Assignment title:  How has Greece Fared in the Debt Crisis? A comparison with other crisis countries

Greece was one of a number of EU countries that experienced a sovereign debt crisis in the aftermath of the Great Recession in the post-2008 period. The aim of this assignment is to use a selection of socio-economic indicators to see how Greek society fared during this experience. The assignment requires that you outline trends on these indicators from 2007 to 2018, compare them to parallel developments in the three other major EU debt crisis countries of the period – Ireland, Portugal, and Spain – and draw conclusions about the overall nature of the Greek situation suggested by these indicators. You are not required to do any background reading or include any references. Aside from a few sentences of introduction setting out what the purpose of the assignment is, base the assignment entirely on the data you present in the graphs.

Detailed instructions:

Present four graphs for the assignment, the first of which relates to the level of government borrowings which led to the debt crisis and the other three which track socio-economic developments among the populations of the four countries. Write an 800-900 word commentary on what the graphs reveal, including a few introductory sentences at the beginning sets out the purpose of the assignment and a concluding paragraph at the end. The period to cover is 2007 to 2018. 2. The four graphs should be titled as follows:

Figure 1: Gross government debt as % of GDP

Figure 2: Unemployment rates (%)

Figure 3. Median household incomes (two adults and two children) in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS)

Note: this indicator has to be constructed from data on the ‘At the risk of poverty threshold’ defined as 60% of median household income. You must calculate the median from data on 60% of the median (see example in excel sheet).

Figure 4. % of households experiencing ‘great difficulty’ in making ends meet.

Present the assignment as a Word file containing the four graphs and the written commentary.

The written commentary should draw out what the four indicators reveal about the Greek experience and how it compares with that of the other three countries. When you have created the graphs, examine them in turn and pick out some key points about each.

The questions to keep in mind as you look at each of the four indicators include the following:

  • What was the Greek situation in 2007-08, before the effects of the Great Recession were felt? Was it better off or worse off on each indicator than the other three countries?
  • How quickly did the Greek situation deteriorate, or did it deteriorate at all?
  • When did a turn-around occur, if a turn-around occurred, and how quickly did it progress?
  • To draw a conclusion at the end, look across the indicators (particularly the three indicators that track the socio-economic effects of the crisis for the population) and assess whether there is a common pattern as far as Greece is concerned.

Try to give a succinct, clear, nuanced summary of Greece’s overall experience and its comparative position. Did it have a distinctive experience or did more or less the same happen in Greece as in the other countries?

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