Let one thing be clear: what Greece has endured during the last seven years is not merely a recession, but a full-blown, Jarrow March, 1930s-style Great Depression.
Since 2008, the unemployment rate in the birthplace of democracy has not slipped below 25% and around the same amount has been knocked off national income.
The depression is literally squeezing the life out of the country – with 94% cuts to hospital budgets the starkest feature of its austerity - and has fostered extremist politics.
Now Greece is heading for a state of emergency and exit from the euro after its democratic government refused to make additional cuts demanded by creditors.
Like every Greek tragedy, the country’s ill fate and descent into the abyss seems to have long ago been fixed - and yet it was and is still entirely avoidable.
Greece shoulders some blame for its parlous finances before the global banking crisis, but since then the chief architect of its misery has been the European Union.
The ruling EuropeanRead More »from Greece’s tragic Great Depression is the ultimate symbol of the European Union’s failure