The European Union (EU) has settled the Irish debt matter, at least for the time being. It was more difficult than it might have been because of domestic Irish political issues. But now that it is complete, Europe still cannot rest on its laurels. It now must look to Portugal, Spain and Belgium. The continent's sovereign debt crisis seems determined to roll on, threatening the euro and even the European Union itself.

Confidence, or the lack of it, is such a big part of these debt matters, that all forecasting-short-term and long-term-is problematic at best. Still, prospects yield at least some tentative conclusions. First, Europe's existing rescue resources are more than ample for Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Second, the great danger lies with Spain, less because of government profligacy and more because any problem with the Spanish government's ability to borrow would raise doubts about the viability of private Spanish real estate debt held widely throughout Europe.

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