The concept of the European Community and a common currency worked okay (though with massive misallocation of capital) as long as long as there was lots of growth and lots of money and lots of subsidies for poorer countries and low interest rates. For a long time, what you could earn on a German bond wasn’t that much lower than what you could earn on a Greek bond of similar duration (as little 20 basis points- one fifth of one percent- in 2007), implying a similar risk. The idea was that they were both parts of the Community, had a common currency, and that the rich would continue to take care of the not so rich.
Then, a few weeks ago, the bond market, which tends to have a mind of its own and doesn’t much care what speeches government officials make, decided that support wasn’t going to be there and that Greece, to use the technical financial term, was going in the crapper. Rates on five year Greek bonds soared to 15%.