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The financial and economic crisis - a chronological overview - March 2010

The economic crisis has prompted intense and sustained action by the EU's national governments, the European Central Bank and the Commission. All have been working closely together to support growth and employment, ensure financial stability, and put in place a better governance system for the future.

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25 - 26 March 2010
Spring European Council

The Council fully supported the efforts of the Greek government and welcomed the additional measures announced on 3 March as sufficient to safeguard the 2010 budgetary targets. They recognized that the Greek authorities had taken ambitious and decisive action which should allow Greece to regain the full confidence of the markets.

As the Greek government had not requested any financial support, no decision was taken to activate the mechanism they agreed to. Euro area member states reaffirmed their willingness to take determined and coordinated action, if needed, to safeguard financial stability in the euro area as a whole, as decided on 11 February.

As part of a mechanism package involving substantial International Monetary Fund financing and a majority of European financing, euro area member states are ready to contribute to coordinated bilateral loans.

Commission President Barroso stressed that the agreed mechanism offered a solid safety net for Greece and provides stability for the euro area.
>> "We have solved this in the European family"
>> European Council. Statement by the Heads of State and Government ot the euro areapdf
>> The European Council

24 March 2010
Commission assessment of 10 stability and convergence programmes
 

The assessed countries were Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovenia.

For most of these countries this year will mark a fiscal consolidation process consistent with the recommendation set out in the Excessive deficit procedures (EDPs) and, in the case of Latvia, Hungary and Romania, with the conditions set out in the international financial assistance programmes.

As to the budgetary targets set out in the programmes, the growth assumptions underlying these projections are in several cases optimistic especially in outer years, while the budgetary consolidation strategy is often not sufficiently backed up by concrete measures from 2011 onwards.
>> Economy and Finance (ECFIN). Commission assessment of 10 stability and convergence programmes  

17 March 2010
Commission assessment of 14 stability and convergence programmes

The assessed countries were Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom.

For 2009, only three of these countries, Bulgaria, Estonia, Sweden and Finland, have kept their general government deficits below the 3% of GDP set in the Stability and Growth Pact.
For 2010, the programmes of Sweden and Finland foresee a temporary break of this 3% reference value.

The Commission finds that for the majority of the 14 programmes the growth assumptions underlying the budgetary projections are assessed as rather optimistic. This implies that budgetary outcomes might be worse than targeted. Furthermore, in several cases, the budgetary consolidation strategy is not sufficiently backed up by concrete measures from 2011 onwards.
>> Economy and Finance (ECFIN). Commission assesses stability and convergence programmes of fourteen EU Member States

15 -16 March 2010
Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings

>> Council conclusions

11 March 2010
Balance of payments (BoP) assistance for Latvia


The EU disbursed € 0.5 billion as the third instalment of a € 3.1 billion Community loan to Latvia. The loan had been agreed in January 2009 as part of a multilateral financial assistance package and follows a positive Commission assessment of the Latvian implementation of the economic conditions attached to this disbursement.
>> Economy and Finance (ECFIN). EU disbursed third instalment of € 0.5 billion Community financial assistance to Latvia

Balance of payments (BoP) assistance for Romania

The EU disbursed €1 billion as the second instalment of a €5 billion loan as part of a multilateral financial assistance package agreed in May 2009. It follows a positive assessment by the Commission of the implementation by the Romanian authorities of the conditions attached to the Memorandum of Understandind (MoU).
>> Economy and Finance (ECFIN). EU disbursed second instalment of € 1 billion Community financial assistance to Romania

8 March 2010
European Microfinance Facility

EU Employment and Social Affairs Ministers agreed on this new facility to provide loans to people who have lost their jobs and want to start or further develop their own small business. The European Microfinance Facility will have a starting budget of €100 million which could leverage more than €500 million in cooperation with international financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group.

>> Press relase IP/10/244 EU to provide 45,000 micro-loans to unemployed and small entrepreneurs Choose translations of the previous link 
>> Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. EMF - European Microfinance Facility

 



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