Sarkozy is biggest victim of Europe’s debt crisis

Sarkozy is biggest victim of Europe’s debt crisis

Nicolas Sarkozy is the latest national leader toppled by Europe’s debt crisis after the fall of governments in Ireland, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy, Greece, Spain and the Netherlands.

By (AFP)

Published: Mon 7 May 2012, 4:24 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:25 PM


Prime Minister Brian Cowen was the first victim of the debt crisis when his Fianna Fail party, which dominated political life for 80 years, lost a general election in February 2011.

Cowen was replaced by Enda Kenny, of the conservative Fine Gael, who runs a coalition government that some months later was offered better repayment terms on a 2010 rescue package that many Irish took as a blow to national pride.


Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned in March 2011 after parliament rejected a fourth austerity package in less than a year.

After conservatives won June elections, new Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho urged the country for “much courage” to face up to more belt-tightening.


The centre-right government headed by Iveta Radicova lost an October 2011 confidence vote she called to secure the country’s backing to beef up the eurozone rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

Slovakia, whose approval was needed to strengthen the 17-nation bailout facility, finally approved it in a second vote won with the support of the opposition. On March 15, 2012, leftwing leader Robert Fico won the election.


Silvio Berlusconi resigned on November 12, 2011 after losing his parliamentary majority.

The 75-year-old media mogul, long a fixture of Italian politics, handed over to ex-European commissioner Mario Monti who set up a government of technocrats named to implement a tough anti-crisis austerity plan backed by the country’s main parties.


Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou stepped down on November 11, 2011 and was replaced by Lucas Papademos, a former deputy governor of the European Central Bank and ex-governor of the Greek central bank.

Papandreou faced fierce resistance to austerity measures demanded in return for fresh international loans to save Greece from bankruptcy.

But Greek voters angry over austerity dealt a major blow to mainstream parties in weekend elections, making it unclear how a new government will be formed.


Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, facing a groundswell of discontent over successive austerity packages, decided to bring forward by four months to November 20 a vote initially scheduled for March 2012.

The election was won by conservative Mariano Rajoy who is implementing tough austerity measures to ward off market pressure despite fierce opposition protests.


Prime Minister Mark Rutte handed in his minority government’s resignation on April 23, 2012 after failing to win support from the far-right to adopt a bid to reduce the country’s public deficit to 3.0 percent as agreed under eurozone rules.

An election has been scheduled for September 12.

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