That is why interest-rate spreads in the eurozone periphery are widening again now. The peripheral countries suffer from severe stock and flow imbalances. The stock imbalances include large and rising public and private debt as a share of GDP. The flow imbalances include a deepening recession, massive loss of external competitiveness, and the large external deficits that markets are now unwilling to finance.
Without a much easier monetary policy and a less front-loaded mode of fiscal austerity, the euro will not weaken, external competitiveness will not be restored, and the recession will deepen. And, without resumption of growth—not years down the line, but in 2012—the stock and flow imbalances will become even more unsustainable. More eurozone countries will be forced to restructure their debts, and eventually some will decide to exit the monetary union.