Angela Merkel has reached a deal on immigration following a dispute that threatened to break up her coalition government. She feared that giving in to her interior minister and closing the country's southern border to migrants would set off a chain reaction in other states and destroy Europe's Schengen free-travel zone. Before she travelled to Brussels last week, Merkel warned that the EU's future depends on finding answers to the vital questions posed by migration. There was some good news last week, however, it seems to have gone largely unnoticed amid the crisis in Berlin.
While there are real fears that the migration crisis could ultimately destroy the EU today, yesterday's fear was that the financial crisis in Greece would do the same. According to a statement from the International Monetary Fund last Friday, Greece has eliminated its macroeconomic imbalances and has started making progress. Even though the country still faces serious challenges, it has returned to growth with unemployment slowly starting to decline (though the unemployment rate still remains high) and a debt-relief package to guarentee medium-term stability.
The government in Athens has introduced structural reforms as well as fiscal and current account adjustments to stabilize the situation. Along with an improvement in Europe's economy in general, those efforts are starting to pay off, helping Greece finally return to growth. The following infographic uses IMF data to show Greece's long and painful journey back from the brink. Real GDP increased 1.4 percent in 2017 and it's expected to go up 2 percent this year.
This chart shows real GDP growth in Greece from 1980 to 2018 (annual percentage change).
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