Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 19 March 2011 (Eurozone Crisis): In 2008 a major financial crisis (2008-2012 global financial crisis) had broken out in the US and rapidly spread to Europe. Its impact (Eurozone crisis) was greatest on Greece, Ireland and Portugal, small countries who had joined the single currency eurozone (Eurozone) in the previous decade and were now heavily in debt in a currency (Euro) over which they had no control.