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Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

The European Union in crisis; Will it survive?

By DON MELVIN

BRUSSELS (AP) — Until recently, the idea that the 27-nation European Union might disintegrate would have been unthinkable, for uniting a continent ripped apart by two World Wars was considered a rousing diplomatic success.

But the EU’s two most cherished achievements — a common currency and the free movement of people across borders — are under threat. And the possibility that the decades-long experiment that is the EU might not survive in its present form has now entered mainstream debate.

The Polish finance minister, Jacek Rostowski, has raised the prospect that the EU might split apart. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said if its common currency, the euro, failed, so too would Europe itself. And experts say the euro’s stability is by no means assured: George Osborne, the British chancellor, has said that only a few weeks remain to save it.

On Wednesday, Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, described the state of the union in unusually stark terms. The EU, he said, was facing the biggest challenge since its creation.

“We’re in a crucial moment in history,” he said. “If we do not move forward with more unification, we will suffer more fragmentation.”

READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE.

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Don Melvin

Slobodan Lekic

Raf Casert

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