From the New York Times
Europeans Fear Crisis Threatens Liberal Benefits
...all over Europe governments with big budgets, falling tax revenues and aging populations are experiencing rising deficits, with more bad news ahead.
With low growth, low birthrates and longer life expectancies, Europe can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes. The countries are trying to reassure investors by cutting salaries, raising legal retirement ages, increasing work hours and reducing health benefits and pensions.
From the Guardian/The Observer
"We are building up an almighty bubble of debt which is going to burst in one great bang," says Hans-Werner Sinn, chief of Ifo, one of the country's leading economic thinktanks.
That means a bitter round of budget cuts, deeper than any seen since 1945. Every area of German life is expected to take a hit, from education to welfare benefits, swimming pools to autobahns. Far-fetched as talk of the return of the mark seems, the more it is talked about, the more it is likely to become popular, despite Merkel's insistence that if the euro fails, so will Europe.
Don't think we are exempt. We need to cut the spending and balance the budget NOW.