What are the most economical countries

Say & MineThe self-declared "thrifty four"

Economical - that sounds positive to many people. Especially when it comes to how their taxes are used - like this one. That is why the four countries that are skeptical of excessive corona aid have given themselves this name: "The frugal four". And not just since the consequences of the Corona crisis came up, but already in the discussion about a new EU budget at the beginning of the year.

Many media adopt the term, because it is handy - even nicer in English: "The Frugal Four". But what the countries themselves consider economical, others perceive as stingy or selfish or lacking in solidarity. Depending on your point of view.

Classify the term - or, best of all, avoid it

Even if the countries deny this ascription. But the media would do well to classify the term - and do so with reference to critics:

"There are the thrifty four, which their critics like to call the stingy four."

(dpa / Britta Pedersen) Say & Mine: The language check
Too often questionable terms get stuck in the media, for example the "good daycare law" or the "lockdown". We scrutinize such formulations in the "Saying & Meaning" series.

Neither “stingy” nor “thrifty” are neutral terms; they convey perspectives that the media should not reproduce without reflection. It is best to avoid the term and instead speak, for example, of countries that want to spend less money than others.