The Euro-area crisis is a current topic that has grasped the attention of the world and has exposed deficiencies that plague the way in which the European Monetary Union (EMU) works. A deeper analysis of each country will reveal the specific characteristics that endangered each country’s economic sustainability; this will help us understand why these countries experienced a harder hit from the recession as compared to other EU nations. This book will also challenge the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and how it fails to recognize an economy heading for trouble. Finally, an overview of the Euro-Plus pact and its role in restoring economic stability. The first part of this book will look at each peripheral country: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain (PIIGS) and the conditions of their economies before the crisis.