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SIMILARITIES AND CONTRASTS 5
The economy of Europe comprises more than 731 million people in 48 different states. It is the largest economy in the world. Like other continents, the wealth of Europe's states varies, although the poorest are well above the poorest states of other continents. The European Union has the world’s wealthiest economy and is the first trade power in the world. Its official currency is the euro which is used in 17 member states known as the Euro zone, an economic and monetary union of member states that have adopted the euro currency as their sole legal tender. It currently consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. As a result of the Global Financial Crisis that began in 2007, the Euro zone entered its first official recession at the end of 2008. In early 2010, fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed concerning Euro zone countries such as Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Italy.
In this paper we will take a deeper look at two countries that have been, and continue to be, severely affected by the financial crisis – Ireland and Greece. We will first discuss their respective financial problems and reasons that triggered the deterioration of the situations in these countries.
Then we will compare the two crises and determine any similarities and contrasts. At last we will see how both countries have been dealing with their financial problems and how the populations are reacting to these actions.
For more than a decade, Ireland witnessed an unprecedented economic boom. This lasted for twelve long years, from 1995 until the early 2008. Once known as the “Celtic Tiger” for its sustained record of double-digit economic growth, the Irish economy expanded rapidly due to a...