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Monday, August 15, 2011

À la recherche du temps perdu

Tomorrow, another meeting between the leaders of Germany and France will take place in Paris.

For anyone who has lost track of all those EU summits designed to fix the eurozone, we've made an attempt here to compile a list. We start at the beginning of 2010, when the eurocrisis really emerged:

2010

February 11 – Informal European Council meeting. EU leaders reach deal to bail out Greece. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says "Euro area member states will take determined and co-ordinated action if needed to safeguard stability in the euro area as a whole. The Greek government has not requested any financial support."

March 25 – Eurozone leaders agree on EU-IMF safety net topping "20-22 billion euro" for Greece.

May 2EU and IMF decide on €110 billion bailout for Greece.

May 9 – EU and IMF decide on "nuclear" €750 billion bailout package (just after UK General Election and during local German elections). The UK, despite not having an elected government in place and not being a member of the eurozone, decides to take part in the €60bn EFSM bailout fund but not the larger €440bn EFSF.

June 17 ­– EU summit discusses European "economic governance".

October 18 – Merkel and Sarkozy, meeting in Deauville, France, agree on EU treaty change to handle future crises. Proposals for confiscating EU voting rights, preemptive and automatic sanctions for budget sinners.

October 28-29 – EU summit "sealed a solid pact to strengthen the euro", says European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. A permanent fund will be set up to bolster the euro in times of crisis, and the EU will have extra powers of scrutiny over national budgets.

November 28 - EU finance ministers give go-ahead to a €85bn bailout package for Ireland at emergency meeting in Brussels.

December 16-17 – EU summit decides on changes to the EU's governing treaty to set up a European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to replace the temporary bailout facilities post-2013.

2011


4 February 2011 - EU leaders fail to reach agreement on Franco-German “pact for competitiveness” that would see stronger coordination of six areas of fiscal and economic policies in the eurozone, in return for increasing the size and scope of the EU’s temporary bail-out fund.

March 11 – Summit of Eurozone leaders decide on "Pact for the Euro which establishes a stronger economic policy coordination for competitiveness and convergence", agree to boost lending capacity of the EFSF to €440bn and determine ESM will be €500 billion.

March 24-25 – EU summit endorses eurozone decisions on permanent eurozone bailout mechanism post-2013 and economic governance plan, but fails to decide on Portuguese bailout.

May 3 - Portugal announces that it has reached an agreement with the EU/IMF for a €78bn bailout.

May 6 – “Secret” meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg discusses private sector contribution to possible second Greek bailout. Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker says Eurozone economic policies should only be conducted in "dark secret rooms".

May 17 - EU finance ministers agree Portugal's €78bn bailout.

June 23-24 – EU leaders decide on Mario Draghi to become new ECB President, as Greece is forced to agree to more austerity cuts, after the EU/IMF/ECB had found a €5.5bn black hole in the existing austerity package.

July 21Eurozone leaders agree second bailout for Greece worth €109 billion and widen scope of EFSF so that it can issue “precautionary lines of credit” to possibly Italy and Spain, aid in the recapitalisation of struggling banks and purchase government bonds on the secondary market.

August 16 ­ – Merkel and Sarkozy meet in Paris. German government plays down expectations of investors. Both governments rule out Eurobonds, for now.

Keep your diaries clear because this list is likely to get considerably longer before we're through.

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