TIMELINE-Euro zone debt crisis

June 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Here is a timeline of key events in the
euro zone debt crisis since last November, when a new Greek
government shocked markets by doubling estimates for the
country’s 2009 budget deficit.

June 2 – Portugal’s parliament approves general guidelines
of the country’s austerity package announced on May 13. A
detailed vote is scheduled for June 9.

June 1 – Greek private sector unions and employers’
associations agree to hold more talks on a new collective labour
agreement, seen as crucial to ensuring pay restraint.

May 29 – Thousands march in Lisbon against the government’s
austerity measures.

May 28 – Fitch cuts Spain’s credit rating by one notch to
AA+ from AAA after record levels of household and corporate debt
in Spain, as well as mounting public debt.

May 27 – Spain wins parliamentary approval for its 15
billion euro ($18.4 billion) austerity package by just one vote.

May 25 – Italy’s cabinet approves a 24 billion euro
austerity package the aim of cutting the deficit to 2.7 percent
of GDP in 2012 from 5.3 percent in 2009.

May 19 – Chancellor Merkel urges the EU to speed up
supervision of the financial sector and introduce a new tax on
it.

May 18 – Germany, in an attack on the financial speculation
it blames for the debt crisis, announces a unilateral ban on
naked short selling of shares in the country’s top 10 financial
institutions, on euro government bonds and on related
transactions in credit default swaps (CDS).

May 13 – Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and
opposition leader Pedro Passos Coelho draw up steps to slash the
country’s deficit, including public sector pay cuts. The
deficit, which hit 9.4 percent of GDP in 2009, is targeted to
fall to 7.3 percent in 2010 and 4.6 percent in 2011.

May 11 – Germany’s cabinet approves the biggest national
contribution — 123 billion euros in loan guarantees — to the
safety net.

May 10 – Global policymakers install an emergency financial
safety net worth 750 billion euros to bolster financial markets
and shore up the euro against contagion from the Greek crisis.

— The package consists of 440 billion euros in guarantees
from euro zone states, plus 60 billion euros in a European debt
instrument. The IMF will contribute 250 billion euros, taking
the total to 750 billion euros, or around $1 trillion.

May 9 – The IMF unanimously approves its part of the rescue
loans, and provides 5.5 billion euros immediately.

— German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition
loses state election in North-Rhine Westphalia, and its majority
in the Bundesrat upper house, after agreeing to help Greece.

May 6 – Greek parliament approves latest austerity bill.

May 4/5 – Public workers in Greece stage a 48-hour strike.
Up to 50,000 protest in Athens. Three people are killed when a
bank is set on fire.

May 2 – Papandreou says Greece has done deal with EU and IMF
opening door to bailout in exchange for extra budget cuts of 30
billion euros over three years, on top of measures already set.

— The package amounts to 110 billion euros over three years
and is the first rescue of a member of the 16-nation euro zone.

— Germany approves a 22.4 billion euro ($30 billion) share.

April 27 – Standard & Poor’s downgrades Greece’s credit
rating to junk status. The next day it downgrades Spain’s rating
because of poor growth prospects.

April 23 – Papandreou asks for activation of EU/IMF aid.

April 22 – Eurostat says Greece’s 2009 budget deficit was
13.6 percent of GDP, not the 12.7 percent it had reported.

April 11 – Euro zone finance ministers approve a 30 billion
euro aid mechanism for Greece, which Athens declines to
activate.

March 25 – Euro zone leaders and the IMF agree to create
joint financial safety net to help Greece, which is being
crippled by debt servicing costs that nervous markets have
driven sky-high.

March 5 – A new package of public sector pay cuts and tax
increases is passed in Greece to save an extra 4.8 billion
euros. State-funded pensions are frozen in 2010.

Feb. 5 – Spain attempts to raise retirement age to 67 from
65, which prompts a mass union demonstration against the
government.

Jan. 29 – Spain announces plan to save 50 billion euros ($70
billion) including government spending cuts totalling 4 percent
of GDP. The plan includes 4 percent cuts in public sector pay.

Jan. 14, 2010 – Greece unveils a stability programme, saying
it will aim to cut its deficit to 2.8 percent of GDP by 2012.

Greece readies to refinance 54 billion euros ($66.6 billion)
in debt in 2010, including 20 billion euros in the second
quarter.

Dec. 22, 2009 – Moody’s cuts Greek debt to A2 from A1 over
soaring deficits, the third rating agency to downgrade Greece.

Dec. 9 – In Ireland, a budget delivers savings of over 4
billion euros. Public service pension age rises to 66 from 65.

Dec. 16 – Standard & Poor’s cuts Greece’s rating by one
notch, to BBB-plus from A-minus, saying austerity programme is
unlikely to produce a sustainable reduction in public debt.

Dec 8 – Fitch Ratings, which had cut Greece to A- when the
higher deficit was revealed, cuts Greek debt to BBB+, the first
time in 10 years it has been rated below investment grade.

Nov. 20 – A final budget draft shows Greece aims to cut the
deficit to 8.7 percent of GDP in 2010 to show EU partners and
markets it is serious about restoring fiscal health.

Nov. 5 – George Papandreou’s new socialist government says
the 2009 budget deficit will be 12.7 percent of GDP — more than
double the previously published figure — and pledges to save
Greece from bankruptcy.

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TIMELINE-Euro zone debt crisis