All of Greece's problems can be traced back to the 1970s

Yanis VaroufakisREUTERS/Jacques Demarthon/PoolGreek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis arrives to attend a meeting at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris with his French counterpart February 1, 2015. Greece has no future outside the euro but it is legitimate for the country to want to discuss ways to reduce the weight of its debt, French Finance Minister Sapin said ahead of a meeting with his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis on Sunday.

The story of the Greek crisis is often painted as either one of the reckless borrower gambling with other people’s money, or the victim of an inflexible European project that squeezes its weaker members for the benefit of the stronger.

There may be some truth to both of these narratives, but to get a fuller understanding of the causes of Greece’s current problems you have to look further back at the country’s own history. What you find is a sorry tale of nihilistic political populism, a wilful suspension of disbelief by international partners and a series of unfortunate accidents that helped turn a promising post-war recovery into a nightmare for its citizens.

And it all started with the price of oil.

Click here to see how the Greek economy suffered its dramatic fall from grace >>>

NOW WATCH: Research reveals why women cheat, and it’s not what you think

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at