ABSTRACT. The euro area debt crisis, which began in early 2010 in Greece, became existential since unemployment reached new highs and business and consumer confidences have worsened as recession fears looms. Whether the area and the common currency survive this crisis will be a matter of how the political class learns to cooperate among themselves, how society deals with economic measures, and if the markets stop being shortsighted and focus on the long-term. The purpose of this paper is to use a SWOT analysis to present how this crisis has affected the Eurozone by studying the weaknesses and threats that the project is facing, as well as which opportunities and strengths this crisis might bring if politicians, society, and markets work together to overcome the situation. This paper highlights that the main strength of the project rests on the attitude of society that is, up to this point, silently coping with a very difficult economic situation and tough restructuring measures that are negatively affecting their purchasing power and living standards. The paper also elaborates on how the role of the European Central Bank is the Eurozone’s main weakness. This crisis has shown that there are plenty of opportunities for the Eurozone to become the political and economic power that the founding fathers envisioned, if the fiscal pact is implemented and governments improve their finances. However, there are a number of threats, the most important being the high price of oil, which may hinder recovery. pp. 27–40
JEL Codes: E4; E5; E6; H6; H7

Keywords: economic crisis; Taylor Rule; quantitative easing; Fiscal Compact; stress test; living standards

How to cite: Lorca-Susino, Maria (2014), “The Eurozone and the Economic Crisis: An Innovative SWOT Analysis,” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets 9(2): 27–40.

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