Staring into the Abyss by Edward Carr in The Economist. The crisis of the euro goes to the heart of Europe’s future. In this lucid special report, the magazine’s foreign editor explores the paths for the “European project” to disaster or salvation. A single certainty: Europe needs urgency, not more procrastination. Recommended by European Affairs. (11/11)

UPDATE (11/21):

Spain's election Sunday gave Spanish conservatives their biggest election victory in the country's post-Franco democracy.  The center-right Popular Party, led by incoming prime minister Mariano Rajoy, 56, will have an absolute majority in the lower house allowing it to pass laws without the support of other parties. Rajoy campaigned on a pledge of tough austerity measures that he now promises to carry out -- in effect, rallying to the main thrust of the economic reform program that his party publicly rejected while it was in opposition.

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The Gridlock Where Debts Meet Politics by David Leonhardt in the New York Times. On both sides of the Atlantic the financial crisis is often blamed on a lack of political will. It is a reality, however, that voters in all these countries remain unwilling or unable to recognize that the West has promised itself more than it can pay for. So beyond the political fecklessness, a philosophical debate remains about who shoulders the costs of a changed social contract. Recommended by European Affairs. (11/8)
Europe’s Two Years of Denials Trapped Greece by Landon Thomas Jr. and Stephen Castle in the New York Times. An International Monetary Fund report in mid-2009 warned of the severity of Greece’s impending debt predicament, but it was ignored or played down by officials anxious to avoid hitting the panic button. The facts, as reported then, are now acknowledged by all the key players. But this well-reported account brings out the cost of delay in facing up to them. Recommended by European Affairs. (11/8)
Why China Should Help Out Europe by Arvind Subramanian in The New York Times. On what terms should China contribute to the EU's financial bail-out fund? Beijing should demand more power at the IMF, according to this specialist from the respected Peterson Institute. This power-shift would be controversial in Washington. Already since June, China has been talking with Europeans about financial support, as European Affairs blogged at the time. Recommended by European Affairs. (10/28)