The European debt crisis has posed a challenge for many people to understand, both non-Europeans and Europeans alike. Even economists, finance specialists and market commentators are often uncertain of its causes or in the interpretation of events ongoing, or of past events that have taken place that then shaped the current situation. Typically this lack of understanding results from a lack of understanding of how European institutions work, the structure of European politics and the Eurozone, the economics of the financial system, or the relationship of debt markets to current government policies in the EU. The purpose of this book is to describe the causes and outcomes of the European debt crisis (to the date of publication) within the context of three questions most often asked about the debt crisis: (i) what happened? (ii) why did it happen? and (iii) why has the crisis been so difficult for policy-makers to address? The book attempts to answer these questions in a straightforward, scholarly and thoughtful fashion, thereby developing a wider understanding of the crisis in its entirety for the reader. The book is by no means meant to be an exhaustive treatment on any of the issues it discusses. But the approach taken should be useful for those people who wish to better understand the events of the European financial crisis over the past three years but who do not need to acquire an exhaustive background in European institutions, debt markets, history and economic policy-making. For that reason the proposed book would have appeal to undergraduate students in business, economics, politics or interdisciplinary studies looking for an approachable yet detailed overview of the crisis, for graduate classes seeking similar goals and lay-people or professionals interested generally in the topic and/or with a need to acquire a basic understanding of the topic. Further, the book could serve as an introduction in courses or settings that lead to deeper discussion of the economic, political, and financial issues it presents.