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1855 days ago,
Friday June 24 2011 7:38 pm
From late 2009, fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed concerning some European states, with the situation becoming particularly tense in the spring of 2010. This included Euro area members Greece, Ireland and Portugal and also some EU countries outside of the area, including Hungary and Romania. Iceland, the country which experienced the largest crisis in 2008 when its entire international banking system collapsed has emerged less affected by the sovereign debt crisis as the government was unable to bail the banks out. In the EU, especially in countries where sovereign debts have increased sharply due to bank bailouts, a crisis of confidence has emerged with the widening of bond yield spreads and risk insurance on credit default swaps between these countries and other EU members, most importantly Germany. While the sovereign debt increases have been most pronounced in only a few Euro area countries they have become a problem for the area as a whole. In May 2011, the crisis resurfaced, concerning mostly the refinancing of Greek public debts. The problems have been compounded by political instability in Greece. In late June 2011, the crisis situation was again brought under control with the Greek government managing to pass a package of new austerity measures and EU leaders pledging funds to support the country. Concern about rising government deficits and debt levels across the globe together with a wave of downgrading of European government debt created alarm in financial markets. On 9 May 2010, Europe's Finance Ministers approved a comprehensive rescue package worth almost a trillion dollars aimed at ensuring financial stability across Europe by creating the European Financial Stability Facility.