OPINION

Eurozone jitters are showing

Alarm bells are ringing across Europe once more as the cost of borrowing has risen to prohibitive levels for Italy and Spain, while, at the same time, French bonds are beginning to take a hit from the overload of negative sentiment on international markets.

The leaderships of all the countries that are feeling the strain of the global financial crisis — and of the Greek crisis in particular — are trying to put on a game face and appear optimistic, but their concern is more than apparent and this worry is already becoming tangibly felt in Athens as well.

As one first measure, Brussels is asking for the second Greek bailout fund to be approved by the parliaments of European Union member states ahead of schedule and to get the recovery process rolling along faster.

If, however, the crisis — both in Greece and in the other euro-area countries — escalates, the eurozone may be forced to choose between the path leading to its dissolution or that leading to a merger of the economies that share the common currency.