We develop a two-country model with an explicitly microfounded interbank market and sovereign default risk. Both features interact and give rise to a debt-banks-credit loop by which sovereign default risk can have large contractionary effects on the economy. Calibrated to the Euro Area, the model performs well in matching key business cycle facts on real, financial and fiscal time series. We then use the model to assess the effects of the Great Recession and quantify the potential effects of alternative unconventional policies on the dynamics of European economies. All the policies considered can bring sizable reductions in the welfare losses from the Great Recession, but policies targeted at sovereign bonds and interbank loans are more efficient than standard credit interventions.