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Leszek Balcerowicz's addition to economics vocabulary: European Union's PIGS vs BELL

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Andriaus Vaitkevičiaus / 15min nuotr. / BELL
Šaltinis: BNS
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Prominent Polish economist Leszek Balcerowicz has proposed a term BELL to collectively denote Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, four countries that have launched rigid austerity measures in response to the crisis.

Balcerowicz, who has headed the Polish Finance Ministry and the Central Bank, has proposed BELL as a contrast for PIGS, a description used for Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain.

"Balcerowicz remains adamant that fixes are best implemented as quickly as possible. Europe's PIGS - Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain - moved slowly. By contrast, Mr. Balcerowicz offers the BELLs: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania," the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal writes.

According to the article published on its website, the latter EU countries went through a credit boom-bust after 2009, their economies tanked by over 10 percent and their governments adopted harsher measures to cut spending than Greece.

"The adjustment hurt but recovery came by 2010. The BELL GDP growth curves are V-shaped. The PIGS decline was less steep, but prolonged and worse over time," The Wall Street Journal said in the article about Balcerowicz.

Balcerowicz emphasized that radical changes in the BELL helped recover market confidence, which led to a decrease in borrowing costs.

In 2009, Lithuania's economy went down 14.8 percent. Growth recovered with a 1.4 percent rise in the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010. Last year, Lithuania's economy went up 6 percent, with a 3.5 percent increase forecast by the Finance Ministry for this year.

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