While the PIIGS have largely been ignored over the past few weeks, they have resurfaced as a result of further concerns about the Irish banking system and economy.
It’s been rumoured that the ECB had to step in and buy Irish debt in an effort to shore up the country’s fiscal position. Ireland’s borrowing costs are rising as the country seeks more cash to contribute to its banking bailout.
But the story of Ireland’s debt crisis is much longer than this, and mimics that of the U.S.
The Celtic Tiger was the phrase most associated with Ireland since the 1990s, describing its dramatic growth from one of Europe's poorest states to one of its richest.
The boom was based upon some solid fundamentals, but also a property and credit boom similar to the U.S.
Ireland's property boom was at the heart of the Celtic Tiger phenomenon, and when it bust it brought much of the previous decade's economic growth with it, including several of the country's biggest banks.
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