Anatomy of a bailout


The cases so far

February 11th, 2010

EU leaders pledge to support Greece, thereby effectively abandoning the euro zone’s “no bailout” rule.


On April 23rd, 2010, the Greek government requests an initial loan of €45 billion from the EU and the International Monetary Fund to cover its financial needs for the remainder of that year. On May 1st, the government announced a series of austerity measures to secure a three-year, €110 billion loan.

In February 2012 a second bailout package worth €130 billion is agreed, conditional on the implementation of another austerity package of €3.3 billion in 2012 and another €10 billion in 2013 and 2014.

Greeks go to the polls on Sunday week after an election in May failed to produce a government. Opinion polls suggest a similar result may emerge.


On November 29th, 2010, Ireland became the second euro zone country to seek an EU-IMF bailout. In a complex arrangement, a €67.5 billion bailout was agreed, involving those institutions (the IMF’s Ajai Chopra, left, played a key part in the talks) and bilateral deals with three other, non-euro zone EU member states, the UK, Denmark and Sweden. Together with an additional €17.5 billion coming from Ireland’s reserves and pensions, the government received €85 billion, of which €34 billion was used to support the country’s ailing financial sector.


On May 16th, 2011, euro zone leaders officially approved a €78 billion package for Portugal, the third euro zone country to be bailed out.


Euro zone leaders will discuss Spain’s crisis today. A bailout is expected.