Spain on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

European leaders need to stop whinging and start solving their debt crisis for real.

BY EDWARD HUGH

Europe’s debt crisis continues to spread — Greece and Ireland have already had to seek shelter from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, while bond spreads in Portugal and Spain are giving strong indication they might meet the same fate in the not-too-distant future. And as the crisis develops, far from sending a much-needed signal of confidence and self-assurance, the rhetorical register we’re seeing from Europe’s leaders is becoming increasingly nerve-racked and even at times apocalyptic. In a typically troubling example, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy warned recently that the eurozone, and even the European Union itself, were in the process of fighting for their lives, telling the astonished audience at a Brussels think-tank conference, "We’re in a survival crisis."

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