11 Jun 2012 by Jim Fickett.
Here, from the Hellenic Statistical Authority, are real GDP and real imports since 2000 (not seasonally adjusted). GDP is down nearly 20%; in comparison US GDP dropped about 5% in the recent “great recession”.
It is also interesting to look at imports. There have been many dire predictions that export-oriented economies will suffer as the European recession takes hold. Such worries gain support from the case of Greece, which may be a prelude to what will happen more widely as the debt problems continue to worsen.
At a less abstract level, the fact that banks are less willing to lend, and the government is nearly bust, are affecting basic services like utilities and health. From the Financial Times:
Depa [the Greek state gas utility], which imports 80 per cent of its gas from Russia, is seeking an emergency loan from Athens banks to keep supplies flowing while it tries to collect debts owed by Laghe, the lossmaking Greek electricity grid operator, according to bankers involved in the negotiations.
The utility’s last-minute borrowing illustrates the pressures on public sector corporations as a growing cash crunch cuts off access to bank funding while revenues are hit by business failures and delayed payments by households. …
The cash crunch is having an especially damaging impact on healthcare, with patients being forced to pay the full price for prescription drugs and treatment at some public hospitals because the state health system cannot pay arrears owed to pharmacists and medical suppliers.
Not pretty. And its not going to get better very soon.