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Europe's Debt, Global Crisis?

Greece's Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou addresses the media during a press conference in Athens on Tuesday Feb. 9, 2010. Greece took further steps Tuesday to calm global markets spooked by its debt crisis. (AP)

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Could little Greece and its big debt bring down the world economy? That’s the question in Europe and around the world today. 

On the streets of Athens, they’re protesting new austerity measures. On global trading floors, they’re asking why the Greeks didn’t tighten up a long time ago. 

And not just Greece. There’s a whole tier of Europe in trouble. The acronym is PIIGS: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain. And the pain travels – including to Wall Street and the USA. 

Could this be the end of Europe?  The end of recovery? 

This hour, On Point: little Greece, and the big crisis in Europe.

Guests:

Gregory Zuckerman, senior writer for The Wall Street Journal. He’s author of “The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-The-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History.” 

See the Journal’s continuing Europe coverage, including this interactive timeline of the debt crisis.

John Psaropoulos, Athens correspondent for NPR and founder of the blog The New Athenian.  He’s former editor-in-chief of the Athens News.

Carmen M. Reinhart, director of the Center for International Economics at the University of Maryland and co-author, with Kenneth Rogoff, of “This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.” She was chief economist and vice president at the investment bank Bear Stearns and spent several years at the International Monetary Fund.

Dominique Moisi, a founder and senior advisor at the French Institute for International Relations. His latest book is “The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World.”

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