Bailout countries have been on the Troika's leash now for nearly four years, but just how effective have its measures been. The Troika - composed of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - is tasked with getting economies back into shape by proscribing a diet of strict austerity and plenty of strenuous reform measures, but its methodology has been questioned since the start.
Everyone knows Porto, and its most famous product, Port Wine, but that is extent of their culinary knowledge about the region of Central Portugal. Travel south from Porto, across the River Douro, and you have got an undiscovered mix of sea and mountains that have been shaping the cuisine of the area for 1000 years.
It is undoubtedly better to earn €3.2 (£2.7) per hour than nothing. With a minimum wage lower than that of Greece according to Eurostat, workers in Portugal have to, through ingenious sacrifice, feed their families and pay the ever demanding bills and taxes. Yet, €566 (£478) per month is far better than nothing at all according to the unemployed youths of Portugal, the country in the European Union with the third highest youth unemployment rate.
PIIGS provides a wonderful opportunity for me to link with other playwrights in similarly affected countries and to learn from their response to their own unique situation. It is hugely ambitious artistically and politically and seems motivated by a healthy sense of curiosity and solidarity with fellow European citizens.
The Alentejo stretches from the southern banks of the mighty Tejo river to the northern mountains of the Algarve. It's a land of myth; of mystery. Which feels more Moorish then Portuguese; more Al-Andaluz than Andalucia. As I further discover as we drive to the starting point of the hike the following morning.