Though the European debt crisis has in recent months revolved a small number of countries, most prominently Greece and Italy, issues of sovereign debt extend across the regions -- and have for some time.
Debt as a percentage of total gross domestic product has gone up between 2000 and 2010 for all European member nations except Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark Slovakia and Sweden, according to an infographic by Mint.com. In some cases, such as the situation in Greece, debt has risen substantially, reaching as high as 144.9 percent of GDP. Even Germany, one of the healthiest economies on the continent, saw its debt rise by more than 20 percent over the same period.
Policymakers have been trying to resolve Europe's debt crisis since forming the European Financial Stability Facility in 2010, but they've failed to find a lasting solution. Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Italy's prime minister earlier this month after losing his parliament's confidence. George Papandreou suffered a similar fate after he almost put a European bailout deal to referendum.
Currently, a proposal is under debate to implement stricter rules for member nations whose budgets fail to meet the EU's standards.