Greece, the Greeks, and the Crisis: Reaching Beyond "That's how it Goes"
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Since 2009, Greece has become synonymous with crises: the sovereign debt crisis, the economic crisis, the Eurozone crisis, and finally the migration crisis. While the sufferings of migrants and refugees have understandably attracted agonized international attention, the problems, challenges, and hardships that the Greeks have been enduring over the same period have been reduced to an implicit "that's how it goes"—a new normalcy. In fact, watching people walking in the sunbathed streets of Athens, contemplating the azure skyline stretching over the Aegean, listening to the murmur of groups of friends sipping apparently bottomless frappes, tourists get truly confused and ask: "So where's the crisis?" Appearances can be misleading: the crisis is there, devouring the very flesh of Greek society. Greece is swamped in a group depression, trying to cope with what has become a new social, economic, and political normalcy. The attempted July coup in Turkey has added to Greeks' feelings of being beset by uncertainties and changes from all sides, all in the space of less than a decade. To understand how Greeks are faring these days, we must look at a set of interrelated issues: the impact of the economic crisis, the flip side of the migration crisis, and the foreign policy related hazards stemming from the losses in political leverage that Greece has endured over the past seven years. This essay addresses the first two of them.
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