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Check out this political cartoon that sums up the EU's attitude towards the financial crisis

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Apparently, austerity measures are a terrible thing. They are so horrible, in fact, that even mentioning them will bring you to tears.

Watch the Italian Welfare minister Elsa Fornero break down as she addresses measures that include pension cuts:

Why is she breaking down?

Because, as mentioned in the above, the Italian government agreed to adopt an "aggressive €30bn [$40 billion] austerity package in a bid to stave of the crisis enveloping the country."

The Telegraph reports:

The three-year package includes a controversial pension reform that will increase the minimum pension age for women to 62 starting next year and fall into line with men by 2018, by which time both will retire at 66.

The number of years that men have to pay contributions to receive their full pensions will also be increased from the current level of 40 to 42

"We had to... and it cost us a lot psychologically... ask for a..." Ms Fornero said, but was unable to complete her sentence as she wiped tears from her eyes, reports The Telegraph.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti finished the sentence for her, speaking the word "sacrifice" that she'd couldn't say.

So . . . she's crying because the pension age is being raised and that "many pensions will no longer be adjusted for inflation"?

I don’t know. Severe austerity measures (including tax increases and spending cuts) seem like a fairly reasonable way to deal with a crisis that could potentially plunge the entire world into economic disaster.

Perhaps EU politicians like Elsa Fornero don’t quite grasp how bad the situation that they created is. Nate Beeler of the Washington Examiner doesn’t seem to think they do either.

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