I believe that the formal, academic term for the current state of the European economy is “hot mess.” Every day, there seems to be a new plot twist in this financial soap opera, as the spotlight jumps from a schizophrenic Spain to a defiant and protest-mad Greece to a smug Germany.
With all of the heavy terminology and the alphabet soup of acronyms involved, it may seem too complicated — or boring — to consider following the developments closely. But insanely bold coverups, spectacular government shakeups, and explosive protests have created a fantastic drama that’s as riveting as any Hollywood film.
In just the past few days, Spain (finally) requested the aid that economic experts have long speculated it will need to survive, while proudly maintaining that the rescue of its banks is different than the wider state bailouts that have faced some of its European neighbors.
And, in the most shocking example of how volatile the European political situation has become, a far-right male Greek politician, Ilias Kasidiaris, repeatedly slapped a female member of the Communist party named Liana Kanelli during a live TV debate, in an incident that’s being called the “slap seen ‘round the world.”
How did things get so bad in the first place? For a great primer on Europe’s financial mess and why it matters to those outside of the continent, check out this wonderful This American Life piece, “Continental Breakup,” which aired earlier this year.
Once you’re caught up, you can stay on top of the plot twists with Trove channels. Here are a few to get you going:
And because we’re still not doing so great on this side of the Atlantic (see Friday’s heated edition of the economic blame game, with enthusiastic contributions from both Democrats and Republicans), be sure to check out our U.S. Economy channel for the latest news.