PIIGS is an abbreviation popular during the European debt crisis.
The European debt crisis (also commonly referred to as the Eurozone crisis or the European sovereign debt crisis) is a multi-year debt crisis that has occurred in the European Union since 2009.
PIIGS represents five countries with high debt and deficits and poor prospects for repaying their loans.
These fiscally weak countries are Portugal , Ireland , Italy , Greece and Spain .
The first recorded use of this derogatory nickname was in 1978, when it was used to identify the underperforming European countries Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain (PIGS).
This term is used to refer to the growing debt and economic vulnerability of European Union countries
Ireland was included during the economic crisis as the country's debt and deficit rose sharply.