the european union is a good project in terms of free borders and no custom duties when exporting goods. there are a few benefits the union has brought, in will bring in the future. by itself, france, germany and great britain are too small to compete with china and the u.s., together it is another case.
well the other thing is the euro currency. a very expensive currency, worth more than the dollar. now there are only a few countries that can (economically) compete at a even level under the same currency. that would be germany, austria, the netherlands, sweden, denmark, finland and eventually france and the uk. but for countries like spain, portugal, italy or greece the euro is way to expensive. for example, for greece the euro is 50% too expensive, there are only two ways, either greece goes back to it´s former currency with which it could devalue, or the greek population must reduce the income by 50%. with italy the euro is 30% too expensive, now tell an italian to dispense with 30% income. the euro currency is a crime. political idiocracy with no economical knowledge. it can´t work, a country like the netherlands competing under the same currency with greece, how is that going to work.
the only way that these countries can survive is leaving the euro (currency), get the drachme back and devalue itself. currencies serve as "springs" that one can adapt to ones competetivness, with the drachme (a cheaper currency) and devalue so greece can become more competetive again. with the euro currency there is no hope for these countries and over the long term the stronger countries will not be able to carry this load anymore.
this is a perfect example why a slight technocratic government might be not a bad idea. letting greece and such into the eurozone is a crime, noone could ever be that stupid i bet most economy profs. went totally nuts. now countries like latvia and other easter european countries are talked into the euro currency, so one must presume a deliberate incompetence.