In another sign of major discord in the EU, demonstrators in Greece clashed with riot police during a protest against a visit by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel in Athens, October 9, 2012. The EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this morning, but some don't see why.
Credit: Milos Bicanski

Although Europe is America’s largest trading partner, it was mentioned only in connection to other issues in the debate. Mitt Romney said Obama's economic policies would take Americans “down a path toward Greece.” He's previously accused Obama of leading the United States toward fiscal ruin by advocating raising taxes and lavishing spending on healthcare and other benefits would raise unemployment, stifle wage growth and run up debts. 

Obama has called for federal spending on stimulus measures such as road construction and other public works, followed by budget cuts to reduce the deficit after the economy recovers.

Romney has warned Obama wants to bring about “European-style socialism,” saying “Europe doesn’t work in Europe.”

He is calling for growing the economy by cutting government spending in most spheres except the military and cutting taxes for all Americans.

In fact, Romney's cuts to government spending would resemble austerity measures undertaken by stricken euro zone countries such as Greece and Spain, which have stifled economic growth and fuelled skyrocketing unemployment. 

Obama has been at pains to respond to the euro crisis, which is slowing the US economic recovery. He has called on Europe to shift focus from austerity to growth, but has succeeded mainly in showing US influence on the issue to be minimal.

Related Stories