Day by day Greeks throughout the country and abroad have maintained a pessimistic approach regarding Greece’s progress and economic future. Strikes, unemployment, a cloud of negativity and uncertainty shrouds the future of the country and its citizens.
Nonetheless, recent reports from the IMF, and economists such as Klaus Regling, the Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism, suggest that Greece may indeed survive the economic crisis that has plagued the nation. After recently meeting with Greece’s Minister of Finance Gikas Hardouvelis last week, Klaus Regling announced that Greece is becoming more competitive in the market and that the country’s unemployment rate is expected to drop slightly.
Moreover, Greece’s economy is predicted to grow by 0.4 – 0.6% in the year 2014 after six straight years of decline with the potential to grow even more after what is expected to be a record year for tourism in the country which accounts for more than 15% of Greece’s GDP.
According to Andreas Andreadis, president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), forecasts show that around 18.5 million tourists are expected to visit Greece this year compared to the 17.9 million that came in 2013 generating approximately 13 billion euros in revenue.
While this small growth provides the country and the Greeks a glimmer of hope, this optimism should be approached with some caution. For the economy to sustain its recovery, the IMF reports that new austerity measures must continue to be implemented. Such draconian measures have already afflicted Greek households and their patience will continue to be tested.