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Europe In Crisis

A continent in trouble, its financial peril and the potential for spillover for the world economy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, shake hands after their joint press conference at the Elysee Palace, Tuesday Aug. 16, 2011. (AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, shake hands after their joint press conference at the Elysee Palace, Tuesday Aug. 16, 2011. (AP)

Europe got the modern era going, with exploration and trade and colonialism and big war. For many, it set the standard for 20th century social welfare.

And then for continental coordination, with the E.U. and the euro. But right now, Europe is in big trouble. A whole string of European nations have debt they can’t handle. Mighty Germany is not sure it wants to bail them out.

The whole European project is under acute strain. It could get closer. It could blow up. Markets are in a lather. The spillover could hit you.

This hour On Point: Europe in trouble, and what it means.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nicholas Kulish, Berlin bureau chief for the New York Times.

Dominique Moïsi, a founder and senior advisor at the Ilfri (the French Institute for International Relations) and author of “The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World.”

Beppe Severgnini, Italian journalist, writer and columnist and author of “Mamma mia! Berlusconi’s Italy Explained for Posterity and Friends Abroad.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “There is no one whose thoughts European officials would rather read than Chancellor Angela Merkel, who meets Tuesday at the Élysée Palace with France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, as they struggle to find a lasting solution to the European debt crisis.”

Washington Post “Are panicked investors creating their own panic? Rumors that France would follow the United States in losing its AAA credit rating, for instance, triggered a massive sell-off in Paris on Wednesday, with negative sentiment weighing on markets Thursday before a late rally. This week, investors have dumped French bank stocks in a frenzy of selling not seen since the height of the global financial crisis in 2008.”

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Dominique Moisi: Humiliation, Hope, & Fear

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