Greece Exits Bailout Program But Remains Mired In Debt
Yesterday, Greece emerged from its bailout program after eight years of brutal austerity. That bailout program was the biggest in global financial history, with the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund providing Athens with €289 billion ($330 billion) across three major installments in 2010, 2012 and 2015. Its emergence has been heralded as a symbolic milestone and even though the country is now able to borrow at market rates, its economic pain certainly hasn't come to an end.
Unemployment has fallen from 28 percent at the height of the crisis to 18.5 percent today and although the economy has returned to growth, crippling austerity is still a harsh reality in most Greek households. The economy remains 25 percent smaller than when the crisis began and the country has to face the reality that it will remain debt-ridden for the forseeable future and will most likely be paying off loans for decades to come. Athens has a total debt of $322 billion ($366 billion), 181 percent of economic output. EU creditors hope that will fall to 100 percent by 2060 and they are giving Greece more time to pay and have reduced interest payments. That target is a best-case scenario, however, and given the country's turbulent economic history, it is still entirely possible that it will have to borrow hundreds of billions of euros from private creditors to reduce that mountain of debt for years to come.
This chart shows Greece's debt-to-GDP ratio from 2007 to 2018.
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