Thursday, 25 March 2010
PIGS in trouble...
The Western media are calling them PIGS and they are in trouble. PIGS stands for Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. These are the first countries to be in trouble with their economies. Greece is the first to be pushing the bucket with 12% of its GDP being in the negative, interesting the British equivalent is 8% so no huge difference in real terms. The other countries, Spain and Portugal plus Ireland are just about to follow the Greek example. The Greek TUC called two general strikes protesting against the austerity measures imposed by the new Labour type of Socialist PASOK the strike was very popular and it meant I had trouble with my flight back (couldn't they have waited a day or two.. bloody unions!)
The interesting thing to me is that the 3 of the 4 countries in trouble Spain, Greece and Portugal, had very similar historical developments with military dictatorship periods coinciding. Greece got rid of the junta in 1974, Portugal in 1975 and Spain 1976 with the death of Franco. They were then pushed to join the EEC with Greece becoming the 10th member as early as 1982 Spain and Portugal followed after a few years. Then we had the introduction of the Euro and now its all going wrong. But many would say that the reality is not that things are going wrong its just that the system isn't right, that is the Greek theory anyway. I am hoping that the Germans and the French who have expressed their support will do more to rescue the situation. More should also be done to introduce the PAYE system in Greece which is currently not there!