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A Comprehensive Approach to the Euro-Area Debt Crisis

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The euro area’s sovereign debt crisis continues though significant steps have been taken to resolve it.

European Union and euro-area crisis mechanisms have been set up, and financial assistance has been provided to Greece and Ireland. Governments have implemented severe austerity measures and started to put in place structural reform programmes. And the European Central Bank has embarked on a (controversial) peripheral sovereign debt purchase programme, while continuing to provide liquidity to euro-area banks. But these measures have not restored calm to markets. In early February 2011, spreads on 10-year government bonds issued by Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain were all higher than they were in April 2010, before rescue measures started to be implemented.