The recent elections in Greece, in which the conservative New Democracy Party was re-elected, have underlined how far the country has come over the past decade. It was the most vulnerable of all the eurozone countries when that currency union drifted into crisis. It was the target of a massive — and controversial — bailout from the International Monetary Fund. Between 2010, at the onset of the crisis, and 2013, one-third of Greece’s gross domestic product (GDP) was wiped out. It might be more accurate to say that this one-third of GDP was, in fact, imaginary — driven by borrowings, a real estate bubble, and unrealistic expectations of the future. The country was then wracked by extremist left- and right-wing politics, the rapid decline of the moderate left-of-centre socialist party Pasok, and a rigorous austerity programme.
It is worth noting that this traditional recipe for a country in crisis — bailouts, austerity, restructuring, a
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