Photos: Austerity in Ireland

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  1. Home dreams on hold

    Struggling with recession and high unemployment, Ireland's citizens faced a referendum in May 2012 on austerity measures by the European Union. Days before voters backed the treaty, visited Kildare, Ireland, to discuss the issues. Diana Coogan, 29, and her partner, Gavin Aspell, 30, who have a daughter, 7, and a son, 15 months, got permission from the authorities to build their own home. They were living in a mobile home on the land where they planned to build it. But a downturn in family fortunes meant they could not afford to build it and they now rent a house in Kilcullen. "It was a lovely area outside in the countryside," she said of their planned dream home. "Now we're living in the town on a housing estate." (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Brain drain over austerity

    Joe Kenny, 59, a former army sergeant, insisted austerity was "not working." "My son is going to have to emigrate. ... All our best are going to Australia or America." (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Right to use force?

    Republican Sinn Fein President Des Dalton said his party preferred to solve things peacefully, but upheld "the right of the Irish people to use controlled and disciplined force to oppose the British government in Ireland." One of his party's anti-treaty posters shows a British flag over Northern Ireland and an European Union one over the Republic of Ireland to show their feelings about European interference in Irish affairs. Asked if his party might adopt a similar stance on violence to oppose the EU, he said, "It's not something Republican Sinn Fein are advocating, or anyone else. Where all this goes to in the future, time can only tell. I think we have a very volatile situation as you can see across Europe." (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Studies delayed

    Ruth Lalor, 18, works in a shop as she cannot afford to study physiotherapy. She said she hopes to be able to take a course in five years. She also hopes to stay in Ireland. "I really would find it hard leaving my friends and family," she said. (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Planning to go -- not alone

    English and history student Nadine Lynch, 18, has been friends with Ruth Lalor since they were 6. She plans to leave Ireland when she finishes her education and wants to take Lalor with her. "She's coming in my bag with me," Lynch said. (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Praise for German work ethic

    John Leamy, a father of six who has taken a second job to support his family, said he had "a liking for Germany and the work ethic. I can understand why they are trying to protect what they have. The whole European project … wouldn't have worked without them." (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  7. 'You need to work'

    Grace Coyle, 24, was unemployed for 18 months but got onto a Tus program, which provides community jobs for the long-term jobless, and now has a part-time job. "You need work … There's only so many times you can clean the house," she said. (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Stand against austerity policies

    Sinn Fein's only elected representative in County Kildare, Athy town councilor Michael Dunne, campaigned for a "no" vote in the referendum. That, he said, would "raise the flag for the rest of Europe" to fight against austerity policies favored by Germany and others, and help change course to a strategy to boost growth. (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Reluctant support offered

    Adrian Brown, a supervisor at a Tus training scheme for the long-term unemployed, said he would vote "yes" in the referendum on the Fiscal Stability Treaty sought by Europe's big powers, but reluctantly. "We cannot bite the hand that feeds us." (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  10. People under pressure

    Darren Nugent, 25, a player with the Round Towers Gaelic football club, said out of 10 or 11 of his friends in college, seven were now overseas. He works for a bank and used to be in a branch dealing with customers. "People were coming in, under pressure to pay their mortgages. I was their first point of contact, so I was taking it on the chin." (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Time for play

    Youths play soccer in Kildare town square. (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Feeling lucky to have a job

    Justin Larkin, chief executive of County Kildare Leader Partnership, said he felt lucky to have a job. The partnership has had its funding reduced and staff have taken pay cuts of 5 to 7.5 percent. He said he will vote yes in the referendum on the fiscal treaty partly because much of the funding he gets is from the European Union "and in some respects my job is dependent on that." He also feels previous Irish governments contributed to the economic crisis by mismanagement and the fiscal treaty's controls would help ensure "we're not in this position again." (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Bike shop struggles

    John Gleeson, 55, was fixing a child's tricycle in his auto parts and bicycle repair store just off the main square in Kildare. He acknowledged he was "struggling" in the economic downturn, saying sales were down 50 percent compared to before the recession. Asked if he could lose the shop, he said, "I hope not; I cannot tell you the future. It could happen. Would I get a job at 55? I never drew welfare in my life." (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Signs of the times

    Campaign posters line the streets of Kildare town. (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Joblessness 'demoralizing'

    Peadar Davis, 41, lost his job as a driver in March 2010. Now he works for free at a "Men's Shed" project, designed to give people like him something to do. He is seen putting the finishing touches on a small play house for children that will be sold to help pay the center's rent. Davis said the jobs he might be offered would leave him little better off than if he lived on state benefits. Unemployment, he said, was "tough" and "demoralizing." "You have nothing to get up to in the morning, nothing to do at the end of the week." (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
  16. 'Future is safe'

