A few days ago, the respected Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency downgraded Greece’s short-term sovereign debt from “B” to “C” status, effectively reducing it to junk status. The long-term debt didn’t fare much better, plunging from “BB-“ to “B,” making it a highly speculative investment.
Years of overspending. Unsustainable deficits in excess of 10% of GDP. 16% unemployment. Labor unrest. Student riots. Burgeoning public debt. A humiliating $156 billion financial bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund and an additional $45 billion under consideration. 10-year bonds yielding 15.6%. Looming default on May 19, when 8.5 billion Euros worth of bond payments come due. Greece’s perennial foe, Turkey, backing Iran’s nuclear swap. Iran elected to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. Concerns over their insolvent pension fund, and, to top it off, the embarrassing adulterated olive oil scandal.
All these issues and more have weighed heavily on Aglaea, the Goddess of beauty, Euphrosyne, the Goddess of mirth and Thalia, the Goddess of good cheer. It shows.