Greek Debt Crisis: Overview and Implications for the United States [August 19, 2015] [open pdf - 912KB]
"Greece's economy has been in crisis since 2009. While concerns have focused on the sustainability of the government's debt, the crisis has also resulted in a general collapse of the Greek economy. Greece's debt level has increased from 103% of GDP [Gross Domestic Product] to over 170% of GDP, its economy has contracted by 25%, unemployment has tripled to 25%, and the Greek banking system has become increasingly unstable. Although other Eurozone governments, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB) have taken a number of policy measures to contain the crisis, Greece continues to face serious economic challenges. The economic crisis in Greece has also evolved into a broader political crisis in Europe that many analysts believe could represent the most significant setback in over 60 years of European integration. Analysts argue that the acrimonious debates among European leaders about the appropriate crisis response have heightened political tensions (especially between Germany and France) to a degree that could negatively impact the EU over the longer term. In particular, the crisis in Greece has exposed problems with the institutional architecture of the Eurozone, whose member states share a common currency and monetary policy, but retain national control over fiscal and banking policies."
CRS Report for Congress, R44155
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html