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The entire world is transfixed on Greece; a country whose population is 11 million with a GDP of just $301 billion.Due to its horrible economy (its been in recession for about 5 years) and towering debt-to-GDP ratio (~200 per cent), the country may be on the verge of doing what was once unthinkable: Leaving the Eurozone and returning to the drachma.
But first (I think!) the country will hold national elections on June 17. The outcome of these elections may determine the fate of the country’s status in the currency union.
If the mainstream pro-bailout parties (New Democracy and PASOK) are victorious, there’s a chance that Greece will be able to renegotiate its bailout agreements with the rest of Europe, allowing it to take more time to reduce its deficit. If the radicals, like the left-wing SYRIZA party (led by the charismatic Alexis Tsipras), are victories, then it’s very possible that Greece will get shut off from aid, and will have to leave.
So naturally I want to be on the ground covering it …
I’ve been writing about Greece since Thanksgiving Day, 2009, but how many chances do you get to actually see what it’s like when a country is in the midst of a depression, on the verge (perhaps) of changing currencies, and experiencing so much societal strife, that Neo-Nazi-like parties enter parliament?Today I booked a flight to go to Athens (and wherever else) for the days before and after the election.
Of course, other than the financial and political stuff we’ve been writing about, we’re totally clueless when it comes to Greece.
- Someone who wants to help me get around and translate (interviews, political speeches) for me.
- Recommendations for places to stay.
- Recommendations for places to eat.
- People: I want to meet politicians, finance people, laborers, pensioners, and people who have been ravaged by the horrible economy.
- Anything else you can think of.
Bottom line: I’ll be in Greece for about a week, and I don’t plan on sleeping much, so I can jam in as much as possible.
So again, please email me at [email protected] with all of your ideas and suggestions. And hopefully, if you’re there, we’ll be able to meet up over coffee or ouzo.
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