"Amid the chaos of two Greek elections that nearly led to “Grexit” and new fears about Spain’s banks, panic returned to bond markets in May. Bankia – created by merging Spanish savings banks brought low by the bursting of the housing bubble – went bust itself, requiring partial nationalisation. Concern spread to the health of all European banks.
Mr Draghi knew the ECB had to do more. By early June, he began discussing with a small circle of confidants, including Mr Asmussen and Mr Cœuré, the need for a new crisis-fighting programme, officials say.
….Two years on, it is clear the frantic, improvised actions of the final year of the crisis saved the euro. Yet the eurozone is far from full health. Debt levels in Europe’s south are extreme. Unemployment remains near historic highs, a side effect of the bitter medicine imposed by the crisis-fighters. Anti-EU parties may be the beneficiary of the fallout in next week’s European elections. But the 15-year-old currency union passed its most important test: in its darkest hour, its leaders did whatever it took to hold it together. And no one mattered more than Angela Merkel, raised in east Germany, chancellor of a united Germany and, thanks in part to the crisis, Europe’s most powerful leader.
“I have chosen for Europe and the euro, and thus for Greece,” Ms Merkel said near the end of the crisis. “If the euro falls, then Europe falls.”