Backgrounder: Major events in eurozone debt crisis

14:46, October 28, 2010      

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European Union (EU) leaders are expected to endorse a plan in Brussels on Thursday to strengthen budgetary discipline and improve economic governance in the eurozone.

If the plan is passed, it would be the biggest reform of the European economic and monetary union since the euro entered the financial market in 1999.

The following are the major events related to the ongoing debt crisis in the eurozone:

Oct. 20, 2009: The Greek government conceded that the country's deficit continued to surge, exceeding 12 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009, well beyond the EU deficit ceiling of 3 percent of GDP.

The Greek debt crisis then unfolded after the subsequent downgrading of Greece's sovereign credit rating by the world's three major rating agencies.

In the first two months of 2010, the Greek government unveiled a series of austerity measures aimed at cutting the country's soaring public debt, which, however, produced little effect.

Feb. 11, 2010: Eurozone leaders agreed at an informal summit to take coordinated action to ensure financial stability in the single currency club, but produced no bailout plan for Greece.

March 25, 2010: EU leaders agreed on a eurozone and International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout plan for debt-ridden Greece, but detailed arrangements remained under discussion.

They also asked European Council President Herman Van Rompuy to lead a task force and present concrete proposals to improve economic governance in the EU and avoid recurrence of the debt crisis.

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