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Staring into the Abyss (Economist)

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The crisis that has engulfed the European Union is about much more than the euro, argues Edward Carr in this week’s Economist. Of course the biggest fear, and the one most often talked about, is financial and economic collapse. It’s unknown whether Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy will honor their $4.2 trillion debt, a worry that is taking its toll on the lenders, the banks of Europe. These fears have spurred a recession, which Europe does have the ability to overcome. Its public-sector deficit is lower and, as a collective group, its debt is less than the United States. There is money available to rescue the failing nations and markets. But this sort of solution requires unity, and that’s something the EU lacks. It also lacks the necessary motivation and commitment to answer one critical question: In a rapidly changing and increasingly tech-savvy world, where does Europe fit into the new global economy?