Greece, home to one of the world’s oldest civilisations, has climbed two places in this year’s index. Having managed to narrowly avoid another economic disaster after securing its next bailout package, Greece has prevailed under trying circumstances. This typical Greek resilience – and its rise up the Soft Power 30 ranks – proves the country is turning itself round against all the odds. However, the past seven years of crushing austerity and recession have caused rocketing levels of youth unemployment. The Greek government has a long road ahead of it in supporting its citizens as they try to establish a brighter future. Also noteworthy is that although its ancient ruins, pristine beaches, and island nightlife attracts millions of tourists each year, Greece sits towards the bottom of our Culture sub-index.
A relatively strong performance in the Engagement sub-index, including a rise of two places, shows Greece understands how critical it will be to engage with the international community if it hopes to pull itself out of financial trouble and rebuild its fractured reputation.
Greece isn’t out of the woods yet, with billions in debt still looming over its shoulders. And with the IMF and its European partners still unable to reconcile two views of Greece’s debt sustainability, the country has been robbed of the additional funding needed to clear domestic arrears and meet its external debt-service payments. It’s looking unlikely Greece can pull itself up from the bottom of the Enterprise sub-index any time soon.
Greece should be playing to its strengths. With such a rich history, a cuisine that millions flock to the nation to enjoy, and so much natural beauty to share with the world, there’s no reason Greece can’t climb higher across the Culture metrics. An updated and creative approach to promoting its existing assets will do wonders for Greece international standing.