German General Interest

NPR's Eric Westervelt Discusses On-Going Europe Debt Crisis, Bailouts

NPR's Central Europe Correspondent Eric Westerwelt

NPR's Central Europe Correspondent Eric Westerwelt Chris Thompson hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Thompson

European Union leaders start a year end, two day meeting in Brussels Thursday and Friday to try to steer Europe out of the sovereign debt crisis that has festered for more than a year.

The problem was thought to have been largely dealt with after Greece was bailed out in May. But then Ireland needed similar help last month. There are persistent fears that other members of the sixteen nations that use the euro - including Portugal and Spain - are under threat.

Moves to buy up bad debt by the European Central Bank and the creation of a “stability fund” have not ended the crisis.

As the US continues to grapple with its own financial and debt crisis, what lessons are there for America? What is at stake for the US in Europe’s on-going debt crisis?

Eric Westervelt, one of NPR’s Europe Correspondents, sat down in a Berlin restaurant over coffee and apple strudel with former US Ambassador to Germany John Kornblum and Professor Irwin Collier of the Free University’s JFK Institute to discuss those issues. You can listen to that discussion below.

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