In truth, it is almost impossible to understand the European dilemma because it is so arcane – so weighed down with historical accretions and ideological obscurantism – that it has become impenetrable even to the principal players in what is turning into a tragedy of monumental proportions.Actually, it's not that hard to understand at all. It's pretty simple, really.
They spent too much.
They promised too many people too many things and relied on an economic model that valued consumption and borrowing over production and saving because they thought they were being compassionate. They weren't being compassionate and they should have figured this out about a decade ago when it became obvious that their spending was unsustainable.