Following is a timeline of changes in European governments from the election of Greece’s Pasok Party in October 2009 to votes in France, Germany, Greece and Italy yesterday and key dates for bailouts.
2009 Oct. 4: George Papandreou leads Socialist Pasok Party to landslide victory in Greek elections, beating New Democracy by the widest victory margin since 1981 on pledges to boost spending and wages. 2010 April 12: Euro-area finance ministers agree to provide as much as 30 billion euros ($39 billion) of loans to Greece over the next year with the International Monetary Fund agreeing to put up another 15 billion euros. April 23: Papandreou asks EU for a 45 billion-euro bailout from the European Union and the IMF. May 2: Euro region agrees on a 110 billion-euro rescue package for Greece. Greece agrees to 30 billion euros in austerity measures over the next three years in exchange for the aid. May 9-10: EU finance chiefs agree to set up a 750 billion-euro rescue mechanism for countries facing financial distress and the European Central Bank said it will buy government and private debt in the biggest attempt yet to end the sovereign-debt crisis. May 9: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union suffers its worst result since World War II in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, a result that cost her control of the upper house, where the where the states are represented. May 18: Greece receives its first bailout loan for 14.5 billion euros, one day before 8.5 billion euros in bonds come due. June 13: Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s government fails to win a second term after voters, frustrated with corruption and rising debt, gave a majority to opposition parties. Nov. 28: Ireland gets 85 billion-euro bailout. European leaders scale back proposals to inflict losses on bondholders. 2011 Feb. 20: Merkel’s CDU loses control of Hamburg, Germany’s richest state, in the first of seven state elections in 2011. Feb. 25: Ireland holds general election, with the ruling Fianna Fail swept from power in the worst result in its history. March 23: Portugal’s Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigns after opposition rejects austerity package. March 27: Merkel’s coalition is defeated in Baden-Wuerttemberg, which her CDU had controlled since 1952, as support for the Greens surged to a record. April 6: Socrates, in charge of a caretaker government, requests an EU bailout for Portugal. April 17: True Finns, who oppose euro bailouts, win 19 percent of the vote in Finnish elections. May 16: Finance ministers approve Portugal’s 78 billion-euro bailout. May 22: Spain’s ruling Socialists suffer worst local election defeat in 30 years. June 5: Social Democratic and People’s Party win majority in Portuguese election, routing Socrates’s Socialists. July 21: EU summit passes second bailout package for Greece. Sept. 20: The government of Slovenia’s Prime Minister Borut Pahor loses a confidence vote. Nov. 6: Papandreou agrees to step aside to make way for a government of national unity. Nov. 11: Lucas Papademos, a former ECB vice president is sworn in as prime minister of a Greek unity government. Nov. 12: Silvio Berlusconi resigns after Italian lawmakers pass debt-reduction measures. Former European Commissioner Mario Monti prepares to lead a technical government charged with implementing the austerity measures. Nov. 20: People’s Party leader Mariano Rajoy wins the biggest parliamentary majority in a Spanish election in more than a quarter-century. Dec. 4: Zoran Jankovic, the mayor of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, wins an upset electoral victory and will form a new government. 2012 Jan. 11: Slovenian lawmakers reject Jankovic as premier. Jan. 28: Slovenia’s parliament nominates Janez Jansa as the next prime minister. Feb. 10: Slovenian lawmakers approve Jansa’s new government. Feb. 21: Euro-area finance ministers reach agreement on a second bailout package for Greece. March 10: Slovakia’s Smer party, led by former Premier Robert Fico, wins a parliamentary election. April 4: Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic appoints a new government led by Fico’s “pro-European” administration. April 23: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte submits his resignation after failing to win parliamentary support for additional budget cuts needed to steer the Netherlands clear of the debt crisis. May 6: Francois Hollande defeats French President Nicolas Sarkozy, becoming the first Socialist in 17 years to control Europe’s second-biggest economy. May 6: Greece’s Socialist Pasok and New Democracy parties, which partnered in securing a second rescue package, came in two seats short of the 151 seats needed to win a majority. Voters turned to anti-bailout parties, calling into question the country’s ability to impose the measures needed to guarantee its future in the euro. Syriza, a coalition of leftist parties that has vowed to scrap the bailout terms, got 17 percent and has 52 seats as the second-biggest party, boosting its showing from the 2009 election nearly four-fold. May 6: Merkel’s CDU wins 30.9 of the vote in the Northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, its worst election result since 1950, setting the tone for a bigger contest on May 13 in North Rhine-Westphalia. The main opposition Social Democratic Party has retained power or entered coalition governments in every state it’s contested since Merkel’s second term began in September 2009.
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