Greece experiences combination of economic hardships, people pessimistic

National Bank of Greece guarded | Wikimedia 

Greece has experienced an economic downturn over the past ten years unlike any other in recent history. A tough combination of elements including a global financial crisis, fiscal irresponsibility, and political instability has brutalized almost every aspect of the Greek economy.

Today, and after a decade of increasing problems, Greece suffers from what seems to be similar to America’s Great Depression.  The Great Depression was the worst economic disaster in American history. In 1933, at the lowest point of the depression, US GDP per capita had fallen 31% from 1929. Sources said that Greece’s 25% decline in GDP per capita between 2007 and 2014 was nearly as bad, and the subsequent recovery has not been as rapid. The difference between the two is that after 1933, the US economy perked up while Greece’s remains stagnant.

Unemployment rate in Greece tripled between 2006 and 2013, from 9% to 27.5%. Unemployment continued to affect mostly people aged 15 to 24, as 45.5 percent of young active population was unemployed, a decrease of 4.4 percentage points. Also, all age groups recorded a lower jobless rate when compared to a year earlier.

Today, Greece’s benchmark index is worth 70% less than it was in 2006; over a similar period in 1990s Japan, the market had recovered much more of its value. In 2016, more than a third of loans on Greek banks’ books were past due.

In light of the dire economic situation, the Greek people have grave concerns about their futures as the country continues to try to recover from the ongoing financial crisis.

Pollster MRB asked people in Greece when they thought the situation would improve for them and their families and the results make for some difficult reading for the country’s government.

More than half of those surveyed (51.8 per cent) either believe the situation will take at least eight years to improve or think it may never get better.