Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Charlemagne: Gummed up

IT WAS just like old times. On October 16th, almost five years to the day after Greece’s government triggered the euro crisis by confessing that its budget deficit was twice as big as had previously been reported, yields on Greek ten-year debt rose to 9%, and share prices tumbled. Long-suppressed memories of bail-outs, late-night summits and market meltdowns briefly resurfaced. Perhaps the crisis wasn’t over after all?The panic soon subsided. Investors’ concerns were limited to political uncertainty in Greece, and a plan by the country’s embattled prime minister, Antonis Samaras, to exit its IMF bail-out programme early. Greece remains the runt of the euro-zone litter, labouring under a debt pile equivalent to 175% of GDP and a sky-high unemployment rate. But there are slivers of light: after six grinding years of recession, it may grow modestly this year. Elsewhere, too, the champions of austerity have found cause for cheer: unemployment is down and output up (a bit) in Spain and Portugal; Ireland, which had to be bailed out in 2010, seems to be experiencing a mini-boom. Even France and Italy appear finally to have accepted the need to reform.The overall picture...