The European economic crisis has been three years in the making, and its outcome is uncertain.
Crushed by debt and distressed banks, countries like Greece, Spain, and Ireland face ongoing recessions, while Germany and the Netherlands along with members of the International Monetary Fund , push for austerity measures.
There’s more than enough reason for concern. The economy of the European Union, which holds the 17 nations that use the euro currency and 10 others, is a larger economic bloc than the United States or China.
To help clarify the situation, here’s a look at what’s happening now, with updates as they happen, and a look at the major players.