A chart from Paul Krugman’s latest book, End This Depression Now! which goes a long way towards explaining WTF happened to the Eurozone.
It wasn’t profligacy by the Eurozone periphery, it was the massive trade imbalances created by cheap credit in the periphery and the export engine of the Germans. Germany’s economy was driven by extracting cash from the periphery. Nothing more. Nearly all of the debt incurred in the periphery was private debt and not public debt. Then, when the bills came due (as in any asset bubble), the crisis manifested itself. Germany ate the periphery and then blamed the periphery for getting eaten.
So the next time you hear some wingnut commenter saying that it was the public unions or the social safety net or the European spending on healthcare, you’ll know they’re lying. Lying through their teeth.