Bankruptcies in the United States increased to Companies in the first quarter of from Companies in the fourth quarter of Bankruptcies in the United States averaged Companies from until , reaching an all time high of Companies in the fourth quarter of and a record low of Companies in the fourth quarter of Aug 20, · Greece puts bailout, bankruptcy in rear view mirror, but many Greeks are hardly celebrating. By Nikolia Apostolou and Marina Rigou. Special to USA Today. ATHENS, Greece – . Jun 17, · Greece became the center of Europe’s debt crisis after Wall Street imploded in With global financial markets still reeling, Greece announced in October that it had been understating.
Related videosThe Greek Debt Crisis - 5 Minute History Lesson
The EU had no choice but to stand behind its member by funding a bailout. It had to close tax loopholes. It created an independent tax collector to reduce tax evasion. It reduced incentives for early retirement. It raised worker contributions to the pension system. At the same time, it reduced wages to lower the cost of goods and boost exports. The measures required Greece to privatize many state-owned businesses such as electricity transmission. That limited the power of socialist parties and unions.
Why was the EU so harsh? Since they were paying for the bailouts, they wanted Greece to follow their examples. Despite the name change, that money also came from EU countries. The government successfully sold bonds and balanced the budget. In January , voters elected the Syriza party to fight the hated austerity measures. On July 5, Greek voters said "no" to austerity measures. Greece sustained extensive economic damage during the two weeks surrounding the vote.
It also helped reduce tax evasion. People turned to debit and credit cards for purchases. As a result, federal revenue increased by 1 billion euros a year. Greece would still owe the same amount. It could just pay it over a longer time period. On September 20, Tsipras and the Syriza party won a snap election. However, they also had to continue with the unpopular reforms promised to the EU. In November, Greece's four biggest banks privately raised The economy contracted 0.
It only shrank 0. That tied up funds they could have lent to new ventures. Greece continued with austerity measures. It passed legislation to modernize the pension and income tax systems.
It promised to privatize more companies, and sell off nonperforming loans. In May , Tsipras agreed to cut pensions and broaden the tax base. In return, the EU loaned Greece another 86 billion euros. Tsipras hoped that his conciliatory tone would help him reduce the But the German government wouldn't concede much before its September presidential elections.
In July, Greece was able to issue bonds for the first time since It planned to swap notes issued in the restructuring with the new notes as a move to regain investors' trust.
On January 15, , the Greek parliament agreed on new austerity measures to qualify for the next round of bailouts. On January 22, the eurozone finance ministers approved 6 billion to 7 billion euros. They helped banks reduce bad debt, opened up the energy and pharmacy markets, and recalculated child benefits.
On August 20, , the bailout program ended. These are primarily funded by German banks. Until the debt is repaid, European creditors will informally supervise adherence to existing austerity measures. The deal means that no new measures would be created. How did Greece and the EU get into this mess in the first place? All went well for the first several years. Like other eurozone countries, Greece benefited from the power of the euro.
In , Greece announced it had lied to get around the Maastricht Criteria. Why not? There were three reasons. France and Germany were also spending above the limit at the time. Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index. Chicago Fed National Activity Index. Chicago Pmi. Total Vehicle Sales. Car Production. Car Registrations. Crude Oil Stocks Change. Natural Gas Stocks Change. Gasoline Stocks Change. Leading Economic Index. Internet Speed.
IP Addresses. Crude Oil Rigs. Competitiveness Index. Competitiveness Rank. Cushing Crude Oil Stocks. Distillate Fuel Production. Distillate Stocks. Ease of Doing Business. Corruption Index. Corruption Rank. Crude Oil Imports. Gasoline Production. By the end of the first regularization, , immigrants had been registered for the white card, but only , received a green card.
It is estimated that less than half of the migrants living in the country were registered during this first regularization program. Immigrants were given a six-month period to submit all the necessary documents to acquire the work permit, which became the precondition for obtaining a residence permit.
The two regularization methods differed, but the documents required for both were similar. The most important differences were that in the immigrant had to submit a copy of an official contract with his or her employer for a specific period of time, as well as confirmation that national social insurance contributions had been paid for at least working days which could also be paid for by the immigrants themselves.
