Via the TUC Blog, this chart from the IMF is worth studying. It shows the sources of public debt in Europe since 2007 for Germany, Italy, France, and the UK.
You will notice that: yes, Virginia, the Germans bailed out the banks. Also, the Germans carried out the biggest discretionary fiscal stimulus in Europe at 5% of GDP. In all, German public debt increased as a percentage of GDP by more than Italy or France’s and second only to the UK’s. Also, Italy’s problems are entirely to do with growth or else with interest rates. And it looks like the political ability to pull in taxes is pretty important (something Daniel Davies pointed out not so long ago).