This link describes on the one hand the failed policies of the European political elite regarding the economic crisis and on the other hand is a short review of Mark Blythe’s book Austerity: the history of a dangerous idea. I haven’t yet read the book although it is on my e-reader. It seems a very thorough book.
The broader point, of course, is that politics in Europe has to change course fast and get rid of the Fiscal Compact and Stability and Growth pact. As Richard Koo has suggested (see my book list), there are two phases of the economy, and fiscal austerity/retrenchment only has a place in the growth phase. So please, can we get rid of the rigid rules already? Germany in any case broke them first, when it got in a slump itself.