In addition, a payment of euros per person over the age of 14 was required. All applicants to the regularization program whose permits had expired by were subject to the provisions of the new law.
The act also set preconditions for future legal migration into the country, giving the Organization of Employment and Labor OAED the responsibility to prepare an annual report that would specify labor requirements at the occupational and regional levels in order to define quotas for temporary work permits. These job vacancies would be advertised in the sending countries by Greek embassies, which would also be responsible for receiving the applications for those jobs.
To date, however,the government has not begun this procedure. When the official application deadline for this second regularization program expired in August , it was reported that , migrants had submitted their documents for the acquisition of a work permit — a precondition for the provision of a residence permit.
However, bureaucracy and the lack of the necessary infrastructure created tremendous problems and delays in the processing of the applications. This forced the government to give temporary residence to all applicants until the end of June , recently extended to the end of October By then, the government expected to have all the applications processed. Once more, however, promises were not fullfilled and thousands of migrants remain "hostages" of a sluggish legal and institutional structure.
The enthusiasm shown by immigrants upon the announcement of the latest act has now vanished. This is as a result of, on the one hand, the weakness of public administration in supporting the implementation of the act and, on the other, the act's "philosophy" of continuous checks and controls that make it difficult to implement. These weaknesses have been identified and raised by many organizations and institutions directly or indirectly involved with the issue.
The Greek ombudsman, in a report to the minister of interior, warned as early as of the implementation problems and asked for amendments that would make it work for the benefit of both immigrants and the Greek public administration. However, amendments to the act introduced by the government in did not address the problems connected with the one-year duration of the work and residence permits, the yearly fee for the residence permit for the applicants, and the insurmountable bureaucratic problems.
In the meantime, in order to overcome bureaucratic obstacles, many immigrants have had to either hire lawyers to handle their regularization procedure, or lose time and money standing in lines. This may change as government efforts to systematize integration take hold.
Greece's integration policy was designed and announced by the government in in its "Action Plan for the Social Integration of Immigrants for the Period However, the implementation of the plan has yet to begin. Two of the reasons for the non-implementation of the plan appear to include pressure on the state budget to complete the nation's preparations for the Olympic Games, as well as the long, politically sensitive period before the national elections of March 7, At this stage, despite the acknowledged importance of migration in Greek economy and society, migration in general and integration in specific do not seem to be high on the government agenda.
The expressed anxieties of human rights and migrant organizations about integration and migration policy seem to have done little to shift the debate. Integration may come to the foreground again, however, in connection with social unrest that could follow the foreseen negative prospects of the economy in the post-Olympics period. Immigrants have contributed significantly to the improved performance of the Greek economy over the past few years, and they have boosted Greece's successful participation in the EU's economic and monetary union.
Their structural role in the workforce of the construction and agricultural sectors has been widely acknowledged. Despite a high level of unemployment, which is estimated at nine percent for the country as a whole, there appears to be no serious competition by native Greeks for the kinds of jobs secured by immigrants. On the contrary, immigrants have played a rather complementary economic role. However, the current high growth rate of the Greek economy—five percent in the EU in —is expected to slow down after the completion of the facilities for the Olympic Games, which have driven huge amounts of activity in construction and other sectors.
In addition, the funds allocated to Greece under the European Union's new support framework are expected to shrink following the EU's enlargement in These economic pressures, along with the uncertainties evident in the legal and institutional framework for the regularization and integration of immigrants, if not dealt with, are expected to lead to social friction and extensive racism and xenophobia in the next few years.
Cavounidis, J. Athens: National Institute of Labour in Greek. Fakiolas, R. Fakiolas R. Kasimis C. King, R. Migration in Southern Europe. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press, Lianos, Th.
Available online. Sarris A. Skip to main content. Greece: A History of Migration. Adjust Font. June 1, By Charalambos Kasimis, Chryssa Kassimi. Greek History: Waves of Emigration Two important waves of mass emigration took place after the formation of the modern Greek state in the early s, one from the late 19th to the early 20th century, and another following World War II.