Sarkozy - another scalp for the debt crisis

2012-05-07 13:00

Brussels - 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.


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 15 March 2012, leftwing leader Robert Fico won the election.


Silvio Berlusconi resigned on 12 November 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 11 November 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 23 April 2012 after failing to win support from the far-right to adopt a bid to reduce the country's public deficit to 3% as agreed under eurozone rules.

An election has been scheduled for 12 September.

  • Johan - 2012-05-07 13:10

    Watch this space: Cameron (UK) and Merkel (Germany)wil also go and with a little bit of luck ZoemZoem

      Pyrokinetix - 2012-05-07 13:34

      MErkel and Cameron, maybe, but how you think Zuma will be affected by this is beyond me.

      Preshen - 2012-05-07 14:21

      If the played soccer in the Euro 2012 they will be called the : “Group of Debt “

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-05-07 14:41

      They should learn from Zuma

  • Omo - 2012-05-07 13:38

    This either marks the fall of Europe or the beginning of a new redined era.Time will tell.

  • Alistair - 2012-05-07 13:41

    Good luck to Hollande but his policies are likley to widen the casm of economic misery even further. Sarkozy tried to stand up to the trade unions, ala Thatcher, his austerity measures were little in comparison to what is seen in Spain and Greece, and very necessary. For me,there are troubled days ahead for europe if this is the political direction countries are taking...

      veldt66 - 2012-05-07 13:52

      If you lived in Europe, u will understand the reasons for these voting patterns, the standard of living has fallen very badly over the past 4years to an extent that we ar scrapping to make it. People will rather vote for anybody promising CHANGE!!!!

      Alistair - 2012-05-07 13:58

      I did live in Europe for two years (UK), prior to the 2008 meltdown, what I experienced was a country living on credit, and a rampant form of socialism which many were exploiting. Government was spending far beyond its capability, and turned a blind eye to the city. Spending more won’t help the situation; it was the reason why Europe is in this mess in the first place. I understand Hollande is a case of "the other guy", but just have a look at what the markets are doing and you understand the uncertainty many around the world are feeling.

  • veldt66 - 2012-05-07 13:44

    Ireland is my Home, the country was the first to be savaged by Recession, We lived beyond our means for a longtime. Cameron (UK) will certainly lose the next election, Merkel i doubt because Germany is doing well, she might lose because the Gremans might be angry at their money being used in bailing- out debt ridden Eurozone countries Like Ireland, Greece, Portugal & the next to follow Spain!!!

  • Keith - 2012-05-07 13:59

    Congrats Hollande.

  • Keith - 2012-05-07 14:00

    Cameroon should be arrested as well for mass murders in lybia

      Louwhan - 2012-05-07 14:12

      Agreed, together with Sarkosi and Hitlery.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-05-07 14:10

    Why is there a debt crisis when loans are INVENTED ON MONEY THAT IS PRINTED BY PRIVATE PEOPLE??? HOW DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE? Scrap the Federal Reserves and the interest GOES AWAY.

      Louwhan - 2012-05-07 14:39

      It seems that you are better informed than the majority. I hope N24 prints my pro Ron Paul article.

      Louwhan - 2012-05-07 14:41

      Interest rates should not go away. Fixing intererst rates should. It´s like price fixing which goes against the whole nature of capitalism. The market must determine interest rates. The FED has had a massive role in almost all the booms and busts the past 99 years.

  • Louwhan - 2012-05-07 14:11

    I have been living in EU for 17 years now, 13 in Spain. I travel a lot in the EU. I would like to see an end to the EU. Free trade yes, political integration, no. 80% of the laws of sovereign countries are made in Brussels by non elected technocrats together with the EU central bank. I have seen how the average Spanish family has lost most of their wealth and standard of living for what? A few roads and bridges built, most of the money went to corrupt politicians. More or less the same story all around the Med. To hell with the EU!!!

  • Diana - 2012-05-07 16:48

    Who else is dying to join the Titanic crew?

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