Throughout the Crisis, a key question has been the exceptionality of the Greek case. To what extent the economic problems of the country are due to the particularities of a failing Greek governance, and from what point onwards we have to actually see them as a wider problem – European or Western or Capitalist or Neo-Liberal – a sort of a Greek chapter of the Shock Doctrine?
What is for sure is that until 2009 Greece was not considered as an exceptional case, neither within Europe in general, or within the eurozone. The story of how within just few months the issue of the Greek debt become a global headline is one that has puzzled Greeks ever since.
The most important question for Greeks is, however, the handling of the financial crisis once it started, how the numbers unravelled and the financial implications this had for their country and their incomes.
The potency that numbers and economic projections have acquired in this crisis is unique. It is fascinating to witness the way just a few decimal numbers can make all the difference. But what has often gone unnoticed is that is there is one great consistent pattern throughout the crisis is the unreliability of such economic prophecies – not just at the macro- but also at the micro-economic level. In the winter of 2012-13, the Greek government feeding a rare wave of optimism among the Greek people, made a repeated firm commitment that ‘Growth’ would return in the autumn of 2013. The Greek Crisis History Project has decided to treat this as a case-study and follow how this particular projection is managed.