Greece is looking more and more like one of those "troubled homeowners" we hear so much about.
It's underwater and struggling to cover debts worth far more than its gross domestic product. So nervous lenders are offering to write down some of those loans in hopes of sending Greece a lifeline and keeping Athens current on its payments.
In return, the country has agreed to put its balance sheet in order, a process that is going to be neither easy nor quick.
NPR's Eric Westervelt, reporting on 'Morning Edition'
The top of the news today about the ongoing financial crisis in Europe is that:
"Greece won a second massive financial bailout early Tuesday morning when its partners in the 17-country eurozone finally stitched together a $170 billion rescue, meant to avoid a potentially disastrous default and secure the euro currency." (The Associated Press)
Europe is still a continent that looks over its shoulder at a long and sometimes dark past. That extends even to the protracted Greek bailout negotiations, where Germany's dominant role has scratched at some historical wounds.
Germany occupied Greece during World War II, committing atrocities that some older Greeks can't forget. This history defines the pretty village of Distomo in central Greece, where Nazi soldiers killed 218 men, women and children in June 1944.
The eurozone crisis has focused attention on debt-burdened Greece spiraling into decline. Meanwhile, Portugal is seen as the international creditors' poster-child for obediently slashing spending and welfare benefits.
Nevertheless, the Portuguese national debt continues to grow, and the country is mired in recession and soaring unemployment.
The Portuguese national character has long been identified with Fado music. Raquel Freire, an activist with the local Occupy movement, says the melancholy style helps explain decades of resignation.