The Origin of the Greek Crisis

For a larger version of this infographic, click here.
The Origin of the Greek Crisis

The Origin of the Greek Crisis

For a larger version of this infographic, click here.

In past charts and infographics, we’ve broken down parts of the Greek crisis with a focus on particular issues. For example, the exodus in population or a breakdown of Greece’s debt by creditor.

However, today’s infographic puts everything all in one place and recaps the full story from start to near-finish. There is a thorough timeline that shows the events that have led to today in chronological order. The infographic also charts various struggles, ranging from the country’s failure in collecting taxes to the exponential increase in net borrowing after the Lehman collapse.

Here’s a quick recap of the most salient facts in the infographic:

  • In 1994, the Greek 10-yr bond yield was just short of 25%. With plans to join the monetary union, the Greek yield got whittled down over the next five years to converge with the rest of the euro zone at closer to 6%.
  • From 1999 until the Lehman collapse in 2008, Greek bonds traded at par with all other euro zone countries. For almost a decade, investors pegged Greece as having the same amount of risk as Germany or France.
  • The European Debt Crisis begins and bond yields decouple. Greece’s yield skyrockets to closer to 30% in 2012 before the second bailout is approved by the euro zone.
  • Greece’s public sector debt is now at 172%, which is far higher than any other country in the euro zone. We’ve broken down this debt by creditor here.
  • Greek unemployment is higher than in the United States during the Great Depression. Compare Greece’s 25.6% unemployment rate to that of other semi-troubled countries such as Portugal (13.2%) or Italy (12.4%).
  • Greece’s spending increased dramatically over the years from €71 billion (2002) to €125 billion (2009). The only problem? Revenues peaked at only €95 billion in 2008.
  • The difference between spending and revenue is Greece’s net borrowing. The biggest deficit run was in 2009 when revenue was €89 billion and spending was €125 billion. That’s a difference of €36 billion when Greece’s GDP was only €237 billion at the time.
  • Greece’s government spending is not the highest in relation to its GDP. At 49.3%, it trails Italy (51.1%), France (57.2%), and Finland (58.7%).
  • However, Greece’s tax collection is the worst, which severely impairs revenue. In 2010, an astounding 89.5% of annual revenue collection was outstanding undisputed tax debt.
  • Greeks are fleeing the country. Since the crisis the population has been shrinking dramatically. As we noted in our Greek exodus chart, the population decreased by nearly 100,000 people in both 2013 and 2014. Bank deposit flows have also been negative for the most part since 2009 as well.

Original graphic by: SCMP


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