Forbes: Greece Is Still A ‘Rich’ Country

1 August 2017
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A six year-long depression has devastated the Greek economy in many ways. But things aren’t as bad as they are portrayed in social media. Greece is still a “rich” country. At least according to a few broadly used measures of the quantity and quality of life, and potential of the country to rise again.

Like Greece’s Gross Domestic Product per capita, which stands at 22,736.46 US dollars–180 percent of the world’s average, according to Trading economics.

Still, Greece’s current Gross Domestic Product is well below its all time high of 30,054.89 USD in 2007. This means that the average Greek’s welfare is close to 25 percent below what it was in 2007.

That certainly doesn’t feel like being rich any longer. Especially for those who have joined the ranks of the unemployed, who now count for 21.7 percent of the labor force.

 

Greece’s Key Metrics

Metric

Value

Per Capita GDP

22736*

Per Capita GDP PPP

24264*

GDP Annual Growth Rate

0.4

Unemployment Rate

21.7

*2016

Source: Tradingeconomics.com 7/21/17

Then there’s is human development, an index in which Greece ranks among the top thirty countries in the world, where Greece is ranking close to Spain, and well ahead of Portugal.

 

Greece’s Human Development Metrics (2015)

Country

Overall Ranking

Life Expectancy

Expected Years of Schooling

Greece

29/188

81.10

17.2

Spain

27

82.38

17.7

Portugal

42

80.37

16.6

France

21

82.57

16.30

Source: Human Development Report

Human development has been aided by democracy. Since ancient times, democracy has often created chaos in the street of Athens, but it has served as a diffusion mechanism for political tensions. And it has accommodated the peaceful transition from one political leadership to another — a process that has accelerated in periods of economic crises.

That’s been the case in the recent crisis, a period during which Greek citizens have placed several leaders in and out the office, in search of a figure who will guide the country out of its ongoing economic crisis as the country returns to markets and reschedules its debt.

Meanwhile, Greece has made a great deal of progress in building an efficient infrastructure system, which together with a highly trained and technologically savvy labor force will help Greece rise again. All it takes is a nudge, a few pro-market measures that will release the ingenuity and creativity of its people.

 

Greece’s Performance Indicators

Indicator

Rank

Infrastructure

37/138

Higher Education And Training

45

Technological Readiness

42

Source: World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17

Foreign investors have taken notice. Like Minneapolis-based Varde Partners, which invested $65 millions in Greek shopping malls as the Athens Exchange begins to show signs of life, with the Global X MSCI Index gaining close to 34 percent in the last three months alone.

Fund/Stock

3-month Price Change

Global X MSCI (GREK)

33.93%

National Bank of Greece ADR (NBGGY)

69.62

Hellenic Telecom (HLTOY)

33.83

Source: Finance.Yahoo.com 7/19/17 

CONTRIBUTOR: Panos Mourdoukoutas

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