Europe has become the weak link in the world economy. As China has boomed to busting point, and a trillion-dollar fiscal stimulus has pushed the US towards a weak recovery, events have forced the eurozone through a door marked “Austerity”. In the next phase of the global crisis, which we are about to enter, the eurozone will either consolidate or collapse. And it will test Europe’s distinctive social model to breaking point. Europe is suffering now for the same reasons that it survived the first 18 months of the global economic crisis: social welfare, state intervention and the single currency.