Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games and mathematical principles to name a few. They were annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire.
The Greek Orthodox Church also shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation-state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Most of mainland Greece and the Aegean islands was under Ottoman control by the end of the 15th century. The only part of the Greek-speaking world that escaped long-term Ottoman rule was the Ionian islands, which Venetian until their capture by the First French Republic in 1797, then passed to the United Kingdom in 1809 until their unification with Greece in 1864.
While some Greeks in the Ionian islands and Constantinople lived in prosperity, and Greeks of Constantinople achieved positions of power within the Ottoman administration, much of the population of mainland Greece suffered the economic consequences of the Ottoman conquest.
Heavy taxes were enforced, and in later years the Ottoman Empire enacted a policy of creation of hereditary estates, effectively turning the rural Greek population into serfs (status of many peasants under feudalism).
The decline of serfdom in Western Europe has sometimes been attributed to the Black death, which reached Europe in 1347. Tibet is described by Melvyn Goldstein to have had serfdom until 1959, and the United Nations 1956 supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery also prohibits serfdom as a form of slavery.
s destroyed Greece during the World War II. There were 80 000 jews in Greece at that time and nearly everyone was killed. Now it is about 5 000 left. The Nazis burned Greeks houses and about 1 000 000 were homeless. The U.S Marshall plan gave Greece a boost after WWII and the economy started to grow again.
s strange because most Western philosophical traditions began in Ancient Greece in the 6th century BC. So, how could the Greeks democracy fail, and why are they in trouble right now?
Their productivity was sky-high only a few years ago. In 2003, the GDP was higher than China`s GDP right now. Greece GDP in 2003 was at an all-time high of 6,80 which is impressive. Now, the picture is very different. GDP is down -1,1 percent.
Greece is the anti-austerity country with a lot of problems after six years of deep recession. Household consumption is the main component of GDP and accounts for 72 percent of its total use. Exports of goods and services account for 33 percent, while imports account for 35 percent.
Many of the Greek citizens claim that they got problems after joining the European Union in 2001. In 2007, right before the financial crisis, GDP per capita reached an all-time high of 30056,68, but now it has declined to 22573,42 US dollars.
The Anti-Austerity country is also seeing their own wages falling. Wages in Greece decreased to 1092,01 EUR per month in April last year. The good news is that the Unemployment rate is down to 23,1 in December last year, which is much better than their all-time high of 27,90 in July of 2013.
Data shows growth for the year proves the economy is performing better than expected and that no more austerity measures are needed. A Greek spokesman said the government won`t pass one more euro of extra austerity measure.
The European Commission expect the Greek economy to expand 2,7 percent this year and 3,1 percent in 2018. Uncertainty over completion of the current bailout review poses a downside risk to those forecasts, the Commission said.
In a big picture, what we face in Greece now is just a part of an evolution.
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