Months of negotiations between Greece and its creditors have tested the patience and sympathy of its European neighbours. According to a YouGov poll, many people across Europe care little about whether Greece leaves or stays in the eurozone. In Germany, 53 percent of those polled would prefer Greece to leave. In Finland and Denmark, that number is 47 and 44 percent respectively.
Greece: Trade balance of goods from 2004 to 2014 (in billion U.S. dollars)
The statistic shows the trade balance of goods (exports minus imports of goods) in Greece from 2004 to 2014. A positive value means a trade surplus, a negative trade balance means a trade deficit. In 2012, the trade deficit in Greece amounted to about 28 billion U.S. dollars.
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Statistics and facts on Greece
Greece is a southeastern republic located at the junction between Europe, Asia and Africa, making it an important trade hub. Greece is commonly known as the birthplace of democracy, and nowadays, it is a unitary parliamentary republic with a President who is elected by the Parliament.
Over the past decade, Greece’s population figures have slightly declined; since 2010, population growth in Greece has in fact shown a dramatic decrease. This decline continues to persist although the number of children born in 2013 was at pre-crisis levels, indicating that population growth was not negatively affected by decreasing fertility rates, but is likely rooted in Greece’s unemployment rate that skyrocketed in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the collapse of the country’s economy in 2008. As a result of high unemployment, many young Greeks were forced to leave and look elsewhere for jobs, meaning that Greece’s population is constantly getting older on average. This trend is indicated by an increasing median age of the population.
Greece’s economy is usually defined as ‘high-income’, however, it is struggling to stay afloat nowadays. It grew rapidly after the country joined the European Union in 1981; since 2009 however, the Greek economy has been experiencing an unparalleled downward spiral. In order to avoid a catastrophe, which would also affect the other European Union members, other euro area nations and the International Monetary Fund agreed on a fiscal rescue package. This proved insufficient, and by 2012, a second bailout with strict conditions and austerity measures was approved. Again, Greece did not manage to overcome its dismal economic state.
Recently, Greece has been considering leaving the euro area altogether, a move which has been dubbed “Grexit” by the media. The Grexit is supposed to help Greece get rid of its seemingly insurmountable debts by reintroducing its old currency, the drachma. Supporters hope this would boost Greece’s economy, while opponents argue that this could cause even more unrest and economic instability. A referendum was proposed with an outcome yet to be announced.