Greece : Greek Financial Crisis

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On January 1st 1981 Greece joined the European Communities ushering in a period of sustained growth. The countries widespread investments on infrastructure coupled with funds from the European Union led to a sharp increase in revenue from tourism and the service sector. This helped the country reach historical highs in their standard of living. By 2001 Greece had adopted the Euro and in the proceeding 7 years the GDP per capita went from $12,400 in 2001 to $31,700 in 2008, an increase of 156%. The Greek government was encouraged by the European Central Bank and other private banking institutions to undertake loans to fund foreign infrastructure projects like those related to the Olympic Games of 2004. When the financial crisis of…show more content…
(Pavlakis, 2013) With so much to lose we have seen European “bailout” agreements that mostly front the Greek government more money coupled with crippling austerity in an effort to “rebuild” the economy. Austerity discourages growth as it cuts the spending of the government who is by far the biggest spender in the economy. (Kentikelenis et al., 2011) The effects of austerity can be devastating, but the true effects are often hidden beneath the messages we get from mainstream news sources. The stereotype of the Greek people as lazy and tax evading has desensitized the public and has made austerity seem like more of a sensible option. The media messages have made strict austerity measures seem justified and in effect have galvanized the Greek people. Greece is no different than other countries who have been forced to accept IMF loans, the vast majority of these funds end up flowing back into the multinational banks who made the risky loans. The Troika has made demands of increased privatization of national assets as collateral and the destruction of labor rights. (Kentikelenis et al., 2011) All these policies are the exact opposite of what the Greek people voted for when electing the Syriza party. The conditions attached to the bailout loans are the exact opposite views of the traditional leftist political parties like Syriza. Economic
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