In France it was 2006. In Ireland and Spain it was 2003. In Greece it was 2001. In Portugal and Cyprus 2000, in Italy 1997. That’s how far back you have to go to find a year when living standards peaked for these countries. Note that the worst performance has not been in a country bailed out since the eurozone debt crisis, but in Italy, now in the final stages of not one but two lost decades.
Little wonder, then, that the Italian in charge of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, called for more growth-friendly policies in his speech at the Jackson Hole symposium last Friday. Draghi drew an unfavourable contrast between the eurozone and the US. In both, unemployment rose by five percentage points due to the “great recession” of 2008-09; in the US, subsequently, it has fallen by four percentage points but in the eurozone it is still more than four points higher.
via The Guardian