Greek PM: economy is in a ‘Great Depression’

Sunday, July 22, 2012
By Paul Martin

Debt crisis: Greek economy is in a ‘Great Depression’ says Samaras

Greece is in a “Great Depression” similar to the American one in the 1930s, the country’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told former US President Bill Clinton on Sunday.

TelegraphUK
22 Jul 2012

Mr Samaras’s comments come two days before a team of Greece’s debt inspectors arrive in Athens to push for further austerity measures if the debt-laden country wants to qualify for further rescue payments and avoid a chaotic default.

Athens wants to soften the terms of a €130bn euro bailout agreed last March with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, to soften their impact on an economy going through its worst post-war recession.

Greek GDP is expected by the end of this to have shrunk by about a fifth in five consecutive years of recession since 2008, hammered by tax hikes, spending cuts and wage reductions required by two EU/IMF bailouts. Unemployment climbed to a record 22.6pc in the first quarter.
“You had the Great Depression in the United States,” Samaras told Clinton, who was visiting Greece as part of a delegation of Greek-American businessmen. “This is exactly what we’re going through in Greece – it’s our version of the Great Depression.”

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