Euro Zone Crisis

The euro zone crisis was triggered in 2009 when Greece's debts, left by its previous government, reached a record 300 billion euros, leaving the southern European economy with debt levels more than four times higher as a proportion of gross domestic product than the official euro zone cap of 60 per cent of GDP. Since the original problems were uncovered, Greece has been bailed out twice, and lenders have also had to rescue Ireland and Portugal. In the latter half of 2012. Cyprus also required a bailout.

Why G20 and EU lose mettle on global recovery

Greece has a reasonable case for ditching debt deflation in favour of a more sustainable path of growth-linked debt restructuring. Photo: EPA

Long gone are the days when global financial markets used to quiver at the prospect of a major policy initiative by the Group of Seven.

Monday, 16 February, 2015, 9:03am

Creditor-nations must give Greece some breathing room

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says that Greece does not want an extension of its bailout but a "bridge program", which would buy the country time to negotiate a new deal. Photo: AFP

We need more money and soon, says Greece. We have no more to give, counters Germany.

9 Feb 2015 - 1:36pm 2 comments

Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras unlikely to persuade European leaders to waive bailout deals

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will head to his first European summit on Thursday. Photo: Xinhua

In Paris and Rome, it was sugar coated; in Berlin and Frankfurt unequivocal. But the message from European capitals to Greece's new leaders was the same at every stop on last week's tour - stick to your commitments.

9 Feb 2015 - 7:15am 1 comment

Drinking the Kool-Aid of stimulus poison

The European Central Bank has decided to do a US Fed by adopting a big money-printing programme. Photo: AFP

Quantitative easing is the last chance for euro-zone policymakers to defeat deflation and put the economy back on the road to recovery.Macroscope, David BrownBusiness, January 26

28 Jan 2015 - 11:39pm 2 comments

ECB has one last chance to save euro with bond purchases

If the going gets really tough, the euro may retest the historic low of 82.4 US cents. Photo: Reuters

After dragging its feet for the past five years, the European Central Bank has finally placed its ultimate policy bet with a government bond-buying programme designed to pump €1 trillion (HK$8.7 trillion) of new money into the deflated euro-zone economy.

Quantitative easing has finally arrived in euro land.

26 Jan 2015 - 8:52am

Euro-zone political divisions undermine ECB policy plans

German stocks have risen 2 per cent over the past three months on hopes that sovereign quantitative easing will weaken the euro further. Photo: Reuters

Ever since the euro-zone crisis escalated dramatically in the autumn of 2011, financial markets have been clamouring for a programme of large-scale government bond purchases by the European Central Bank aimed at restoring confidence in Europe's ailing economy.

22 Jan 2015 - 10:31pm

EU easing under ‘Draghinomics’ a pipedream

Mario Draghi surprised markets again last week by announcing a further cut in the ECB’s deposit rate and pledging to buy asset-backed securities and covered bonds. Photo: Reuters

Investors continue to underestimate the determination of Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), to help shore up the euro zone's depressed economy.

12 Sep 2014 - 3:39am

Europe’s rapidly unravelling economic reform agenda

France’s economy, which accounts for more than a fifth of euro-zone output, registered no growth in the second quarter. Photo: Bloomberg

There are many casualties of the four-year-old crisis in the euro zone.

29 Aug 2014 - 1:10am

Europe’s populist backlash

In France, Marine Le Pen's National Front trounced the ruling Socialists. Photo: AP

The strong showing of populist and anti-establishment parties in last weekend's European Parliament elections had been on the cards for some time.

30 May 2014 - 12:59am 3 comments

Euro zone 'coming out of crisis' amid accelerating growth, Eurogroup chief says

Prospects in Europe are very good for investors, Jeroen  Dijsselbloem says. Photo: AP

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the euro zone is “coming out of crisis” and the member countries are expected to grow an average 1 per cent this year and 1.7 per cent next year.

The Eurogroup, the main forum for the management of the single-currency area, is an informal body that brings together the finance ministers of countries whose currency is the euro.

13 Jan 2014 - 12:38pm

Europe's jittery markets find their feet while the economy stumbles along

EU interest rates remain at record low. Photo: EPA

As 2013 draws to a close, it appears that the worst of the crisis in Europe's ailing single currency area has passed. For the past year or so, the bond markets of the periphery of the euro zone, which in 2011 and the first half of last year were a byword for panic and surging yields, have proved extremely resilient.

6 Dec 2013 - 2:12am

Spain slips out of recession as exports drive recovery

Strengthening exports drove Spains recovery. Photo: Reuters

Spain escaped from a two-year recession in the third quarter of this year with growth of 0.1 per cent, though unemployment remained extremely high, official data showed on Wednesday.

Strengthening exports drove the recovery in the euro zone’s fourth-biggest economy despite weak internal demand, the National Statistics Institute said in a statement.

30 Oct 2013 - 6:24pm

Violent clashes as Greeks protest against far-right Golden Dawn

A protester wearing a gas mask hurls a petrol bomb at police during a protest against the far-right Golden Dawn party in Athens.Photo: AP

Police clashed with protesters in Athens at the end of a huge march sparked by the murder of an anti-fascist musician allegedly at the hands of a self-confessed neo-Nazi.

26 Sep 2013 - 9:16pm

Austerity will put 25m Europeans into poverty, says Oxfam

A volunteer loads a van with donations of food at the Food Bank Against Hunger centre in Lisbon. Photo: AFP

Europe faces a "lost decade", with the number of people trapped in poverty across the continent set to rise by up to 25 million by 2025 unless austerity policies are reversed, according to a damning new report from aid agency Oxfam.

13 Sep 2013 - 3:58am

Financial crisis drives up Greek suicide rate

Homeless men sleep in the entrance of a metro station in central Athens. Photo: Reuters

Suicides increased by 45 per cent during the first four years of Greece's financial crisis, a mental health aid group said. It warned there are indications of a further "very large rise" over the past two years.

12 Sep 2013 - 2:42am