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Greece: By The Numbers

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Greece’s economic problems are so vast, comprehension is difficult. Over at NPR, Greg Myre breaks it down for us.

25: The unemployment rate, and that’s probably low-balling. For those under the age of 25, the unemployment rate hovers around 50 percent.

92: The average income earned by a typical citizen is under-reported by 92 percent, on average, to the government.

Tax evasion is endemic in Greece and a major contributor to the government’s budget shortfalls. Creditors are demanding this be addressed in return for a new rescue package.

680: That’s how many people on the island of Zakynthos were receiving government benefits due to blindness. The actual number of those with severe vision problems? Closer to 180. Such scamming is rampant.

60: That’s how many euros a Greek citizen can withdraw each day from their bank, which is about $66 U.S. Of course, that is if the bank is open or the ATM actually has cash in it. It’s becoming a roll of the dice.

240: 240 billion euros, that is: the amount the EU has provided Greece for bailouts in recent years.

Greeks say much of the bailout money has simply gone to pay off earlier lenders and has not been used to rebuild the Greek economy. Hence the term “extend and pretend,” that’s often used to describe the process.

2: Percent is how much Greece provides to the EU’s overall economy.

81: Percent – how many Greeks who reportedly say they wish to remain in the EU.

This may sound contradictory given Greece’s vote in Sunday’s referendum, where it rejected the terms proposed by its creditors. However, many Greeks say they want to keep close links to Europe but are tired of deals that inflict pain without leading to a solution. Critics say this shows Greece’s desire to have it both ways.

Some say Greece is too small a country to affect the rest of the EU, but others are not as optimistic. Either way, Greece is in deep, deep trouble and the coffers are very, very empty.

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Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.

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