Can anything be done to save the Euro? At this point, it doesn't look very good:
Another week, another crisis for the euro. In April, the single currency wobbled as Greece was rescued. This week and last, Ireland sparked the panic. Next week, if the markets are to be believed, it'll be Portugal. Then Belgium. And, finally and fatally, Spain. On current trends, the euro is in for another roller-coaster month before it splinters, having crashed into the safety barrier.
If such a scenario was being sketched by the euro's detractors, it would be one thing. But, it's the euro's own members who are warning of the perils ahead. "The risk of a eurozone break-up is very real," Ivan Miklos, finance minister of the area's newest member Slovakia, said this week.
Luis Amado, Portugal's foreign minister, aired similar views recently. He warned: "The alternative to the situation we confront is eventually leaving the euro. That is a situation that could inevitably be forced on us by markets to consider."
"We are in a survival crisis," European Union president Herman Van Rompuy noted last week. Even Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has admitted that the eurozone is "facing an exceptionally serious situation", with her finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble adding: "Our joint currency is at stake."
There is talk of a two tier Euro zone where debtor nations on the periphery drive out bondholders who will refuse to further finance their growing debt.
Simon Derrick, currency chief at the Bank of New York Mellon, said investors are giving up on the euro periphery - pushing the cost of debt to cripplingly high levels and creating a two-tier euro area as spreads over German bunds rocket.
"Investors are beginning to realise that the problem with the euro is a structural one," Mr Derrick said. "Monetary policy was set for core Europe and inappropriate for the periphery. Because of the debt overhang and the explicit plan for bondholders to take haircuts, you are baking in long-term differentials. Why would a country want to remain in marginal Europe?"
The dream of a united, integrated Europe has been around well over 100 years. Maybe there was a reason no one was stupid enough to try and achieve that dream until now.