Bernanke worries Europe's woes will spill into U.S.

@CNNMoney December 14, 2011: 4:50 PM ET

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke told Republican senators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday that he's concerned about European sovereign debt problems spilling over to the U.S. economy, according to senators.

The Senate Republican caucus invited the Fed chief to brief them on problems in Europe. Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Mike Johanns of Nebraska both said that Bernanke warned that the economic unraveling of Europe would have a negative impact on the U.S. economy.

"He's very concerned," Hatch told CNN. "He did say that if they can't get their things in order, it could affect us. A collapse over there would be detrimental to us."

The European sovereign debt crisis has been raging on for more than 18 months.

Last Friday, European leaders hashed out a 'fiscal plan' aimed at resolving the crisis. All 17 eurozone members signed on, with the bulk of the remaining European Union members indicating they were interested as well.

But various parliaments still need to give their approval, and cracks in the plan have started to emerge.

A key part of Friday's deal calls for eurozone members to contribute €200 billion more to the International Monetary Fund. But some government leaders have voiced their reluctance to sign on.

Furthermore, the overall plan would require a number of treaty changes and, once again, some countries are balking. According to news reports, opposition leaders in Ireland are calling on Prime Minister Enda Kenny to hold a public referendum on the deal. To top of page

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