MARKETS & POLITICA - Greece: the largest debt relief in history

Syriza's strategy has united the EU front. Now they should start being self-serving and help Greece out as well.

Greece has been through five difficult years. Painful fiscal restrictions and reforms in the middle of the broader European crisis all contributed to a decline in real GDP of about 25%.

Greece’s troubles started in the 1990s when key economic data was being massaged by government agencies to look better than reality. In 2002, Eurostat refused to validate Greek public statistics, and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated that Greece would not have qualified for eurozone membership in 2000 if accurate data had been submitted.

The complete public collapse started in November 2009 when newly appointed Prime Minister George Papandreou revealed that previous governments had lied about the fiscal numbers to a much greater extent than previously believed. The government’s budget deficit was 12.9% of GDP as opposed to the previously published 6%.
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