The Greek debt crisis story in numbers

Greece in numbers


Greece's debt mountain


European bailout

  • 177% country's debt-to-GDP ratio

  • 25% fall in GDP since 2010

  • 26% Greek unemployment rate


Greece has submitted new proposals for resolving the country's debt crisis, in order to secure a third bailout from its international creditors.

The proposed measures include many elements rejected by Greek voters in a referendum last Sunday,

What exactly is happening in Greece and why has the country found itself in the current crisis? Here are the key numbers you need to understand what's going on.

1. How much debt is Greece in?

The country's total debt amounts to €323bn (£230bn; $356bn), which they owe to various countries and banks within Europe.

Among EU countries, Germany is by far Greece's biggest creditor, followed by France and Italy.

Although other, smaller European countries like Slovenia and Malta have far more to lose when the debt is expressed as a share of the country's GDP.

2. When does it have to pay it back?

Since 2010, the Athens government has been reliant on two European Union-International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailouts totalling €240bn.

Greece's last cash injection from international creditors was in August 2014, and when the eurozone agreement ran out on 30 June, the Greek government failed to make a key debt repayment to the IMF of €1.5bn.

While the IMF says Greece is "in arrears", the European Financial Stability Facility - a body established in 2010 to help resolve the eurozone crisis - says that constitutes a default.

Following the referendum, Eurozone finance ministers now say they expect to hear new proposals from Greece.

3. Why is it in so much trouble?

Critics point out that Greece's problems can be traced back to before it joined the euro in 2001, when it was living beyond its means.

After it adopted the single currency, public spending soared. Public sector wages, for example, rose 50% between 1999 and 2007 - far faster than in most other eurozone countries. The government also ran up big debts paying for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

After years of overspending, the country's budget deficit - the difference between spending and income - spiralled out of control.

Then, when the global financial downturn hit in 2008, and the cost of borrowing money from banks rose hugely, the country was ill-prepared to cope.

Debt levels reached the point where the country was no longer able to repay its loans, and was forced to ask for help from its European partners and the IMF in the form of massive loans.

The conditions attached to these loans have compounded Greece's woes - especially for ordinary people.

Greece's debt to GDP ratio is now the highest in Europe, running at 174% in the final quarter of 2014, according to Eurostat.

The consequences for ordinary people in Greece have included a high rate of unemployment - especially among young people.

And, after the failure of the bailout talks and the European Central Bank's (ECB) decision not to extend emergency funding, the country has been forced to shut its banks and restrict cash withdrawals to €60 (£42; $66) a day.

But now, with Greek banks running out of funds and on the verge of collapse, the ECB has said it is discussing whether to provide further emergency cash support.

4. What do the Greek people think?

Millions of Greeks were given the chance to have their say on whether to accept the terms of the latest international bailout.

A country-wide referendum held on 5 July asked voters if they supported the austerity demands of its creditors, which included raising taxes and slashing welfare spending.

The governing radical-left Syriza party had urged people to vote "No" - arguing the terms were humiliating - while the "Yes" campaign warned that a "No" result could see Greece ejected from the eurozone.

In the end, voters decisively rejected the bailout terms, with 61.3% voting "No" and 38.7% voting "Yes".

5. What will happen next?

Experts suggest there are at least three scenarios after the country's "No" vote:

  1. A failed deal that leads to Greek exit of the eurozone
  2. A Greek bank collapse leads to Greek exit... or a deal
  3. EU leaders agree deal and avert bank collapse

If Greece were to leave the euro, the process of implementing a new currency would take many months to complete.

The printing of new bank notes would have to take place in secret and capital controls would stop money leaving the country.