It all started when the subprime crisis exploded in US. Those packages had been sold to EU banks. And in some countries like in Spain they had an overdeveloped construction.
I suggest you checking my article FORECASTS FOR 2011 where you can see how US QE and the decrease of the US dollar makes a retrofeedback (negative, of course)in EU countries highly reliant on tourism that have been damaged for something that worsens their recession: a very high euro.
Al last remember we are in the same ship. If it sinks, we sink all together. So, if the world is bad, EU cannot export the same as before.