More Than Two Years of Crisis in The Eurozone


December: The three main credit ratings agencies, Fitch, Standard & Poor's and Moody's, downgrade Greece's debt. Prime Minister George Papandreou outlines massive public spending cuts.

-- 2010 --

- January: Spain announces a three-year austerity plan in a bid to cut its public debt.

- May: Greece becomes the first Eurozone country to receive a bailout as the EU and IMF announce a 110-billion-euro (145-billion-dollar) package in exchange for further harsh austerity measures.

Creation of a 440-billion-euro rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), to help indebted nations.

- July: Italy in its turn announces an unpopular austerity package.

- November: The EU and IMF grant Ireland an 85-billion-euro bailout in exchange for slashing public sector pay and pensions.

-- 2011 --

- May: Portugal agrees with the EU and IMF a 78-billion-euro bailout in exchange for an austerity program.

- June: Further austerity and privatization measures in Greece.

- July: Eurozone finance ministers agree to beef up their rescue fund.

- August: Italy and Spain come under pressure from speculators. The French government announces an austerity program.

- October: European leaders agree on a new 130-billion-euro bailout for Greece, with private investors agreeing to write off 100 billion euros of debt.

- November: During a political crisis, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou first announces a referendum on the support program, then resigns. He is replaced by Lucas Papademos, a former European Central Bank executive.

- The crisis also costs the job of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Italy. He is replaced by Mario Monti, a former European commissioner.

- December 9: EU governments, all except Britain, band together to back tighter budget policing after a heated summit.

- December 21: The European Central Bank makes a record volume of cheap loans available to eurozone banks.

- December 30: Spain's new right-leaning government unveils spending cuts and tax increases to claw back 15.1 billion euros in 2012.


- January 13: Big banks in Greece say they have failed to reach an agreement to slash the country's debt burden.

- Standard & Poor's decides to downgrade nine Eurozone countries, with France and Austria losing their top-notch triple-A credit rating.

- January 24: The Eurozone piles pressure on Greece, conditioning new loans on an economic overhaul and demanding banks accept far lower interest rates on replacement bonds under a debt write-down. It sets a deadline of February 13 for a deal.

- January 27: Fitch Ratings downgrades five Eurozone states, including Italy and Spain.

Germany raises the prospect of a push for Greece to surrender temporary budgetary sovereignty.

- January 30: EU leaders hold their first summit of 2012 to finalize a pact tightening budget discipline and focus on ways to spur growth amid fears of a new recession.