How do the Europeans see the PIIGS countries

Markets. Originally a word that aroused positive feelings, for example in connection with "weekly" or "vegetable". Has lost some of its sympathy lately, especially when it is preceded by "Finanz". For many politicians, they are simply evil. "The markets" ensure that stocks fall into the abyss (-> bloodbath) and interest rates for bonds of indebted states rise extremely, whereupon these have to be saved by politics.

"The markets drive politics along" is a phrase that is often used in this context. Market believers counter that the real cause of the crisis is the high national debt, for which the politicians are probably responsible; "the markets" only held up the mirror. In addition, "the markets" are the entirety of all investors, including life insured and private investors. The basic problem is that the markets are occasionally dominated by aggressive speculators who have their own methods (-> short selling).

Central bank. In times of crisis, the central bank prints banknotes if necessary. In any case, she plays the fire department. First it erases it with conventional means, it lowers key interest rates in order to relieve banks, companies and the state. If that's not enough, it can flood the financial markets with as much money as the banks demand. The economy has to be fluid in order to function. The central bank can also remove bonds from the market to ensure stability.

While the Americans and British practice this hidden form of public finance on a large scale, the Europeans have a hard time doing it. German stability politicians are warning of massive monetization of national debt. Many experts fear that the flood of money will pave the way for inflation. Worse still, it is considered to be the trigger for future crises because the excess of capital always strives for investment - and thus makes wealth excessively expensive, which leads to "bubbles".

Public budgets. Help is not enough in a crisis. The debtor countries are not only allowed to accept money and guarantees. You have to save too. Obviously it's not that easy. In Greece there is an immediate threat of general strikes or at least large demonstrations in Athens when it comes to cuts in public budgets and thus in the provision of government employees. The public service is tightly organized, defensive and numerous.

Almost a quarter of the working Greek population is employed by the state, which is more than twice as high as in Germany. It is not only in Greece that state employees are involved in political parties. They do it in this country too: In the CDU, SPD and FDP, around 20 percent of the members are civil servants, with the Greens the proportion is even 37 percent. The people's representatives for the parliaments are recruited from party members. Saving money with the public servants is not that easy politically.

PIIGS. How torn Europe is by the euro crisis can be seen in the language: Since 2010, the crisis countries in the euro area have been referred to as PIIGS: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain. The five states can be found with their first letter in the abbreviation. PIIGS deliberately reminds us of the English term for "pig" - there is a devaluation involved. According to the motto: These are Europe's "pigs". To those who are not in control of their budgets. Their national debt is so high that bankruptcy threatens, which will damage all states in the monetary union.

In fact, the PIIGS countries are burdened with growing debts. Interest rates climbed to record highs in Portugal, Ireland and Greece, even after the EU and the IMF agreed to major rescue packages. The economist Hans-Werner Sinn is one of the sharpest critics, but avoids the word PIIGS and prefers to use GIPS, another acronym for the same thing.