Timeline of a crisis: Europe’s economic strategy from 2008 to today

At the outset of the economic crisis in 2008, the EU mirrored the rescue packages seen in the US and elsewhere. In total, more than €1.6 trillion was used to save the banks and €200 billion to keep the European economies afloat.

But an excess of initial optimism, the collapse of the Greek economy and the risk of contagion across the eurozone soon provoked a U-turn, towards austerity. The German-led period culminated with the fiscal compact.

The mild, self-inflicted recession in 2012, and the sluggish recovery in the following years forced EU leaders to ease their fiscal stance. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker kicked off his tenure with an investment plan and a new interpretation of the fiscal rules.

But this was not enough, decision-makers and experts agreed. ECB President Mario Draghi, for many the hero who saved the euro in July 2012, is calling for more public investment and demand-oriented measures to relaunch the European economy.

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