Aldo - I appreciate your reply. That Portugal and other nations are running huge deficits is not in question. As for spending, the point I made in my comment was that these nations ran up spending during the early and mid 2000s in such a manner that looking at spending now compared to a few years ago is giving a false impressing of "austerity". Sure, it may be austere in contrast to full on recklessness, but if you compare spending over time relative to purchasing power, population and adjust to bring it all into current dollars, it is clear that Portugal and most of the other nations are not being asked to live on short change. Rather, they've been living too long on the backs of future generations and the level to which they have become accustomed has proven unsustainable - and thus the let down.
Is this an alternate universe being discussed? Because austerity isn't happening. Feel free to review the OECD data and point out which nations are adopting truly tight budget frameworks: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/government-final-consumption-expenditure-in-us-dollars-2012-3_govxp-table-2012-3-en
The nations ran up spending unsustainably and now that those levels have come off very slightly, we are supposed to consider this austerity? I understand the need to have governments act in a counter-cyclical manner, so I don't oppose new spending on infrastructure and other asset building projects, but let's not pretend that not doing so is some form of draconian budgeting and let's certainly not put ourselves deeper into the hole for politically connected crony capitalism projects. I'd prefer slower or no growth in that case.