mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Eurocrisis Claims a New Victim


Two high-profile Portugese ministers have resigned in protest of austerity measures enacted as part of 2011’s €78 billion bailout. Until recently, Portugal has managed to stay out of the headlines, meeting its creditors’ demands while navigating the kinds of public outcry over belt-tightening austerity measures that has thrown Greece, Italy, and Spain for a loop to one degree or another. As the WSJ reports, this may be changing.

The double-whammy of resignations by Portugal’s Foreign and Finance Ministers has thrown Portuguese bond markets into disarray, and there are serious questions about the political viability of the country’s austerity plan moving forward. Lisbon stuck to its plan much longer than its neighbors, but recent nationwide strikes from teachers, public transportation workers, and health care professionals are a clear sign that the population’s patience is spent. A skyrocketing unemployment rate, currently above 17 percent, and a shrinking economy aren’t helping matters.

The current government may be able to regroup relatively quickly, but it’s clear that holding northern and southern Europe together in a single currency is becoming an increasingly costly proposition.

[Disintegrating euro image courtesy of Shutterstock]

Features Icon
show comments
  • Jim__L

    I have to wonder, with the rise of the rest of the world and Europe’s abandonment of competitive ambition, is there any way they have the energy or drive to support anything like the welfare state they expect?

    Austerity may be both inevitable and permanent.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service