruptcy. This would involve most of the countries of this world.
    In a very short time (as long as the governments take over supplying interest free money), the whole monetary system would settle down, of course there would be losers but they speculated in the first instance and knew the risk.
    Therafter prevent banks from handling money other than holding and re-issuing actual (not air ) money for private individuals.
    My answer may offend many financial technocrats , but in the long term there is no other sensible solution.

    December 5, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  55. noelY

    The EU is far from being united in spirit. I like that they use bridges in the Euro. They know what to do but cannot do anything to bridge centuries of cultural differences even among people within the same nations. What more between people of different countries? Aside from culture, the gap is further widened by disparity in economic wealth. At least the US and non-EURO members can print money. Monetary policies are not enough. Political union is necessary. But sadly, that means the Germans will rule again and will start policing other countries....

    December 5, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  56. Hmmm,

    I think the foto (photo) is a true an accurate depiction of the current status of... MONEY.

    If all money is valueless, we can only have war!

    KABOOOOOOM to money...

    December 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  57. Cristiano

    For: bigFreeMealOverForEurope
    Wow! you are the most ingnorant stupid american( i guess they are all like that). Its so typical for a dumb american like you to be so closed minded. People like you are the reason america is hated!

    December 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  58. anillee

    Please, I beg you all not to listen to my fellow American Big Free Meal Over For Europe (if he's even truly American) and judge us not by his/her comments. Understand that just like in various European countries and countries all over the world, the United States also has citizens affected by the disease Down Syndrome. Unfortunately, this disease which incapacitates normal brain function knows no bias and targets citizens of all countries and Big Free Meal Over For Europe is just another unfortunate victim of this horrible illness.

    The simple fact of the matter is no matter what country you live in, European or American, if you're a working class citizen, you're being screwed. End of story.

    December 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  59. Roelof

    There is one rule for economical growth. Only by export economies are able to grow. There's no other rule than that. The core problem is the euro it self. There are too many different economies in the eurozone to make the euro a succes. South Europe doesn't export and North Europe does. So while South European countries their economy shrink, North European economies grow. Now all the export profit of North EU go's to corrupt South EU, because their economies won't grow.

    December 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  60. Roelof

    Solution of the European crisis is very simple. Per saldo nobody gets better, only the corrupt Greek with a Swiss bank account. End the Euro, make a South or North euro. Second: end the autonomy on Italian and Greek savings. Let Greek solve their own problems with their own money. Third: end that EU fund. Nobody is cautious with other countries money (EU fund), specially not the the corrupt Greek. But when Greek their own money is at stake.. that's when they take action. They like to lose North Europes money, not their own.

    December 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  61. European

    EU and Euro is not over ! How can you post this kind of news... If Euro would be a failed currency, why is now 1 euro = 1.3 USD ??? Means that USD is even more a failed currency ??? All the people in US and UK that would love to see Euro failing do not realise that this would also affect deeply the US and UK economy, as EU is their main traiding partners. Uk is very anti EU, for more than 20 years they have been somewhere on the border, in EU but not quite... outside but actually in. I think EU should push for a stronger union. And by the way... quality of life in Europe is much beyond the one in US. The only thing ppl is US have more than europeans are big SUVs and big plasma TVs. I wonder how many people in the US commenting on stories like this have actually been to Europe. I have been to US more than once and it is not a place I would like to live. Here you take the plane, 2 hours, a different country, different achitecture, new culture. In US you go from Alaska to Florida and you get same worthless (in my oppinion) wood and plaster houses, 0 architecture, and same food chain eateries...

    December 6, 2011 at 8:13 am |
  62. Brian P

    THe whole world , not just Europe or the USA is suffering this stupid situation that has been created by Banks printing money, by speculators playing bingo with currencies Etc.
    Get rid of the money created from free air and start from fresh by ignoring all the imaginary debts, and let governments run their own fiscal policies without outside gamblers getting involved.
    Naturally as formerly stated, countries must produce and trade with other countries in order to maintain an import/export balance, and this means that people who can produce real goods and not play money bingo will benefit their countries for gaining through exports. My point in case it was missed is: Real things are for bartering , not money!

