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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

How are you dealing with austerity measures?

June 4th, 2010
01:31 PM ET

In a bid to clamp down on public spending, governments around the world are imposing a number of austerity measures to fight off the global recession.

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caption="How are you dealing with austerity measures?"]

Many countries, particularly in Europe, have already enacted a number of measures to try to reduce public deficits - some of which are currently in the double digits.

The measures are likely to have a direct impact on everyday families and the way they spend their money.

Greece, which is currently attempting to struggle out of one of the worst economic downturns in the world, has a public deficit which stands at more than 13 percent of GDP.

In just under four years, the country hopes to bring its deficit down more than 10 percent.

In order to accomplish the task, Greece's government has frozen pay for public sector workers, linked the retirement age to life expectancy, increased taxes and has initiated plans to privatize a number of industries.

The moves were met by days of public rioting throughout the country, which rattled stock markets around the world.

Spain is another country battling a high public deficit. On May 27 the government passed a series of emergency measures in an attempt to restore confidence in the country's economy and in the Eurozone.

The Spanish government plans to wipe out more than $18 billion dollars from its budget by cutting civil service pay by five percent, freezing pensions and reducing public spending.

Even the United Kingdom has plans of abolishing the default retirement age of 65 to allow people the option of working longer.

As other countries around the world struggle to bounce back from the recession, we want to know what you think about austerity measures that may be introduced where you are.

Are you worried that you might be subject to austerity measures in your country? Has your country escaped the austerity measures? Is the government part of the problem or the solution? 

Let us know your thoughts below and please tell us where you're writing from so we can include it in the show.

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Filed under:  General
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello CNN friends,

    I am NOT worried that I might be subjected to austerity measures in my country, because my country is a member of the United Nations. The United Nations World Bank provides leveraged loans to countries to REDUCE POVERTY!

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Paramaribo, Suriname

    June 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  2. Ezekiel

    Strict and strategic managenent of resources can reduce if not take care completely of austere time. Austerities to economies are a result of reckless application and misuse of tax payers money. Every economic unit has managers and advisers. Their failure is a crime against humanity.

    June 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  3. Dan Wicklow, Ireland

    My country is being hit hard with Austerity measures at the moment and with no end in sight. Ireland somehow managed to squander it's resources during the boom in the late 90's – early 2,000's. Now it is the working class who are paying for this reckless behavior. Increased age until retirement, pay freezes and pay cuts, increased taxes have all been enacted for the past two years in a row. I am essentially earning 15% less than I was three years ago due to these austerity measures.

    June 7, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  4. Mark

    Folks, this is NOT rocket science. When the life expectancy rises, so to must the retirement age - DUH!!! . When health-care costs increase due to ever increasing technological advances that keep your sorry ass alive for for a few more months but costs millions, so to must Medicare Premiums increase. When a new road or bridge is built, you MUST factor in costs to maintain it. If you think that we can have an endless growth of immigrants to fill the void then you must realize that like a sponge it can only support so much before it cannot take anymore and overflow...... Governments are too blame yes, but if a politician tells the truth (s)he is crucified..... Bottom Line is this.... In a few short years, a few Countries will declare bankruptcy (likely Greece, Spain, Portugal, or Hungary) this will create a domino effect and the world leaders will convene and all the countries will have a massive 'world financial reorganization' at which time things will remain virtually the way they are now ( as people love stability and leaders love power). There will be several months of panic and strife.... but except for a few changes life will return to normal in a few short years.

    June 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  5. karuna

    I agree that Medicare is one of the main problems. I have many friends on Medicare and they seem to have UNLIMITED services (within their providers) with very little co-pay. Therefore, it does not seem to make any difference to them. How about considering that they pay a percentage of costs instead of just a fixed sum of $10-$15 for treatments that costs thousands. We have a private insurance that has a 20% co-pay, and we ensure that our costs are kept down in every case because it affects us directly. It does not have many restrictions, except what hits our pockets, and therefore, we ensure that we keep costs down. But Medicare seems to allow for any and all treatments, with many participants not worrying because their share is so low. This could be worked on a sliding scale to ensure fairness to those at the lower end of income. Sometimes, one has to take unfavorable and unpopular stand to help the situation. Many retirees have income that's much higher than others and they will help bleed dry Medicare even before those in the middle ages qualify for this service.

    June 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  6. Lewis, New Zealand

    Fortunately where I'm from we don't have the same problems, luckily for us the people in charge have a conscience and next to nothing is lost through corruption. Whether they have mismanaged the money in their control is a matter of opinion and perspective.

    What i don't understand is what the riots are about in Greece. Is about the fact that the officials there have taken the money in the past for their own pocket and as a result the country has to cut debt through austerity measures hence people have to now make sacrifices or is it simply the fact alone that people now have to make sacrifices?

    If the riots are because of corruption then I can understand, but If it's simply because they are unwilling to take less pay then it's a pretty short term view and doesn't address the root cause of the issue.

    Just like a person living beyond their means will end up bankrupt so will a country.

    As hard as it is to swallow, people might just have to accept the measures unless they are willing to change the reason it occurred in the first place.

    June 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  7. Trevor

    The US could save plenty of money if we would stop wasting it on the military. People here are paranoid enough to believe we need a military this large, the truth of the matter is we do it to keep the military contractors happy. Plain and simple. Cut those people out and we would have plenty of money.

    June 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  8. malakai

    Speaking of 'not rocket science'... The monetary system is at its essence a pyramid scheme. It is mathematically IMPOSSIBLE to repay a loan of even $1 if you're always required to borrow more money to cover the cost of the interest. The only answer is to produce more workers. Eventually, this human farming project will create a herd that is too large to sustain itself on the available (and ever-dwindling) resources, then it will be time to thin the herd. Nobody like to talk about it, but when 20% of the world's population is producing 80% of it's goods and services that are required to keep society functioning, and the remaining 80% of the population only contribute 20%, what would be the reason to keep allowing that 80% to continue consuming and being a drain on our already precarious resources? None.

    Do some political science study people.
    Then learn why it is important to trim hedges to keep them healthy. Apply that principle to human society, and brace yourself for a wake-up call....

    Humans are being voluntarily farmed to serve the wealthy, and as long as we continue being distracted by professional sports, television, and the innumerable other sundries that comprise our consumer culture it will continue until it is the death of us.

    TURN OFF THE TV! READ! THINK!

    We are livestock and we're all being lead to slaughter...

    June 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Reply

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