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  • We're in Athens' famous Syntagma Square where not too long ago, citizens

  • filled this space to protest against the government and its austerity measures.

  • Images of riots, strikes and public demonstrations in Greece

  • have reached the whole world, mostly in the last decade.

  • After nearly a decade of protests and three bailout programs, is Greece finally out of the woods?

  • Actually, I think the crisis still exists, it's not only the financial crisis, but it's also a crisis about our values.

  • I don't think we have seen any improvement. There are many people that don't have work.

  • Greece's unemployment rate has come down, but it is still the highest in the eurozone.

  • In 2017, it reached 21.5 percent - more than double the euro area's average.

  • Among young people, the figure is even higher.

  • More than 43 percent of those aged between 15 and 24 could not find a job in 2017.

  • Me and my friends feel the same, we are scared, we don't know what we can change.

  • Some kids are educated, and they don't find jobs so they are going to Europe, which is a loss for Greece.

  • Greece's financial nightmare began in 2010 when the prime minister

  • asked the European Union and International Monetary Fund for help.

  • He knew that without their assistance, the country would go bankrupt.

  • You see, Greece's public deficit was much larger than what had previously been forecast.

  • In other words, it borrowed way too much money and investors began to worry

  • whether Athens could actually repay all of its debt.

  • That year, Greece's public debt hit 140 percent of its GDP and continued to grow.

  • To this day, its debt still sits above 170 percent of GDP, the highest among EU nations.

  • The first financial help program granted by the IMF and the other eurozone countries totaled about $120 billion.

  • But it wasn't enough to save Greece.

  • Athens got a second bailout program in 2012 and then another in 2015.

  • It came to an end last summer.

  • Greece has come a long way from the peak of the crisis.

  • The economy grew 1.5 percent in 2017.

  • Compare that to its contraction of more than 9 percent in 2011.

  • The most recent forecasts from the European Commission suggest

  • Greece will grow at a rate of 2.2 percent this year.

  • Greece's banks have reduced the number of bad loans

  • and there is growing interest from foreign investors in buying certain Greek assets.

  • But analysts say that the recovery is fragile,

  • and Greeks I speak to complain they don't feel an improvement in their lives.

  • Some people have good jobs, but the others, they're suffering,

  • they're paying like 85 percent taxes, which is very hard to get by.

  • You risk losing your house if you don't have enough money to pay the taxes, so long-term it's hard.

  • 94 percent of Greek people believe that the state of the economy is bad.

  • They think the biggest issue facing Greece is high unemployment, followed by the economic situation.

  • This is particularly important ahead of a general election later in the year.

  • The government is currently being run by the left-wing party Syriza.

  • Its mandate ends in September, which means Greeks will head to the polls in October, if not sooner.

  • Do you expect any change with a new government?

  • No.

  • I don't believe it will help, no, any government will do the same thing, I believe.

  • There is no alternative, the neo-liberalism politics that the whole of the European Union is following so...

  • The future will be tough for everyone.

  • Greece's economic recovery is taking some time to fully materialize,

  • but perhaps more important is how the Greeks feel, mainly ahead of a general election later this year.

  • Hi guys, thank you so much for watching.

  • If you liked our report out of Athens, check out more of our videos and don't forget to subscribe.

  • I'll see you soon!

We're in Athens' famous Syntagma Square where not too long ago, citizens

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B1 INT greece percent athens crisis european eurozone

Is Greece’s economic nightmare over? | CNBC Reports

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    Summer   posted on 2020/09/17
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