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Spain illustrates the problem. Spanish governments were responsible in their euro borrowing: They never ran a deficit of over 3% before the world financial crisis hit in 2008. The euro did, however, let Spanish consumers and companies borrow money at a very low rate of interest, since everybody assumed that the powerhouse economies of northern Europe were the ultimate guarantors of euro debt.

In 2008 the inflated property values crashed and the foolish investments came home to roost. The Spanish government's borrowing ballooned as it poured money into saving the banks. When it could not raise any more funds, the European Union stepped in last week.

The fundamental mistake was made in 1999, when the political attraction of a common European currency triumphed over the economic rationality that said countries with radically different economies should not be trapped in a single currency.

´╗┐Greek voters cast envious eye to Spain

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than a unified European state, which is not going to happen).

In fact, there almost certainly is no such team. One day it will fail, but they're not ready to admit that yet. So the Greeks may win some short term relief.

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and a flat no to Tsipras could bring that on very fast.

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The party that wins the largest number of votes in a Greek election gets an extra 50 seats, so Syriza will probably lead the next Greek government. It would then demand a renegotiation of the EU's much harsher terms for bailing out the Greek economy and it might even get it.

Tsipras may be right, at least in the short run. Even if there were some super secret team of financial experts in Frankfurt working out how to wind up the euro without too much damage to the German economy, they would need to time their move very carefully. They would not want a Greek default to cause the euro to unravel prematurely, Converse Full Black Leather

t's probably the first time that events in Spain have decided the outcome of a Greek election. Last weekend the European Union agreed Converse Blue And White to loan Spain's nearly insolvent banks 100 billion euros on relatively easy terms. Syriza, the hard left protest party that came from nowhere to dominate last month's election in Greece, will therefore almost certainly emerge from next Sunday's rerun of that election as the biggest party in parliament.

That would prolong the agony of the euro, but it wouldn't save it. The common currency is doomed, at least in its current form, precisely because countries like Greece and Spain were allowed to join the euro. It's not that they were more Converse Silver Sequin Sneakers

But what interests the Greeks is the terms of the EU loan to Spain. It was made directly to the troubled banks, with no obligation for the Spanish government to raise taxes or cut spending further. That is the deal that Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Syriza party, says he can get for Greece. In this last week before the Greek election he will use the evidence from Spain to good effect. He will, of course, not mention Spain's crisis and Greece's are very different.

Greek voters don't want to hear about that. They just want the pain to stop.

The result was one of history's biggest housing bubbles, a mountain of corporate debt for Spanish companies and huge exposure to bad risks by the Spanish banks that lent the money.

reckless and improvident than the northern European countries. But the southern European economies are far less efficient.

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Well, it had to. A Spanish default would bring the whole rickety structure crashing down, and nobody has yet figured out how to dismantle the euro without a huge amount of collateral damage. The EU is merely doing crisis management and has no strategy for fixing the euro (other Converse Low Cut All Black

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