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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Debt crisis rattles eurozone political landscape

By Wang Cong (Xinhua)

13:45, November 21, 2011

BRUSSELS, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Since it first came out to light two years ago, the eurozone sovereign debt crisis has not only sent shockwaves across Europe's financial sector and threatened to sink the EU's most prized project - the euro - but also triggered a monstrous tsunami in the region's political landscape.

In the latest episode of the euro drama, Spain's ruling party PSOE saw their popularity sank to punishing lows in the general elections held on Sunday, garnering only 28.6 percent of the votes after nearly 98 percent of the votes were counted. The winning Popular Party polled 44.5 percent of the votes.

Within less than two years, Europe saw the a string of its governments fell like bowling pins - and all but the five so-called "PIIGS" countries, which were considered weaker economically following the financial crisis, were on the victims' list.

Ireland's Brian Cowen was the first to fall prey to the crisis, after he failed to negotiate a better repayment terms on an international rescue package for Dublin.

Then came Portugal's Socrates, who resigned in March over Parliament's rejection of his fourth austerity package within a year, followed by Spain's Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero who called in July early general elections four months ahead of schedule, after he was blamed for not reacting fast enough when the crisis hit.

But the high drama came only in the past few weeks, as Greek former Prime Minister George Papandreou first announced then ditched a plan for a referendum on a eurozone bailout package. The development eventually forced him to resign ten days later to pave way for a unity government, followed by the resignation of his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi within 48 hours.

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