As the currency crashes and the Continent is swept by protests, even key members such as Germany and France are starting to think the unthinkable about the euro.
Like many of Spain’s 4.5 million unemployed, Cinthia Carvajal is on the verge of despair. The 41-year-old marketing executive has jobhunted non-stop for the last six months, but with the country in the grip of its worst recession in 50 years, there are precious few firms needing anything to be marketed.
She will now take whatever job she can find, but with unemployment running at 20 per cent nationally, the few offers come her way are generally less than tempting.
“I spend my whole time going for interviews,” said Ms Carvajal, who receives €475 (£388) per month in unemployment benefits. “But often they want you to work on the black market to avoid paying taxes, and I’m not prepared to do that.”
Spain’s jobless rate is currently double the the average for the euro zone, rising to nearly 32 per cent in places like Cadiz, a windswept port that has never recovered since its shipbuilding yards went the same way as those on the Clyde.
The economy shrank nationwide by nearly four per cent last year, and in the bars of Cadiz’s winding, cobbled streets, the sense is that things can only get worse – which, last week, they effectively did.