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Europe: A Union Endangered

Will Europe pull together or come apart? We’ll look at stakes and consequences.

A man passes close to a stock exchange board monitor inside a bank in Milan, Italy.  Worries that Europe's debt crisis will spread to Italy and Spain weighed on markets . (AP)

A man passes close to a stock exchange board monitor inside a bank in Milan, Italy. Worries that Europe's debt crisis will spread to Italy and Spain weighed on markets . (AP)

Everybody’s trying to figure out how to save their economy. The wild card in the deck right now is Europe. Just how wild is the question.

Part of it is about dreams. The dream of European union – which we’d come to see as settled fact – is back on the table. Part of it is about culture and politics. Can you put Germans and Greeks in the same pot and keep them there forever? Part of it is about fear of calamity. If Europe can’t find its fiscal footing, will it take down world banks, world markets, the struggling US economy?

This hour On Point: the trouble with Europe.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

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

Jan Randolph, Director of Sovereign Risk, for the international consultancy IHS Global Insight.

Scheherazade Rehman, is Director of the European Union Research Center and a professor of International Finance and Business at George Washington University.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal “The world’s leading central banks joined forces to offer Europe’s beleaguered banks easy access to dollars Thursday, acting to quell fears that the region’s lenders could fall victim to the euro-zone’s government debt crisis.”

Financial Times “Yet even if the European Union and International Monetary Fund pay up as expected, the funds may still not be enough to keep the country afloat.”

Associated Press “German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that “if the euro fails, Europe fails.” But as the debt crisis intensifies, the leader of Europe’s biggest economy is sticking to a course of gradual action that markets are losing faith in and refuses to take the radical measures some say are needed to keep the currency afloat.”

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