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5 years later – the eurozone crisis

Economic Comment


Gradually the eurozone is overcoming the crisis. Time to look back and to take stock. What caused the crisis? How did the eurozone respond to the crisis? And how is the economic situation in the crisis countries right now? You can read it all in this online dossier. We look at the eurozone as a whole, but do also cover developments in individual countries. This online dossier will be updated frequently in the coming weeks.

1. Causes and crisis response - 18 December 2015
In this report, we outline how the eurozone crisis has evolved. We discuss how European Monetary Union (EMU) membership shaped both the economic crisis itself and the crisis response.

2. Where are we right now? - 18 December 2015
The peripheral countries are at very different stages of economic recovery and rebalancing. Growth has returned and private and public balances have improved. Unemployment and public debt levels remain high, whilst part of the rebalancing may just be cyclical.

3. Country Profile Cyprus - 18 December 2015
The severe economic problems Cyprus faced in 2012-2013 were to large extent a private sector debt (banking) problem. A central element of the crisis response in Cyprus was the concept of bail-in.

4. Country Profile Greece - 18 December 2015
Weak private and public finances prior to the crisis are to blame for the severity of the recession and the public debt crisis. Harsh measures triggered a process of sharp economic contraction. The outlook remains bleak and unemployment and debt sky-high.

5. Recent developments in Greece - 13 July 2015
In the past months, the tensions between Greece and its creditors have grown and so has the risk of a Greek exit from the eurozone. It is only recently that the Greek government seems willing to give in to the tough demands of Europe in return for financial support. Yet it is far from clear when the crisis will be defused and what exactly this will entail.

6. Country Profile Ireland - 18 December 2015
The build-up of large private sector imbalances related to a housing boom and the financial sector were the prime cause of the crisis. Ireland has successfully reformed its banking sector and economic performance is strong, but challenges remain.

7. Country Profile Italy - 18 December 2015
Public sector debt was already very high and economic growth very weak in the years prior to the crisis. Private sector debt was and still is relatively low. Despite recent structural reforms, the economic outlook remains rather weak and unemployment and public debt high.

8. Country Profile Portugal - 18 December 2015
Both high private and public sector debt prior to the crisis are to blame for the country’s deep recession and public debt crisis. It remains to be seen whether Portugal’s low growth problem has been addressed, with unemployment and indebtedness still very high.

9. Country Profile Spain - 18 December 2015
In Spain, the build-up of large private sector imbalances related to a housing boom was the prime cause of the crisis. Spain has rather successfully reformed its banks and economy, but the crisis leaves scars in the form of high unemployment and public debt.


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