A massive €750 billion ($1 trillion) bailout fund announced by European officials just six months ago has failed to contain the sovereign debt crisis that now threatens to bring down the euro single currency. After having spent €110 billion to rescue Greece from bankruptcy in May, Europe and the International Monetary Fund on November 28 announced a rescue package worth €85 billion to prevent a financial meltdown in Ireland. Europe's debt contagion now threatens to take down Portugal and possibly even Spain.
A debt crisis in Spain would make the problems in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal look pale by comparison; at €1.3 trillion, the Spanish economy is bigger than those three countries combined. Spain is the fifth-largest economy in the 16-nation euro zone, the ninth-largest in the OECD, and the eleventh-largest in the world.