Greece's Sovereign Debt Crisis

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Case Details:

Case Code : ECON035
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2004 - 2010
Pub. Date : 2011
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Telenor; Unitech
Industry : -
Countries : Greece, Europe

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Growth of Greece Contd...

During this period, wealth increased with the findings of several layers of silver in the mountain areas and with improvement in trade with other neighboring countries. However, agriculture, the staple for the economy, was unstable in Athens.3 The major crop was wheat and inadequacies in farm management resulted in a steady decline in the production of the crop. Also, as the wealthy and rich imported wheat from other countries, the price of wheat in Athens declined, leaving the domestic farmers with heavy losses and eventually leading them into a debt trap. The farmers, mired in debt, had no alternative but to sell themselves as slaves to the wealthy.

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The problem of slavery and debt was finally solved thanks to the reforms given by Solon4 in 594 BC. Solon cancelled all outstanding debts, freed farmers from slavery, and declared that providing loans with human beings used as collateral was illegal. He encouraged cultivation of olive and wine to save farmers from losses.5 In 205 BC, Greece was taken over by the Great Roman Empire. Since then, the country came under the Romans (146BC-400AD), the Byzantine Empire (400AD-1453), and the Ottoman Turks (1453-1827).6 The Romans from 275BC started to expand their empire by conquering other parts of the Mediterranean. During the Roman war with the Carthaginians,7 the Greeks fought on the side of the Carthaginians...

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3] "Ancient Greece,"
4] Solon (638 BC-558 BC) was an Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and elegiac poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic, and moral decline in archaic Athens.
5] "Ancient Greece,"
6] "A Brief History of Greece,"
7] Carthage is the largest of the towns founded by the Phoenicians on the North African coast.


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