Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fear Spreads Among The P.I.G.S

Economists have warned that the crisis in Greece could spread to other European countries, and perhaps even cause another global meltdown. A series of violent demonstrations in Greece, brought on after the government cut benefits in the public sector sent markets reeling.

Now it would appear that the the civil unrest witnessed in Greece has indeed begun to spread to the other European nations with the worst economic standing. Known (somewhat ironically) as the "PIGS"; Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain are all considered to be in serious economic trouble. Anger at the Italian governments proposal to cut public sector benefits turned to protests outside Italy's parliament in Rome.

"Waving banners, blowing whistles and chanting "Shame!", hundreds of public service workers rallied outside Italy's parliament in Rome to protest against the austerity package announced by the centre-Right government of Silvio Berlusconi...Its combined national debt is among the largest in Europe, on a par with Greece, standing at 118 per cent of GDP - in other words, Italy owes more than its entire economy produces in a year..." (Read the rest here)

One has to wonder how long it will be before the throngs of angry old ladies begins to turn into mobs of black hooded anarchists. And how much longer before Spain, with its 20% (!) unemployment starts to see angry crowds in its own streets?

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