Paul AmesApril 18, 2012 06:00
BRUSSELS — The words “Spain” and “contagion” have already made history together. Spanish flu spread around the world in the early 1900s. The pandemic didn't begin in Spain, but it was there that the world realized how serious — and unstoppable — the outbreak had become. Now, as Spain takes up a central position in Europe's economic crisis, history seems about to repeat itself. Sickly economies in Greece, Portugal and Ireland appear to have responded to the European Union’s limited array of economic remedies. But if Spain’s attempt to heal itself with a shock-treatment of austerity fails, the EU may not be strong enough to prevent the infection from spreading to Italy, France and beyond.