Are you in a PIGS country?

Hello, Lucy from Europe Today here. We’re going to be looking at the European countries that have been worst hit by the economic crisis, the unflatteringly named PIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Germany, and Spain. Portugal votes on whether to accept the government’s proposed austerity measures. It’s the latest country expected to adopt spending cuts, tax hikes and wage freezes for civil servants.

Our presenter Jamie Coomarasamy will be testing the temperature in Lisbon and our business presenter Tim Jenkins will be in Barcelona – and we’ll find out what it means for people all over Europe who’ve seen their wages slashed. Just how do you pay the bills at the end of the month – if you’re out of a job? And how much is there a growing sense of anger that goverments are doing too little too late. Just some of the questions we’ll be posing. That’s on tomorrow’s Europe Today …..

Are you in a PIGS country? How are the austerity measures affecting you?
Or if you’re not in the PIGS countries, are you worried that your government might start making similar cuts?


7 Responses to “Are you in a PIGS country?”

  1. 1 T
    March 12, 2010 at 01:34

    I’m in the States and applying for a new job and health care. Fortunately I still have savings that I can use to cover my bills.

    But even with that, the frustration can really get to you. My mailperson has govt. health coverage (essentially universal care). And I’m not allowed to have it. The gap between the rich and the rest of us gets wider all the time. And I don’t see any big changes coming soon.

    Except the new job and getting health care from someplace. If I literally can’t get it anywhere, I may have to emigrate.

  2. 2 Michael Magak
    March 12, 2010 at 10:07

    I am definitely fascinated and intrigued by the debate on the world’s super-rich. Well, people work hard to make billions, but the society in which they operate support them in one way or the other. The best way to appreciate this is to give something back to the society to make a difference to the very vulnerable lot. Many factors often conspirted to marginalize billions around the world. This exposes so many to all sorts of risks like poverty, disease, pain, suffering and even death. Those who are lucky and have worked hard to make more than they will ever need in their lives need to give something to alleviate these sufferings. But at the same time we must accept that there is something wrong in the society that allow just afew to make billions while billions of people wallow in poverty. This must be corrected to create equal opportunities and access.

  3. 3 Peter Gizzi UK
    March 12, 2010 at 14:19

    Hi Lucy,
    I’m in The UK which is not supposedly in “the pigs” countries but we still have to support those who are with our enormous contributions to faceless unelected beaurocrats who squanders our money while we suffer.

  4. 4 Kenneth Ingle
    March 12, 2010 at 15:20

    Please be careful calling Germany a pig’s country. It could cause trouble with all the millions of Moslems living here, that might be taken as an insult. However your article does remind me of the saying, “It does not matter who you vote for, you will find the same pigs eating from the trough.”
    Germany does not really have a financial problem, it has bad political management. The leaders have not yet understood that friends cannot be bought. Were one only to otherwise use the monies wasted each year, supporting corrupt governments around the world, buying weapons not needed, or put into European funds, it could have the richest retired persons and the best health service in Europe.
    Perhaps the most selfish attitude however, to be found in the way politicians keep increasing their own income although the poorest in the country are being told – there is no money left to improve assistance for the old and ill.

  5. 5 Bill in New England
    March 12, 2010 at 16:03

    We’ve all been pigs–borrowing money to support lilfestyles beyond our means, borrowing money we knew we couldn’t pay back. In Europe, it was to support benefits promised by socialist governments. In the US, it was to provide houses to people who could not afford them.

    The really stupid part is that now that banks are refusing to loan to those who don’t qualify, the Obama administration is trying to pressure them into doing so.

    To quote a 1960’s song by Pete Seeger, a card-carrying communist American folk singer, “when will they ever learn?”

  6. 6 Dennis Junior
    March 12, 2010 at 19:20

    Are you in a PIGS country?

    No, but, I have to sincerely remarked that those people in the PIGS countries are going to experience some hard times ahead….

    (Dennis Junior)

  7. 7 JanB
    March 12, 2010 at 19:36

    Germany is not a PIGS country, the “G” stands for Greece.

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