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Policy Contribution

Tales from a crisis: diverging narratives of the euro area

Who gets the blame for the crisis? How did narratives of the crisis develop since 2007? The authors of this paper tried to identify the key crisis-related topics in articles from four opinion-forming newspapers in the largest euro-area countries.

By: , and Date: February 15, 2018 Topic: Macroeconomic policy

Economic analyses largely ignore Europe’s fragmented public sphere, a feature that distinguishes the euro area from other major currency areas.

This Policy Contribution identifies how narratives of the crisis developed since 2007, by identifying the key crisis-related topics in articles from four opinion-forming newspapers in the largest euro-area countries (Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, France’s Le Monde, Italy’s La Stampa and Spain’s El País). In particular, the analysis considers where blame for the crisis has been laid with the aim of informing the current debate on euro-area governance reform. Such an exercise can help to understand the difficulties euro-area policymakers face when it comes to formulating solutions that are both appropriate and commonly acceptable.

The analysis showed that Süddeutsche Zeitung blames everyone but Germany, the chief suspects being Greece and the European Central Bank; the paper stresses the need to return to a perceived status quo of stability and fairness. Le Monde blames everyone including the French political class, but largely refrains from criticism of European institutions such as the European Commission and the European Central Bank. La Stampa sees Italy as the victim of unfortunate circumstances, including the European Union austerity measures promoted by Germany, and Italy’s own politicians. El País primarily blames Spain for misconduct during the boom years preceding the crisis.

This picture of differing narratives shows that each euro-area country faces different pressures from its respective public when discussing how to press ahead with effective euro-area governance reform. The global financial crisis and the subsequent recession had quite different effects in different euro-area countries. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the narratives differ in the four papers. National problems and solutions took centre stage in national discourses leaving systemic euro-area issues largely unmentioned.

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Blog Post

A new European tool to deal with unjustified rising spreads

The European Central Bank needs a new tool to prevent the current rise in spreads, triggered by monetary policy tightening, from escalating into a new euro-area crisis.

By: Grégory Claeys and Maria Demertzis Topic: Banking and capital markets Date: June 20, 2022
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External Publication

European governanceEuropean Parliament

Fragmentation risk in the euro area: no easy way out for the European Central Bank

The ECB should design a specific tool that will accompany interest rate hikes to neutralise the risk of fragmentation directly for countries facing it, staying within the bounds of the EU treaties and ensuring political legitimacy. We also advocate structural changes to the ECB’s collateral framework to avoid unnecessary uncertainty surrounding the safe asset status of European sovereign bonds.

By: Maria Demertzis, Grégory Claeys and Lionel Guetta-Jeanrenaud Topic: European governance, European Parliament, Testimonies Date: June 8, 2022
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Opinion

European governance

Three headaches for the European Central Bank

Even though inflation in the euro area is lower than in the US, three issues make it a lot more difficult for the ECB to control inflation and preserve financial stability. Once again, the limits of EMU architecture are visible and will require a rethink.

By: Maria Demertzis Topic: European governance, Macroeconomic policy Date: May 31, 2022
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Podcast

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Taming inflation?

What are the implications of prolonged inflation?

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: May 25, 2022
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Past Event

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What is in store for Euro area economies?

ECB Executive Board Member Philip Lane discusses the outlook for Euro area economies.

Speakers: Maria Demertzis and Philip Lane Topic: European governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: May 5, 2022
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Past Event

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Tackling future risks to banks

How to address vulnerabilities in banks in the coming years?

Speakers: Maria Demertzis and Elizabeth McCaul Topic: Banking and capital markets Date: March 29, 2022
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Opinion

The week inflation became entrenched

The events that have unfolded since 24 February have solved one dispute: inflation is no longer temporary.

By: Maria Demertzis Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: March 8, 2022
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External Publication

Book notes: Monetary policy in times of crisis

Review of 'Monetary policy in times of crisis: a tale of two decades of the European Central Bank' published in the Central Banking.

By: Francesco Papadia Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: February 17, 2022
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Past Event

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A debate on fiscal rules and the new monetary strategy

Presentation of the Yearbook of the Euro 2022.

Speakers: Maria Demertzis, Fernando Fernández, Gonzalo García Andrés, José Carlos García de Quevedo, Pablo Hernández de Cos and Jorge Yzaguirre Topic: European governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: February 17, 2022
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What can we learn from the experiences of Asia and Europe with regard to NPLs during the financial crisis to help us weather the current and future ones?

Speakers: Rebecca Christie, Luis de Guindos, Alexander Lehmann, Cyn-Young Park, John Fell and Santiago Fernández de Lis Topic: Banking and capital markets, Global economy and trade Date: January 20, 2022
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Opinion

European governance

The euro comes of age

A well-functioning euro reflects a degree of unity that allows the EU to credibly claim a position at the global table and therefore help shape the policies that will deal with global problems. That is a decisive success.

By: Maria Demertzis Topic: European governance, Macroeconomic policy Date: January 13, 2022
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Past Event

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Inside the European crises: a conversation with Marco Buti

At this event Marco Buti talks to Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram Wolff about his new book, in which he gives an insiders look at European policy making.

Speakers: Marco Buti, Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: December 3, 2021
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