Portugal's Tragic Cost Of "Remarkable" Troika Compliance
It was all ponies and unicorns as the EU-ECB-IMF 'Troika' mission found 'no sign of reform fatigue' in their report today, noting the 'remarkable' nature of the fiscal adjustment. Perhaps they should have asked someone outside of the halls of government as this tragic story from The Guardian notes the Portuguese death rate rising as health and welfare cuts from the 'remarkable' austerity package are biting at the people hard. During February, there were 20% more deaths than normal and the cost cuts are blamed as a visit to the ER has more than doubled. There is a general strike, as we noted earlier, on Thursday as the leader of the unions notes "They are driving the country towards disaster". While the IMF believes that Portuguese debt is sustainable, most practicing market participants who do not have a gun to their head see full well the unsustainable nature of the Portuguese debt load seeing the IMF's position as "wishful thinking". There is a growing tension as Irene Pimentel notes "I worry that democracy is at stake" and on the people's apparent stoicism for now, "I think it will explode eventually, it is impossible for people to remain this passive."
At least Portuguese bonds are happy, and accept the culling of the Portuguese population at the altar of the euro, as a worthy supplication, worth at least 250 basis points.