As Greece prepares to stand on its feet again after eight years of turmoil a leading academic says that although the worst is over, the chance of a triple-dip recession remains real.
Dr Ioannis Oikonomou, associate professor in finance at Henley Business School who has taught many subjects to JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, warned the EU has made mistakes in tackling the Greek debt crisis and the fallout has changed the landscape of the EU with the bloc’s citizens hitting out over repeated bailouts.
But Dr Oikonomou said there are indications that things are picking up, as he puts it, “a bit.”
He said: “The economy is showing signs of recovery with modest growth, low inflation and a drop in unemployment – now at about 21.8 per cent down from almost 28 per cent in 2013.
“Tourism, the country’s most important sector, has rebounded with about 30 million tourists arriving in 2017 and more expected next year.”
2018 to be better for Greece
Alexis Tsipras, Greek Prime Minister
But there’s plenty of reason for caution as Greece has been here before. In fact, it seems to repeat itself at two-year intervals.
In 2013 The Financial Times led with the headline: “Greece seen as over worst of crisis,” while in 2015 Clemens Fuest, president of the Centre for Economic Research, told reporters once again that the worst was over for Greece.
More recently, in 2017 Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said his government will lead Greece out of the financial crisis and reaffirmed his commitment to the EU.
Mr Tsipras said back in July: “We can now say with certainty that the economy is on the up, the worst is clearly behind us.
Drop the debt: Greeks have had 8 years of misery
He claimed Greece’s commitment to the single currency and the EU had never wavered, even in the depths of its crisis, insisting “Greece is an integral part of Europe.”
But Greece’s relationship with the EU has been fraught and Dr Oikonomou says the EU has both helped and hindered Greece’s road to recovery.
He said: “Last time I said that the worst times are over for Greece was at the end of 2014. A series of remarkable strategic mistakes and destructive negotiation tactics by the then newly elected Greek government proved me wrong.
“But Mr Tsipras and his party seem to have learned from their mistakes in this regards. So yes, I am doing to say it again and hope I will not be proven wrong a second time:…