"Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world," wrote the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. The current crisis in Greece shows that the fear of failure can also bring countries to their knees. Greece's precarious financial situation has brought the state to the brink of bankruptcy in record time.
Portugal could be next. The country is under pressure due to fears that it could be sucked into the Greek maelstrom. In the past few days, the government in Lisbon has experienced the power of international markets. On Wednesday, the rating agency Standard & Poor's announced it would downgrade Portugal's credit rating to A- and warned that further downgrades were possible.