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Eurozone crisis: Greek, Portuguese and Spanish reaction

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European markets have fallen heavily amid speculation over the future of the Greek economy, after the credit rating agency Standard and Poor's downgraded Greek debt to "junk" on Tuesday.

Amid concerns that the crisis could spread to other vulnerable eurozone economies, Portugal was also downgraded, as was Spain's debt.

Here, readers from Greece, Portugal and Spain react to the latest blows to their stricken economies.

IOANNIS MATZAVRAKOS, 25, NETWORK ENGINEER, ATHENS, GREECE

This proves that the Greek government's austerity measures made no difference.

Ioannis Matzavrakos

But with all the will in the world you can take drastic action, but only a month has passed since they took it, which is not enough time to have any effect.

There are so many economic problems across Europe and it is obvious that other eurozone countries don't want to take on any more debt [by bailing out Greece].

People here already know things are bad, but I don't necessarily agree that our economy has reached "junk" status.

Of course there is a level of unease among the Greek people, but we know it has been getting worse, we know the economy and our debt are going down the drain.

So we can't see any real difference at the moment. There is still great uncertainty and pessimism anyway.

We will reach the tipping point somewhere along the way. Until we do, there is a very real possibility that we may face further cuts to our income
Ioannis Matzavrakos

We still must wait and see what further measures the government will announce next month and whether the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will intervene.

The EU has already been slow to react and I believe that our partners in the eurozone can still have good relations with Greece.

There is a very real possibility that we may face further cuts to our income.

The government may have to take such measures just to appease EU countries, but it knows that doing so will mean political suicide.

But it is running out of options and is caught between a rock and a hard place.

We're screwed anyway, so it's just a question of what the government elects to do next.

For me personally, it's getting to be a real possibility that I may need to leave this country. We may see a new wave of people leaving, particularly young people, especially if our salaries decrease.

It's either that or wait until the storm passes, but we still don't know just how huge a storm it will be or how long it will take to pass.

CARLOS FILIPE MIRANDA COLLACO, 45, UNEMPLOYED CIVIL ENGINEER, LISBON, PORTUGAL

There is real concern here.

Carlos Filipe Miranda Collaco

I saw this coming for a long time but the way things have happened over the last day or so, with our economy being downgraded, still seems very sudden.

It makes you wonder what has changed all of a sudden.

We are not getting much information from our government other than the usual politicians and pundit speak.

The austerity measures here have been relatively mild in comparison to Greece, and we consider ourselves to be in a better situation than the Greeks, which makes me even more surprised that we have been downgraded.

However, we do have structural problems and have had for a long time.

The main challenge is how to get the economy growing again. It is hard to indentify growth areas in the economy.

I want to be an optimist today, but that optimism might be out of date tomorrow, such is the pace of change. It's like the rug has been pulled from under us
Carlos Filipe Miranda Collaco

The government needs to cut back on public spending, but if it cuts back on public investment and the economy shrinks again, as looks likely, you wonder where the revenue will come from.

We could end up going into a downward spiral. So there is great fear and uncertainty overall here.

So what next? Things have been getting worse and I'm really wondering where it's going to stop.

I'm worried about Portugal's place in the eurozone.

I want to be an optimist today, but that optimism might be out of date tomorrow, such is the pace of change. It's like the rug has been pulled from under us.

Personally, I am still unemployed, and it makes me more and more worried about my situation.

I would like to be able to contribute to our economy in some way but am increasingly thinking I need to get out of here.

I am losing faith in my country's ability to do something that will lead to structural change and that's confirmed by the markets.

I also think Europe is behaving like a spent force and it's time for me to leave altogether.

VERONICA WALKER VADILLO, 31, STUDENT, ALCALA DE HENARES, SPAIN

This latest news comes just days after we were told that unemployment had reached 20% here, and is expected to rise further to 24%.

Veronica Walker Vadillo

I still have my job at least, although I am just working on a temporary basis as many here now are, since employers don't want to take on people full-time.

But many of my friends have lost their jobs recently, along with many others working in construction or areas such as architecture.

In July our taxes will be raised from 16% to 18% by the government, so we will certainly notice the effects then.

Tourism will be indirectly affected by this also, as everything will be a lot more expensive and spending will be down.

But that is the only solution the government can come up with.

There is no investment being made in smaller businesses and encouraging entrepreneurship, only big business, which is wrong.

We, along with Greece and Portugal, are disappointing a lot of people across the EU, but I just hope the punishment is not too harsh
Veronica Walker Vadillo

If the government is spending my money, it needs to do it more wisely.

The length of time for which people can claim unemployment benefits is also being extended, which is also not the solution.

There should be more investment in creating opportunities rather than creating a culture of dependency.

So we are all fearful, of course, and I am quite sure now that I will have to leave the country once I complete my qualifications.

I think we are heading the same way as Greece. If you saw the number of newly-built houses and estates lying empty across Spain, you would think the same.

Meanwhile, I cannot afford to buy and have to continue renting.

The outlook is pessimistic and discouraging.

We, along with Greece and Portugal, are disappointing a lot of people across the EU, but I just hope the punishment is not too harsh.

The thought of the EU without Spain is a scary one. We cannot stand on our own two feet.



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