Spain's unemployment is persistently high, and the latest effort to combat that doesn't seek to get businesses hiring again, but seeks to get individuals to go into business for themselves. But there are a host of practical and cultural barriers in their way.
Spain hiked its taxes on cultural events as it faces mounting debts and budget deficits. And those higher taxes have greatly reduced the attendance and theaters and other arts establishments. But one theater, and now several other groups, have found a way to make the law work for them -- with carrots.
In Italy, the caretaker government of Prime Minister Mario Monti has been dissolved. But with new elections to be held In February and another former prime minister already set to run again, some say this isn't necessarily the end of Monti.
The negotiations over the fiscal cliff continue with few outward signs of progress. Democrats and Republicans are pointing fingers and seem able to agree on just one thing: don't expect any deals before Christmas.
Spain has one of the strictest eviction laws in the world. Not only do people lose their homes, but they remain liable for the full value of the mortgage -- as do their descendants. But after at least three eviction-related suicides, much of the country has said enough is enough.
In Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, as in many places in Africa, hospital patients don't get to leave until they pay their bill. And every day they stay, the bill gets higher. They're prisoners of their medical debt.
South Koreans are spending money with reckless abandon, taking out loans and maxing out credit cards to pay their bills. They're doing it, usually, in hopes of improving their socioeconomic status, but economists say they may be banking on an unsteady foundation.
Spain's Catalonia region, in the northeast part of the country, wants its independence. It's been a goal of many for a while, but with Spain's economy continuing to languish, discord has broken out in visible ways, manifested Tuesday in a march that according to some drew as many as a million people.
Spain continues to struggle to rebuild its economy and those who are out of work are growing increasingly frustrated. In recent months, several workers marches have been held, and in some the generally peaceful protests have turned into mob actions, which include stealing from grocery stores and banks -- ostensibly for the poor.
Spain's coal miners fear that government budget cuts will eliminate the subsidies that have kept their mines open. They're taking to the streets and demanding the subsidies be restored.