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The European Debt Crisis

In: Business and Management

Submitted By scorpion1975
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The European Debt Crisis
In 2009, Greece came forward and announced that their financial management of their economy had gone awry. Greece's revealed their budget to be 12.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), in addition, its debt-to-GDP ratio at 120% was twice the limit allowed in the Maastricht treaty. This triggered what is now known as the European Debt Crisis, and led to similar announcements by Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain and most recently Cyprus. In the next pages we will attempt to explain the events leading up to the crisis and potential next steps for the European community.
On February 7th, 1992 the 13 member nations of the European Council came together to sign the Maastricht Treaty. The treaty was designed to create financial stability throughout the Euro Zone by laying out fundamental fiscal policies for each country to follow. The treaty primarily encompasses four points: 1. Inflation rates: No more than 1.5 percentage points higher than the average of the three best performing (lowest inflation) member states of the European Union (EU).
2. Government finance:
Annual government deficit:
The ratio of the annual government deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) must not exceed 3% at the end of the preceding fiscal year.
Government debt:
The ratio of gross government debt to GDP must not exceed 60% at the end of the preceding fiscal year.
3. Exchange rate: Applicant countries should have joined the exchange-rate mechanism (ERM II) under the European Monetary System (EMS) for two consecutive years and should not have devalued its currency during the period.
4. Long-term interest rates: The nominal long-term interest rate must not be more than 2 percentage points higher than in the three lowest inflation member states.
While all 13 members signed, at the end of 2010 only four countries were able to abide by the policy for...

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