Soros: Seven point plan to save the eurozone
No democratically elected government will ever be able nor willing to tackle the massive debt problem for obvious reasons.
That leaves us with only two solutions either now or in the future:
2. Print money
A default by one or more large nations can and will eventually lead to chaos as already witnessed in Greece right now. Banks, insurance companies and pension funds will collapse as well as many companies who will not have further access to credit. Others will loose their savings, government structures will crumble and joblessness will soar.
Printing money will have long term consequences too, resulting in high over even hyperinflation if not accompanied by strict austerity measures going forward. In the short term however, it will calm markets and give everyone room to find the best possible solution for the future. If the ECB were to guarantee all currently issued national debt indefinitely -as is already the case in the US and Japan by their respective central banks- and would issue Euro Bonds in the future, there would be a huge advantage over other (national) governments. The ECB could demand austerity or at least attach strings in exchange for fresh debt.
Of course, we should not expect to solve this problem in the next 5-10 years, but we would have a fair chance for the future if we chose a strict but not overly restrictive path. Let's not forget, that 40-50 Years of fiscal imprudence cannot be corrected overnight, so we should give it time and accept some inflation as well as decreasing wealth and lower growth rates along the way.
Unfortunately Europe and the rest of the world is heading in the wrong direction as they either choose option 1. with all the anticipated consequences or option 2. without seeing the need for austerity.