Greece: Tourists and investors are back
Tourists are back, as are investors. The Greek stock market is up 25 percent this year, paring its decline since 2007 to 79 percent. Greek bonds have gained 41 percent in 2013, more than anywhere else in the euro region, Bloomberg World Bond Indexes show. Ireland, by comparison, rose 11 percent.
?Greece has become like a chemistry lab where the outcome of the experiment could be something completely new or something corrosive,? said Polydoros Karyofyllis, 43, the co-director of the Biennale, which runs until Dec. 1. ?We see where science and statistics have led us so maybe it is time to look at art.?
In the abandoned building that once housed the Athens Stock Exchange, artist Teo is shuffling between the Fool, the Magician and the Devil in a Tarot card reading to divine the fate of the crippled Greek nation.
Above his head, a flickering electronic installation depicts share prices from 2007 near the market?s euro-era peak, before six years of recession and successive bailouts wiped about 48 billion euros ($65 billion) off the economy.
Temporary home to the Athens Biennale arts exhibition, the disused trading floor has become a mausoleum of former wealth and a hotbed of conjecture. Economists and artists have come together to tackle the question on all Greek minds: now what?
The byword for the financial ordeal that threatened to tear apart the euro, Greece remains the biggest drag on the continent?s ability to overcome it. With the economy 23 percent smaller and more than a quarter of the working population jobless, Greeks are girding for more pain just as fellow debt crisis victim Ireland stops relying on rescue loans.
On Nov. 5, Olli Rehn, the European Union?s economic and monetary affairs commissioner, said there were more signs the European economy had reached a ?turning point? as efforts by governments and the European Central Bank foster a recovery. The same day, EU, ECB and International Monetary Fund inspectors in Athens were being heckled and pelted by coins.
?Greece today stands at a crossroads,? ECB Executive Board member Yves Mersch said on Nov. 8. ?If the authorities fail to address the remaining challenges, they will put at risk what has already been achieved.?
Click here to read more.