    Jim Waters, 60, was cheerfully playing a game of Gaelic football with some friends using an imaginary ball in his shop -- opened by an ancestor in 1841 -- in Kildare's central town square Monday morning. "Nothing lasts forever, this is my third [recession]. The 1980s were worse … after every recession there's a high." While the recession would come to an end, the shop would not, he insisted. "I cannot foresee that happening. There's always going to be a need for a shop," Waters said. "The future is safe, oh God yes." (Adam Patterson / Panos for Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 11/2/2012 9:34:37 AM ET 2012-11-02T13:34:37

Rather than wait for prosperous economic times to return to her native Portugal, Tatiana Almeida, 26, educated to be a journalist, decided to leave and move to East Timor, a former colony in Southeast Asia, in search for opportunities.

“There’s a big, dark cloud hanging over Portugal. … There is no real future for my generation,” Almeida told CNBC.

Instead, she bought a ticket to Dili, the capital of East Timor. Two weeks after she arrived she found a job as a communication consultant in a museum in East Timor.

“I found hope in East Timor,” she said. “I don’t want to go back to Portugal any time soon.”

Almeida is just one of many citizens from debt-choked European countries moving overseas, particularly to former colonies, in search of a better future.

Brain drain is new Greek tragedy

As youth unemployment in Europe continues to rise, young Spaniards are leaving for Latin America and Miami, where the Spanish-speaking community outnumbers English speakers; Portuguese are heading to Brazil, Angola and East Timor; and young Irish and Greeks are opting for Australia, which has large diaspora communities from these two countries.

Numbers from Europe’s statistics agency captures the migration that is under way.

The number of 20- to 29-year-olds fell by 8.8 percent year-on-year in Ireland, by 4.3 percent in Spain and by 3.5 percent in Portugal in the second quarter of 2012, according to Eurostat data.

'The country is on its knees': Ireland grapples with economic collapse

Earlier this year, Laszlo Andor, the European Employment Commissioner, also called on unemployed youth in the European Union to consider opportunities across the border: “If we want to create more opportunities for the young people, we have to create and highlight … opportunities in other countries.”

Compared to 2009, the number of short-term arrivals of Greek citizens in Australia is up 21 percent to about 4,000 people between May and November 2011, according to Australia’s statistics bureau.

Extreme right strengthens as Greece economy sinks

Numbers from Ireland’s Central Statistics office in April showed that more than 3,000 Irish are leaving the country each month, the highest number since the famine between 1845 and 1852. According to the Economic and Social Research Institute, net emigration out of Ireland is expected to be 100,000 over 2011 and 2012, with Australia listed as the primary destination.

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho last year expressed his desperation about the situation in his country, and said that the only solution to soaring youth unemployment was for the "lost generation," as the young are increasingly called, to emigrate.

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He suggested they to go to “Angola, and not just Angola,” and highlighted the great teaching void in Brazil.

The Portuguese seem to be following up on that advice as the government reported that the Portuguese population in Brazil increased 20 percent between 2010 and 2011.

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On the other hand, Brazilians themselves no longer seek better opportunities abroad, the numbers show. From 2005 to 2010, the number of Brazilians living abroad dropped from an estimated 4 million to 2 million as a result of Brazil’s booming economy, according to the country’s Ministry of Justice.

Faces of Spain's economic crisis

The number of Spaniards emigrating to Latin America in 2011 stood at a rough 370,000, about 10 times more than before the economy started to tank in 2008, according to Reuters.

"Spain is losing an entire generation," Alexis Cogul LLeonart, a 30-year old Spanish architect, told CNBC.

Spain's economic crisis turns middle-class families into illegal squatters

LLeonart set up his own architecture firm in Spain in 2008, but Spain’s housing crisis hit shortly afterward.

"In less than 6 months, 9 out of 10 projects I was working on were put on hold. All clients were sending the same message: 'We don't know what is going to happen so we have to wait and we can't pay now'," Lleonart said.

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As it became clear that the situation in Spain was "more about survival than about opportunity," Lleonart said he could not choose the professional goals he wanted to pursue. So he packed his bags and moved to Miami, where he is now setting up a new firm, Cogal Architecture.

Although he is still working around the clock as he was doing in Spain, he is hopeful. "In the U.S. I can actually pursue opportunities and grow as an architect, something that wasn't possible in Spain," he said.

© 2012 CNBC, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Video: Economic troubles aid Greece's far right


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