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December 18, 2012

Greece Slides Into Depression

"The spread of economic hardship is fraying Greece's social fabric and straining its political cohesion as the country enters the harshest winter of its three-year-old debt crisis," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"Many families are sliding down the economic ladder that their parents and grandparents climbed, often making them reliant on those same retirees' shrinking pensions. Already-poor families are slipping off the ladder, into the arms of overburdened charities. In a country of 11 million, only 3.7 million people have jobs, down from 4.6 million four years ago. Economic activity has shrunk by over 20% in that time."

"The pressure on society is testing the country's political stability. Crumbling establishment parties cling to office. Radical-left populists wait in the wings, promising to restore state largess. Violent neo-Nazis are boosting their political profiles by exploiting fear of immigrants, crime and social breakdown. Many Greeks worry that the current government coalition could collapse in 2013, leading to renewed political turmoil that could revive the specter of national bankruptcy and exit from the euro."


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