Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A new acronym in economics and geopolitics: PIIGS for Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain

The PIIGS nations are Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. These five European countries—all in the Mediterranean region, except Ireland— are lately often found to be grouped together due to credibility and debt concerns.

I am wondering about the order in which they are listed and acronymized. Shouldn't Greece come first regarding the current situation of difficult bailout talks, strikes and riots? Maybe someone was looking for an acronym that looks and sounds similar to the plural form of the English word pig?

Some people see Great Britain in a financial crisis and are turning PIIGS into PIIGGS. But if Great Britain is in a crisis, isn't the United Kingdom as well and shouldn't we talk about PIIGUKS?

As the crisis is going to quell and more nations are stumbling we may get a very long acronym. In the United States, the crisis, mismanagement, debt, and budget cuts touches (hits) the many states differently. But they haven't been grouped by acronyms yet.

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