Summary of Tales from a Crisis

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Reporting from respected European newspapers on the 2008 financial crisis offers rich and varied perspectives on the reasons for and responses to the economic turmoil in the euro zone. Researchers Henrik Müller, Giuseppe Porcaro and Gerret Von Nordheim studied these media accounts to gauge how diverse national viewpoints affect the European Union’s capacity to devise solutions palatable to the entire area. The results of their examination are both insightful and disturbing. getAbstract recommends this innovative and engaging analysis to regulators and policy experts.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How euro-area public opinion splintered in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis,
  • How media reports from four major euro-zone countries treated the reasons for and responses to the crisis, and
  • Why conflicts in euro-zone prevailing sentiment make a unified policy response difficult to achieve. 

About the Authors

Henrik Müller is a professor at Dortmund University, where Gerret von Nordheim is a researcher. Giuseppe Porcaro is the head of communications at Bruegel.



The Great Recession affected the euro zone’s members in dramatically different ways. Spain’s economy suffered the collapse of its housing bubble. Labor markets’ structural fault lines came to the fore in France and Italy, while Germany’s dependence on exports brought about a sharp contraction. Yet economic analyses directed at fortifying European Union institutions typically pay scant attention to the diverse public opinion that arises from the countries’ dissimilar experiences. Nation-centric bias characterizes mass-media commentaries, so public debate about reforms takes place on a country level. Europe lacks regional public forums, making it more difficult for EU policy makers to articulate and gain consensus for institutional reforms on an area-wide basis.

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