Sunday, July 29, 2012

Greek Financial Crisis: Did 2004 Athens Olympics Spark Problems In Greece?

ATHENS, Greece — When it comes to overspending, Greece gets the gold medal.

Governments in the Greek capital of Athens haven't balanced a budget in nearly 40 years, and the country narrowly averted bankruptcy in May before panicky European partners grudgingly put up massive rescue loans.

While many factors are behind the crippling debt crisis, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens has drawn particular attention.

If not the sole reason for this nation's financial mess, some point to the games as at least an illustration of what's gone wrong in Greece.

Their argument starts with more than a dozen Olympic venues – now vacant, fenced off and patrolled by private security guards. Stella Alfieri, an outspoken anti-Games campaigner, says they marked the start of Greece's irresponsible spending binge. Read More