Inside Europe: Ten Years of Turmoil

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Going for Broke

Series 1 - Episode 2 Going for Broke

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Review

Who knew that international financial crises could be so thrillin – though only, of course, when reviewed and pored over years later. Thus this account of the 2009 and beyond Greek economic collapse that came within a whisker of causing a terminal meltdown of the Eurozone is a white-knuckle ride.

All the major players are here, more or less, including European Council President Donald Tusk, a man very fond of (literally) locking major political figures in rooms until they come to an agreement. The sorry tale of years of Greek austerity and bailout requests from a frosty EU is spelled out by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, former French President François Hollande and, of course, Tusk.

He doesn’t mince his words as he recalls the advice he gave to Tsipras, who planned to hold a referendum on new austerity measures demanded by the EU: “You will find yourself with your referendum in deep s***.”

Summary

Europe's leaders and their advisers reveal how the near bankruptcy of Greece threatened the euro itself, and how they battled against the clock to save the single currency. The story begins when the Greek prime minister George Papandreou, takes office and discovers the disastrous state of his country's finances, and while French president Nicolas Sarkozy is quick to grasp the danger that Greece poses to the stability of the EU currency, the German chancellor Angela Merkel is slow to move.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Lucy Hetherington
Series Director Tania Rakhmanova
Series Director Tim Stirzaker
Series Producer Norma Percy
Documentary Current Affairs