Portugal Should Not Be the EU’s Biggest Concern

I was about half way done with a post on Greece before I realized Christian had also posted on the same country. So I decided to shift my focus to another EU nation that has been struggling economically as of late, Portugal. Much like other countries around the world and in the European Union, Portugal was hit hard by the global recession. 2008 marked the first year in which the country’s GDP contracted since World War II. After seeing negative GDP growth in 2009 as well, European countries began to question Portugal’s economic strength and wondered whether the country would begin to jeopardize the EU like Greece and Spain have done in the last few years. Continue reading

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Can We Learn Anything From Greece?

Greece is running out of money. Their bond holders are getting anxious. The EU is upset because the Euro is losing value as investors move into other currencies. Is this all a surprise? In short, no. The writing has been on the wall since before Greece’s inclusion into the EU. The questions are, what impact are the actions Greece is being forced to take going to have on their fragile economy and what can the US take away as a lesson from this situation?

Currently it is estimated that deficit spending in Greece  reached 12.7% of GDP in fiscal year 2009 (The US was about 10%). This is problematic for several reasons, first, it severely violates the 3% maximum EU restriction on Continue reading

The Guidebook to Ancient Mediterranean Cultures

The book I chose was Sites of Antiquity: From Ancient Egypt to the Fall of Rome by Charles Freeman.  Being a Classics minor and huge history buff this book caught my eye.  The book is a collection of 50 historical sites from ancient the ancient times of Egypt, Greece, Rome and early Christendom.  A short list of a few more well known sites is the Pyramids of Giza, the Valley of the Kings, Olympia, Delphi, Pompeii, Rome, Colosseum, Pantheon, Hadrian’s Wall, and Constantinople.  The book is an organized collection of short essays of the 50 sites where the author “puts these sites into a consistent historical pattern, and then leads the reader through the sites as an informed tour guide using excellent photos, drawings and maps” (Robert C. Ross, 2009). Continue reading