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How the eurozone crisis is affecting us
Image © Tim Ireland - PA Archive
As the eurozone crisis has worsened, the UK has been standing on the sidelines, hoping that the dominos don't all fall and knock us over too.
For many people, this has vindicated the decision not to join the euro and increased the sense that we should stay 'an island apart', away from the madness of the continent.
However, we are not immune to the effects of what is happening across the water. Unemployment continues to rise, particularly among young people, as the austerity cuts imposed by the government begin to bite hard.
And while the riots that happened across London and other English cities in the summer cannot be directly attributed to the crisis, there is a growing sense of disillusionment at the gap between the richest and the poorest.
Protest camp a sign of public opinion?
Perhaps the most obvious manifestation of this is the protest camp now outside one of the nation's most famous buildings - St Paul's Cathedral. This has led to questions in Parliament, within the church, everywhere it seems except in the City of London, where the big financial decisions are made every day.
Confidence in the UK government's ability to manage the economy out of the current situation is not high, but there is no credible alternative.
The consolation for people here is that we still have some of our destiny in our own hands, but if the euro fails and the dominos do fall on us, there will be real anger and it could lead to social unrest on a scale not seen here for centuries.
What is the impact on the continent?
So that's our experience of the eurozone crisis to date. But what has the impact been on the continent? Not for the politicians and the big businesses, but for the people on the ground level, who are having to deal with harsh cuts and painful tax hikes.
To help give you a clearer picture, we contacted a number of our colleagues at MSN across Europe and asked them to share their experiences.
The French have faced plenty of austerity measures, but are they still in favour of being in the eurozone?
>>How the crisis has affected France
The German people are looking on pessimistically. Find out why they are feeling so gloomy about the future.
>>How the crisis has affected Germany
Image: AP Photo - Dimitri Messinis
Greece has been at the eye of the storm for months but how do the people feel about life now?
>>How the crisis has affected Greece
Why the government in Portugal is axing holidays and raising taxes in a bid to stave off disaster.
>>How the crisis has affected Portugal
How a combination of economic and political disasters has left Spain on the brink of a bailout.
>>How the crisis has affected Spain
Why not share how you've been impacted by the eurozone crisis in the Comments section below.
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Its A DISASTER!!!!!
WE NEED TO COME OUT NOW!!!!!!!! ITS ABSOLUTE POLTICAL RUBBISH TO SAY ITS BAD FOR US TO PULL OUT!!!
ITS THE BEST THING TO DO FOR THIS COUNTRY NOW AND IN THE FUTURE!!!!
Oh my God...we're allowed to comment on something.. Yippee !
Don't lose our only last identity, keep our Sterling and shove the Euro where the sun doesn't shine...Get Britain out of the EU...Pronto !
I voted against joining the common market (europe) years ago - and how right I feel I was to vote No to joining its all come true. We should as a nation get out of europe. This island of Great Britain, we the British people are not europeans and never will be. Brussels has to much power over this island, with rules that this country must adhere to because Brussels says so. Look what they made us do to our passports-no longer our own countries passport but we have to have a european passport. I hope and pray that whichever government is in power, that we never give up our own currency - look whats happened to all the countries that took the euro, they are financially ruined.
Bloody well said.
I had the chance to emmigrate to Canada in 1978 and did not take it, I have regretted it ever since.
Get us OUT OF EUROPE now and save us £ 65.7 Billion per year.
KEEP OUR STERLIN-Our own debt is enough-And this goverment Plunders the working class as always Never the rich -
Britain should get away from the grip of Europe- They took away the "Great" In Britain
And our political Powers that be ---Allowed it to happen.
I never voted for this Goverment ---Because they always rob the poorest to pay for others Mistakes
get real ,germanys doing well because they pull all the strings in the EU,who's economy do you think the euro was based on THE GREEKS,no, one guess,GERMANYS,the tried twice to rule Europe and failed so now the will do it fiscally,pull your head out of the sand .............
We have been in two wars to keep Great Britain British, men and women lost their lives in doing so and still Germany want to rule the roost ! GET GREAT BRITAIN OUT OF EUROPE NOW, all those lives lost will be in vain...the Conservatives got us in(Edward Heath) so its up to them to get us out NOW ! A single currency has never worked and never will so why they keep throwing copious amounts of money at it is beyond me, its not going to work, all the countries that are collapsing shows us that, this country can deal with any country in the world, we don't need EUROPE OR THE EURO !
Why is it that the pro-europeans never want to talk about 17 years of unaudited accounts and then blame those that do as UKIP? By not talking about the EU corrupton is condoning it, are you all 'bent' as well as the unelected idiots in Brussels?
No wonder this country is in the mess it is, a massive dose of apathy of "I'm alright Jack (as long as I get what I want)" and it all started in 2010 after the election, I don't think so????
Anyone reading this and is under 40 years of age, take my advice EMIGRATE. Wish I had done in 1972 when I had the chance.
It strikes me that - to put it very simply :-
If the Uk was part of the Euro - we would have to pay
But as the UK isn't part of the Euro - we still have to pay
I, for one am "Cucking Fonfused"
Life is hard and unfair. It's always been difficult to get on to the housing ladder. There has always been rich and poor. But, I have never seen things as hard and unfair as they are now. It seems our government is not listening to us. I wonder what we have to do to make them realise that they are there to improve life for ALL Brits and not just their wealthy mates.
I'm guessing that things are only going to get even more unliveable for those of us existing on less than £10,000 per annum. How many suicides and/or people freezing to death does it take before our elected representatives take action?
Maybe we have to wait until this country is so bad to live in that the immigrants stop coming and start going back to their homelands. Stop giving away our worthless cash to foreigners Dave and start looking after your own country.
well if as the government think we would vote not to come out of this EU. then put it to the test .
Mr. cameron. give us the vote to do so. its so strange that you never said anything about how much you yourself loved this EU. or is it that you might be afraid about what clegg would do.
may be walk away from this partnership. if that is right do it . and let this little upstart walk.
one things for sure he wont ever be a prime minster. can some one tell me what we get out of being in this EU. other than putting lots of money into helping other not ourselves. this i would love to know. for i can't see what we get.
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msn money poll
New research has found that families are spending an average of £180 on back-to-school supplies for their kids. Does this tally with your experience?
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- Yes, that sounds about right to me
- Yes, but I think school supplies are getting more expensive every year
- No, the cost of new uniforms, stationery and sports kit takes us well past the £200 mark
- No, I wouldn’t spend anything like that amount on the little horrors!