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An Uncomfortable Truth: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Euro

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Euro currency - Sputnik International
April 27 will see the release of an Italian documentary film which is expected to disclose the uncomfortable truth about the euro and the policy of austerity which hit Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain especially hard.

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The PIIGS documentary, which is due to be released in Italy on April 27, details the negative impact of the euro and how austerity measures have taken their toll on a number of European countries.

The acronym PIIGS, which deliberately resembles the English word 'pigs', was first used by The Economist and refers to the five EU countries which were hardest hit by the 2009 economic crisis.

The acronym itself is a combination of the first letters of the countries' names: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain.

In an interview with Sputnik Italy, PIIGS filmmakers Adriano Cutraro, Federico Greco and Mirko Melchiorre specifically underscored their desire to tell ordinary people the uneasy truth about economic reforms in the EU.

They said that "in the past twenty years, we have been bombarded with news of how the crisis will be resolved right after the adoption of magic reforms."

"We were told that a single Europe will allegedly provide everyone with a prosperous life. But we see that they failed to deliver on their promise. We were angry that we could not understand who is to blame and what the main problem is. By making this film, we wanted to show the damage caused by the policy of this monster," one of the filmmakers explained, referring to the European Union.

According to the filmmakers, the documentary tells the story of Il Pungiglione, an organization "where many social workers served" as the crisis took place.

"We managed to analyze the effect that the crisis had on many levels. There are two key lines in the film: macroeconomic, based on interviews with various experts, philosophers and economists, including Noam Chomsky, Yanis Varoufakis and Warren Mosler, as well as and ordinary people," they said.

They added that when making the film they began to suspect that the medicine, which, according to politicians and the media, was supposed to work, only makes it worse," and that "this medicine is the policy of austerity."

The filmmakers recalled that according to the Italian Institute of Statistics Istat, 4.6 million Italians live in absolute poverty, while ten million Italian families reside in conditions of relative poverty.

"In addition to official figures and data, we interviewed dozens of unemployed people, workers and small-sized traders. Some of them live in unbearable conditions and have abandoned all hope. All of us are forced to cut our budgets, which in turn leads to the reduction in state spending on education, medicine, and the fight against unemployment. As a result, it hits ordinary people," they said.

The filmmakers said that the PIIGS documentary is a must-see because "we hear a ready-made explanation of the crisis, but someone should start asking questions."

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"We would like the film to launch the beginning of large-scale discussions on the topics on which the destinies of each of us depend," one of the filmmakers explained.

For his part, Mirko Melchiorre said that "the film is worth seeing because, for example, I don't feel like being one of the PIIGS, that is, a pig."

"I would like the film to make people understand that we are not pigs. I hope that after watching the documentary, people will have a tool to at least start a discussion, and then look for solutions and alternatives to the current system," he concluded.

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