It’s even more than that. The former DDR had such helpful things as industry, and a fairly decent infrastructure with manufacturing of heavy industrial goods as well as consumer products. Now granted, it was not very efficient by Western standards, but at least it was present. That made things a bit easier for the West Germans, though reunification was still far from totally smooth.
The last time I looked around, I didn’t see any Greek-made automobiles, or airplanes, or train carriages, or wristwatches, or alarm clock, etc., etc. The Greeks have shipping, which is in the toilet owing to the current worldwide trade slump, and tourism, which I personally think won’t be too popular when Greece goes up in flames; it would be like vacationing in Syria. OK, sure, maybe for the real hardcore adrenaline junkies it might be a rush, but for your average middle-aged German or British tourists, probably not so much.
You’re totally dead-on about the cultural differences. For the Greeks, well, not ALL Greeks, but a fairly sizable chunk of them, irresponsibility is apparently a way of life. They want their seat at the all-you-can-eat buffet, and by God, they’ll throw a temper tantrum of Homeric proportions when they realize they can’t get their way. As for that fool Tsipras, he’s leading the Greeks into a disaster by promising them the comforting delusion that they have their baklava and eat it too.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; when the Greeks realize that the EU wasn’t bluffing when they said they would be kicked (or forced) out of the EU, and that Tsipras was full of crap and sold them a bill of goods on the magnitude of the Trojan Horse, Greece is going to explode in a manner the like of which hasn’t been seen since the Peloppenseian War.
Yeah. Good luck with that tourism-led recovery.
Olive oil! You forgot about olive oil!
Sorry, don't have anything against the Greeks and think they are victims of big government as much as we are. Just couldn't resist.
All things Greek, some my side bias but that’s everywhere
A few fun tidbits.
Economy of Greece
Greece’s main industries are tourism, shipping, industrial products, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products, mining and petroleum.
Greece has the EU’s second worst Corruption Perceptions Index after Bulgaria, ranking 80th in the world, and lowest Index of Economic Freedom and Global Competitiveness Index, ranking 119th and 90th respectively.Corruption, together with the associated issue of poor standards of tax collection, is widely regarded as both a key cause of the current troubles in the economy and a key hurdle in terms of overcoming the country’s debt problem.
among European nations; Greeks worked an average of 1,900 hours per year, followed by Spaniards (average of 1,800 hours/year).[53
A study by forensic accountants has found that data submitted by Greece to Eurostat had a statistical distribution indicative of manipulation.
Greece suffers from very high levels of tax evasion. In the last quarter of 2005, tax evasion reached 49%, while in January 2006 it fell to 41.6%.