Trend Watch

Austerity

As the Greek economy shrinks voters decide the next path ...


When:

Lookups spiked on June 30, 2015, and again on July 5, 2015

Why:

In response to Greece's economic crisis, the country's foreign creditors imposed a strict program of austerity in 2010; since then, the country's economy has shrunk by 25%.

June 30: The Greek economy, and the word austerity, were back in the news at the end of June as voters in Greece planned to choose in a referendum whether to continue foreign aid from other EU countries or to reject creditors' offers and risk default on loans. A "no" vote may mean leaving the common European currency; a "yes" would mean further tax increases and pension cuts. Banks have already limited the amount of cash that may be withdrawn by individual citizens.

July 5: The word spiked again this week when the country voted against continuing foreign aid and austerity measures.

Austerity means "enforced or extreme economy." The word's origins are - coincidentally - Greek; austerity comes from austēros, meaning "harsh" or "severe."



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