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Kai Ryssdal: As long as we're talking about the end of the world, you remember the European debt crisis? How some countries over there ran up huge debts and came way too close to default for anybody's comfort?

We spent a lot of last year talking about it. And then the Eurozone and its problems just kind of fell off the radar.

Today, it came back on. Moody's downgraded Spanish government debt. Same thing happened to Greece earlier in the week.

From the European Desk in London, Stephen Beard has more.


Stephen Beard: Portugal, Greece, Ireland and now Spain are all in the firing line. Investors are demanding higher and higher interest rates to lend to these governments. Meanwhile there's political disarray in Brussels. The 17 countries that use the Euro are bickering over how to bail out weaker members. If the crisis deepens, it could tip Europe back into recession and that, says Andrew Hilton of the think tank the CSFI, would hit the U.S. hard.

Andrew Hilton: What happens to the European economy is important because Europe is the largest single market for American exports. That's very important because if the Europeans go into another recession that will hurt every American household.

He says that the U.S. is also grappling with horrendous levels of debt, but it has to be easier for one country to tackle that problem than for a group of the 17 separate countries that make up the Eurozone.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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