It's a bit of a mystery why Greece was ever admitted into the EU.
A quick search on industry in Greece brings up a sad story of what I think is behind the economic demise of Greece. You will see that Greece doesn't have much of a manufacturing sector. In basic economic terms that means they have nothing worth exporting. OK they might do a bit of trade in Ouzo, fetta cheese, marble and olives but I doubt it would amount to anything near enough to sustain a healthy balance of trade where just about everything that is consumed would be imported.
Now the sad fact is that Greece isn't alone when it comes to countries that import most of their consumer goods. It's no new to anybody these days that most goods are manufactured in China.
My point being, don't get too complacent and look down on Greece as the poor cousin of the EU.
Greece doesn't manufacture motor vehicles like Germany, France, Italy, Sweden. Greece doesn't manufacture white goods (refrigerators,washing machines, ovens, dishwashers) and Greece doesn't have oil, coal, iron ore, wool, sheep. In fact these goods are what sustain Australia from itself becoming a banana republic. Greece doesn't have a high tech or IT industry. Greece doesn't have a fashion industry or dairy industry (ok they export fetta cheese) or engineering industry or steel production or anything else you might care to mention.
Poor Greece, the country that gave birth to the most influential minds of the last two millenium, the country that gave birth to democracy, (it did so on the foundations of slavery, where those that didn't work could participate in the first democracy) is a banana republic. In fact they don't even have bananas.
The lessons from this crisis are simple, if a country wants to import all the desirable consumer goods of modern life that are available and they can't manufacture those goods for themselves and don't have anything to trade in return then they are an economic basket case. Greece has a massive foreign debt and no doubt their debt will be even more dramatic after the EU rescue package.
19 Nov 2012
Now Greeks have voted in favor of the bailout. More borrowed money that they can never repay on top of the previous 200 billion euro already given, already spent.
The focus of crisis might now shift to Spain but the fact remains that debt has reached phenomenal proportions world wide. The U.S. is as much part of the debt crisis as Europe.
There are dramatic events just waiting to occur as the world economy inevitably moves towards meltdown.