For those that do not know what PIIGS stands for; it is the acronym for Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain whose economies are on fire and linked to each other.  The contagion is spreading and we must start thinking about who we are as Americans, how we are going to react, and what we are going to do when it all hits the fan.  That trillion dollars in bad assets that the banks have not put on their balance sheets is hanging over our heads like a very sharp sword.

Everyone (by now) knows about the protests in Greece, but a protest turned violent in Ireland on Tuesday, and another protest is scheduled for Saturday.  Protests are happening in cities all over Romania due to the austerity measures being put in place by their president.


Protest at Leinster House, 11th May 2010 – Next Protest Anglo Irish HQ – 2pm, Sat May 15th, 2010:

Banks protesters storm Irish parliament

Protesters stormed Ireland’s parliament last night during a march against government plans to inject billions of euros into the country’s banks.

Dozens of people broke away from the march and ran at the gates of the parliament’s main building, Leinster House.

They wrestled with police, who tried to force them back and secure the gate.

At least one man suffered a head injury during the scuffles with organisers appealing for calm.

Officers stopped the protesters from breaching the gate.

Gardai said no arrests were made and the scuffle was brought under control within minutes.

One man was seen walking away with blood dripping from the back of his head.


The announcement of new measures in economy by President of Romania Mr. Traian Basescu shocked Romanian people. First massive protest against Government was by people in pension who face a 15% cut.
Protests against President in front of the Cotroceni Palace, the Presidential House of Romania, took place on May 12th, 2010.

Romania: Protests Continue Against Spending Cuts
Bucharest | 13 May 2010 | Marian Chiriac

Thousands of trade unionists and retirees continued to protest on Thursday in various cities across Romania against proposed austerity measures, while the government says that cuts are necessary to close Romania €™s fiscal deficit.

In central Bucharest, about 200 unionists called on the president and government to resign, while railway workers announced they will block trains for an unspecified period if their wages are cut.

Earlier this month, the Romanian government announced that it is to cut wages and pensions in the public sector later this year to achieve its 2010 deficit target and comply with an IMF-led rescue deal.

Starting from June 1, state sector wages will be cut by 25 per cent and all salaries, including the minimum wage, will be affected. Jobless benefits and pensions will be cut by 15 per cent.

The government on Thursday said it will save around ‚¬1.3bn in the second half of 2010, or 1.06 per cent of the country €™s GDP, due to the spending cuts.

Recession-hit Romania, which is relying on a ‚¬20 billion IMF-led loan, has pledged drastic public spending cuts to rein in its deficit, this year at 6.8 per cent, and restart its economy, which continued to contract in the first

The IMF recently cut its forecast for economic growth in Romania to 0.8 per cent for this year, as the emerging economy still reels from a painful 7.1 per cent contraction in 2009.

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