Feature

Portugal: Lessons from one who has been there

“Not only will this bailout, when it is inevitably forced on you, not get you out of your current troubles, it will actually prolong your troubles for generations to come,” said an editorial in the Sunday Independent.

EditorialSunday Independent (Ireland)

“Dear Portugal, This is Ireland here.” I’ve heard your economy has been suffering a bit, said Ireland’s Sunday Independent. As one who’s been there, I thought I could offer you some guidance on what lies ahead.

Now the grand international finance pooh-bahs are pressuring you to take a bailout, and your politicians claim “to be determined not to take one.” I believe the phrase was “over their dead bodies.” In my experience, that means you’ll be getting one within the next few days. Now, I know English isn’t your first language, so you probably don’t understand that “bailout” does not mean “help” or “assistance.” To get an idea of what you’re in for, I “suggest you get your English-Portuguese dictionary and look up words like: money-lending, usury, subprime mortgage, rip-off.”

I got my first, $90 billion bailout last fall (a week after my leaders ruled it out). Now I need another, and my taxpayers face a bill of nearly $100 billion. Yet even those who still have decent jobs can’t get mortgages or car loans. Both business and consumer spending have utterly collapsed. “Not only will this bailout, when it is inevitably forced on you, not get you out of your current troubles, it will actually prolong your troubles for generations to come.”

Have a lovely day! Cheers, Ireland.

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