TIMELINE-Euro zone struggles with debt

Sept 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Here is a timeline of events in the euro
zone’s struggle with debt:

2010:

Sept. 28 – Standard & Poor’s and Fitch warn Ireland’s rating
is at risk of further downgrades triggering a fresh leap in
borrowing costs and calls for the beleaguered government to
bring forward its budget from December.
Sept. 24 – Spain presents a tough 2011 budget, deepening an
austerity drive and taxing the rich more heavily.

Sept. 23 – Workers in France stage their second 24-hour
strike against unpopular pension reforms.
Sept. 10 – The International Monetary Fund says Greece is
ahead of schedule in economic reform and is disbursing an
additional 2.57 billion euros under a standby loan.

Aug. 24/25 – Standard & Poor’s cuts Ireland’s long-term
rating by one notch to ‘AA-‘, and assigns the country a negative
outlook. Moody’s cut its rating to Aa2 in July.

Aug. 13 – European economic growth accelerates sharply in Q2
as Germany’s best performance in 20 years more than makes up for
the struggles of Spain, Ireland and recession-ravaged Greece.
Aug. 5 – EU, IMF and ECB officials applaud Greek efforts to
exit its debt crisis, endorsing a fresh 9 billion euro payment
from the EU/IMF bailout scheme.

July 29 – Italy’s 25 billion euro ($32.5 billion) package of
austerity measures clears its final parliamentary hurdle.

— The European Commission’s economic sentiment index rises
to a 28-month high in July, buoyed by figures from Germany.

July 23 – European banks are given “stress tests” on their
ability to deal with a debt crisis. Of the 91 European banks
tested, seven fail and another 17 barely pass.
July 13 – Moody’s cuts Portugal’s debt rating by two notches
to A1, citing rising debt and weak growth prospects.

July 8 – Greece’s main private and public sector unions
strike for 24 hours against sweeping pension reform. Greek
lawmakers vote in favour of the pension reform.

July 7 – Germany agrees on a four-year, 80 billion euro
($100 billion) austerity plan, committing the country to cutting
its budget deficit.

June 29 – Greece says its debt reached 133 percent of GDP in
2010.

June 25 – The CGIL, Italy’s biggest union with 6 million
members, holds rallies in Rome, Milan and other cities to force
the government to redraft a 25 billion euro austerity package.

June 22 – Spain’s parliament ratifies labour reforms to
restore economic growth by easing the cost of hiring and firing.

June 16 – France announces a reform of its pension system
raising the retirement age gradually to 62 in 2018 from 60.

June 14 – Moody’s cuts Greece’s credit rating four notches
to Ba1 or junk status due to risks to bailout package.

June 9 – Liberals win most votes in Dutch election but
consensus on bringing public finances under control will be
hard. Deficit set to reach 6.6 percent of GDP in 2010.

— Portuguese parliament approves latest austerity package.

June 8 – Spanish workers stay at home in protest against
austerity plans.

May 28 – Fitch cuts Spain’s credit rating in response to
record household and corporate debt and mounting public debt.

May 27 – Spain’s government wins parliamentary approval for
its 15 billion euro austerity package by a single vote.

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

May 18 – Germany announces a unilateral ban on “naked” short
selling of shares in its top 10 financial institutions, euro
zone government bonds and related credit default swaps.

May 13 – Portugal’s prime minister and opposition leader
draw up steps to slash the deficit.

May 10 – Global policymakers install an emergency financial
safety net for the euro zone worth 750 billion euros to calm
financial markets and avert 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 is to contribute 250 billion euros.

May 2 – Prime Minister George Papandreou says Greece has
reached a deal with the EU and IMF opening the door to a bailout
in return for extra savings of 30 billion euros over three
years. Athens will get loans worth 110 billion euros in
instalments conditional on reforms over three years.

April 27 – Standard & Poor’s downgrades Greek government
debt to junk status. The next day it downgrades Spain’s debt
because of poor growth prospects.

— S&P cuts Portugal’s rating by two notches to A-minus.

April 22 – Eurostat says Greece’s 2009 budget deficit was
13.6 percent of GDP, not the 12.7 percent it had reported. The
next day Papandreou asks for activation of EU/IMF aid.

April 11 – Euro zone finance ministers approve a 30 billion
euro aid mechanism for Greece.

March 5 – A 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.

Jan. 29 – Spain announces a plan to save 50 billion euros,
including government spending cuts totalling 4 percent of GDP.

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

2009:

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

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

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

Dec 8 – Fitch Ratings cuts Greek debt to BBB+, the first
time in 10 years it has been rated below investment grade.

Nov. 5 – Papandreou’s new socialist government says Greece’s
2009 budget deficit will be 12.7 percent of GDP.

TIMELINE-Euro zone struggles with debt