Economy of Greece

Since 2010, the Greek economy has been hit by the most severe of the European sovereign debt crises. Greece's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) shrunk by 6.9% in 2011 and by 3.4% in 2010. The country's public debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 165.3% of nominal gross domestic product in 2011. The ongoing crisis has led to concerns of a run on the Greek banks, a forced exit from the Euro and, according to the Greek President, a "threat to our national existence".

The pre-crisis economy

Prior to the crisis, GDP had expanded at an average annual rate of 4% from 2004–2007, one of the highest rates in the Eurozone.

The tourism industry remains a major source of foreign exchange earnings and revenue and accounted for 15% of Greece's total GDP and employing, directly or indirectly, 16.5% of the total workforce.

The Greek labour force totals 4.9 million, and it is the second-most-industrious among OECD countries, after South Korea. The Groningen Growth & Development Centre published a poll revealing that between 1995 and 2005, Greece ranked third in the "working hours per year ranking" among European nations; Greeks worked an average of 1,811 hours per year. In 2007, the average worker produced around 20 dollars per hour, similar to Spain and slightly more than half of average U.S. worker's hourly output. Immigrants made up nearly one-fifth of the work force, occupied in mainly agricultural and construction work.

Greece's purchasing power-adjusted GDP per capita was the world's 25th highest. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it had an estimated average per capita income of $29,882 for the year 2009, a figure slightly higher than that of Italy and Spain. According to Eurostat data, Greek PPS GDP per capita stood at 95 per cent of the EU average in 2009. According to a survey by The Economist, the cost of living in Athens was close to 90% of the costs in New York City; in rural regions it is lower.

In Greece, the