Greek Tragedy: Athens' Financial Woes

PETROS GIANNAKOURIS / AP

Highly combustible Greeks, like these firefighters protesting public-sector reform, are braced for pain

Every Jan. 6, Greeks celebrate Epiphany with a ceremony full of symbolism and hope. All over the country, priests throw a gold cross into open water and young men dive in to retrieve it. The winners get a blessing on the spot; everyone else takes home some holy water for a trouble-free new year. Newly elected Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou attended ceremonies on the Aegean island of Lesbos this year, but with Greece sinking under debt and a huge budget deficit as fast as a priest's crucifix, Papandreou is going to need more than holy water to get through...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!