Foreign and Defense Policy

A terrifying appraisal of Greece

Not much good news for Greece from Criton Zoakos, president of Leto Research, an economic research and consulting firm in New Jersey and a former columnist for the Asia Times (via the always must-read International Economy magazine):

1. In Greece, the number of suicides has increased by 50 percent over 2009.

2. Organized crime has taken control of large swathes of downtown Athens, with drug and prostitution rings controlling the streets.

3. Mass emigration abroad of the young and educated, and mass migration from the cities to the countryside of not-so-educated in search of agricultural labor.

4. Ofiical unemployment is over 16 percent (concentrated among the young) and unofficially over 25 percent.

5. Retail trade has fallen by 20 percent and will fall further as increasing numbers of people, resorting to barter, exit the cash economy.

His bottom line: “A mass emigration of the most productive cohorts of labor, the return of the rest to subsistence agriculture, and exit from the money economy are not conditions that will ever allow the already collapsed Greek state to repay any of its $465 billion in debt.”

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