The official poverty rate in Greece increased dramatically from 19.7 percent in 2009 to 23.1 percent in 2012. The near collapse of the economy caused by the 2009 fiscal crisis led to high unemployment and tax burdens and to the lowering of people’s incomes. The government’s failure to protect and support those who have no income or little income, due to its lack of effective mechanisms to do so, also contributed to the rise in the poverty rate.

In the 2000s, low interest rates led to extensive borrowing by the Greek government and households, which fueled spending and growth in the economy. After the crisis, many households were unable to service their debts, including home mortgages, and the economy went into a downward spiral. The government ...

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