European News Brief: Nov. 2012
After 14 consecutive years of economic growth, Greece went into recession in 2008.
Now Greece faces its fifth straight year of recession with more than one in five workers unemployed. For 15 to 24-year-olds, youth unemployment is sitting at a frightening 52.7%. Even more worrisome, is the resultant outward-bound flow of Greeks in search of better futures abroad. Alone in 2011, Germany witnessed 90% more immigrants from Greece than the year before (an additional 11,000). In Sweden, the number of Greeks granted residence permits more than doubled in 2012.
A Greek exit from the Euro could result in an essential collapse of its economy, which in return would exacerbate the situation – causing hundreds of thousands of Greek citizens to leave the country of their birth. If Greece is forced to leave the Euro, Prime Minister David Cameron stressed that ministers had already investigated legal ways to hinder Greek citizens from entering the UK and thus denying them of their right to free movement throughout the EU.
Unfortunately it is not just the failing economy that is driving Greeks away from home: Inefficiency and corruption have persisted and thrived within the crisis.