The Boston Globe gets dramatic:
In America, the recession has been primarily an economic phenomenon, with conventional political effects. But in Europe, the economic tsunami is threatening to dissolve the continent's greatest political achievement: the peaceful democratic edifice of the European Union.
The fault lines have become evident in recent weeks. One division pits some nations of Central and Eastern Europe against older EU members of Western Europe. Another divides states leaning toward protectionist measures, such as France, against stout upholders of free trade, such as Britain and Germany.