Greek Tragedy: Athens' Financial Woes


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...

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