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"E.U. & the ROPE" - a tragic-comic book ©2009-10
The Greek Crisis came at the aftermath of the financial recession of 2008 centered in the U.S. Overspending and inadequate administration of public funds was the cause. However it reflects the fate of smaller economies when tangled within the competitive globalised world.
Since 1950 the greek national debt in relation to the GDP was much lower than many countries (e.g. UK, Belgium, Italy, Canada, France). It rose after 1981 but was manageable.
The arrival of the euro in 2001 raised economic expectations to meet the obligations of the eurozone. Exports became expensive and to meet external but also internal commitments Greece kept borrowing whereas the GDP remained stale or reducing. The result was trade deficit in 2009.
If Greece was not in the euro could allow its currency to depreciate so as to encourage investment and to pay back the debt in devalued currency. But this debt was in a strong currency, paying it back with a devalued currency would be a recipe for disaster. To survive within the eurozone was decided to get additional loans for due debt and current operational costs.
Those loans were attached to strict conditions and measures, austerity (financial discipline), imposed by the lenders. Since Greece became a "risk" to investors the interest rates were high. Multinationals jumped into the profit. There was a collateral pledged as security for repayment, to be forfeited in the event of a default (Greece was one of the last countries within the EU with considerable national assets e.g. energy, airports, seaports, health service etc. added a beautiful landscape for the exploitation of tourism…lucrative investment for privatisation)
All this borrowing signalled a peak way over the limits of the GDP thus budget deficit increased. The greek populace was confronted with cuts on salaries, pensions, high taxation….Leading to massive unemployment, poverty, depression…. Even sadder was the short-sighted announcements in foreign MM who took the opportunity to convey toxic journalism by condemning greeks as liars, lazy and….They simply exhibited the absence of human solidarity….Said mildly.
I followed intensively, explored and attempted to decode the events at the most crucial time, from the exposure of this crisis to the agreed possible solution.
(My excuses for the direct images of portraits, flags and other symbols…smile is the antidote to the world we live in…!)



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