Its now clear that the European debt crisis could take a huge chunk of the euro zone with it. Greece, Portugal, and Ireland are already in tough debt positions, while larger states like Spain and Italy might soon be.
What this could mean is the end of the currency union, as states are forced to depart because they can’t inflate their currencies to pay down their debt. While that approach would have its own problems for members, it could end the reach of the euro zone and significantly damage the European project all together.
Here are the results if Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy were to depart (using 2008 data):
GDP: 32% of all Euro zone GDP (subject to changes in euro valuation)
Population: 132,355,572 million people, 40% of the population of the euro zone.
Dark blue states represent euro zone members.
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