Greece’s New Groove

Why Athens Is No Longer Europe’s Black Sheep

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his cabinet in Athens, July 2019 Costas Baltas / Reuters

The past decade has been rough for Greece. After the global financial crisis of 2008–9, the country lost a quarter of its GDP and became the bête noire of Europe for nearly catalyzing the implosion of the eurozone. Roughly four years ago, however, Greece began a quiet recovery. Under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party, the economy inched back to positive growth, populist movements lost their momentum, and Greece’s relations with its allies and many of its neighbors improved. But Tsipras’s successes, particularly in foreign policy, didn’t translate into popularity. So on July 8, Greeks woke up to news that opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his center-right New Democracy party had defeated Tsipras in a landslide.

Yet far from a setback for the country, Mitsotakis’ victory gives Greeks more reason to be optimistic about the future. Although Tsipras helped catalyze Greece’s recovery, Mitsotakis’s sweeping

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