    December 6, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  63. Kme

    Is this the EU or the US they are talking about. Looks the same to me. Yet, nowhere can the lawyers seem to do the right thing.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  64. kc_and_fa

    Point 5, putting people first is the most important. Without the support of the people you do not have a functioning democracy. Once countries started defaulting the poeple started to realize the Euro dream was not working. They ask themselves, "Are we better off now then if we had not joined?" The answer of course is no. Without the backing of the Euro club the governments would never have been able to borrow money's at such a rediculous rate.

    December 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  65. Henk

    KC what total nonsense. Most in Europe love the Euro and want any problems to be dealt with. The Euro allows us to travel freely in every Eurozone member without having to change currencies each and every time. Not to mention the cost for changing currencies. I love the Euro and your comments are false to begin with. The US debt is now at over 100%. IF the US was compared to Europe it would be the third most indebted nation. The problem is the US is a bigger Economy then Italy or Greece and hence it`s debt is much larger as well. Now reaching 15Trillion Dollars. This is not sustainable at all. Just because the markets are currently focused on Europe does not diminish the US problems at all. And the US debt keeps rising like a bullet train reaching a 1.4 Trillion deficit for 2011 alone.

    December 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  66. Bruno

    What the heck is wrong with CNN?

    December 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  67. timothy

    If I were German I'd leave the EU. The whole idea IS ridiculous!

    December 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  68. chris

    Stop the world. I want to get off.

    December 9, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  69. Cultures

    I was flicking through CNN's website coverage of the Eurozone crisis today thinking to myself how good it was compared to the BBC News Website which appears superficial by comparison. Many UK residents simply don't get the full picture or understanding of the real issues from the UK press which is 'celebrity' oriented to the extend that even reporters now act as celebrities, pushing their personal opinions rather than being factual.
    HOWEVER I was dismayed to see CNN apply such bad taste in this article by using an H-Bomb image. Our kids are growing up in a World where edges are being blurred enough by Hollywood Blockbusters, bias TV images and superficial reporting. Get real – this is an economic mess that arises from a completely fudged European Union Treaty but at the end of the day it's about money and politics. Nobody should fear consequential death and mass destruction and so the image is completely misplaced and hysterical on whatever level you might like to consider it. CNN should apologise and repremand the idiot who decided to use it.

    December 10, 2011 at 7:49 am |
  70. Sam

    This situation parallels the situation in the USA. Congress has done nothing to curtail government spending, legislate control over derivatives, which caused the realestate foreclosures on a massive scale.
    The political outlook in Europe is almost identical, because politicians will not make any real changes or agree on anything affecting their own backyard. They want the ECB to take all the risk, not going to happen.
    The EURO is about to come to an end.

    December 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  71. krammer

    Herman is right. After monetary and the proposed fiscal unity,political unification is the next logical step.

    December 29, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  72. Marcel (NL)

    Krammer, you and Herman are wrong. Us Dutch are not going to allow other countries to steal our pension money (which is what the EU wants to do). The Dutch private pension funds have combined assets of about 135% of our GDP, and for the rest of the Eurozone it comes down to 20-25% on average. You think we'l sign up to fiscal union or political union so politicians from other countries can vote their countries a share of our pension funds? I think not. The vast majority of people do not want any form of political integration.

    Disband the undemocratic Eurosoviet Union and the wealth-destroying Euro, and revert back to economic cooperation. I will not pay tax to fund Greece or Italy and will vote for any party or politician opposed to it.

    January 21, 2012 at 4:49 am |
  73. Freud

    Corruption! Corruption! Corruption! When the economies where small, corruption was small, economies have grown exponentialy, and their corruption figures, Corruption! Corruption! Corruption! Democracy, values, jobs,money, all gone, wars are being bred on middle east, that fire will soon extend with force in Europe, ah I forgot, on the mean-time, Corruption! Corruption! Corruption!

    January 31, 2012 at 11:46 am |

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