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Crash: The Aftermath

Being the first eurozone country to ever undertake a massive bailout loan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to avoid defaulting on its debts, Greece is feeling the pinch.

Asked to cut public spending and stamp out corruption, Greece found itself struggling to meet the conditions of its creditors. As measures became tougher so did people's questions on who is to blame for the financial crisis. Has the welfare state been too generous? Are Greeks simply lazy and inefficient? Is corruption at the root of it all? Were the Athens 2004 Olympics a financial folly? And, finally, should Greece follow IMF and EU guidelines and accept the rescue loan, or leave the Euro altogether?

Two things are certain. From a financial viewpoint the transition is a painful one and it will take at least a few years before any of the benefits begin to show. But that is a few years too many to those who have seen their pensions and salaries cut as a result of the bailout and who are left struggling to make ends meet.

From a political point of view, the Greeks have lost all trust in their politicians as a result of the crisis, accusing them, often indiscriminately, of having filled their pockets with public money, received bribes and avoided taxes.

Corruption appears endemic in the country at all levels, and Greeks have been known to be resilient to change. Yet this new test of endurance could come at a high cost: How much of the country's youth will leave the in search of better prospects? Where will Greeks find themselves when the crisis is over?


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