As the cradle of modern civilization, Greece has contributed countless innovations to humankind. From roughly 460 BC- 146 BC, Greeks dominated the ancient world by way of cultural developments and military might. The mathematical developments of Euclid and Archimedes; the philosophical dialogues and treatises from Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates (who some readers may remember from his cameo in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure); and dramas created by Sophocles and Euripides are still venerated as important contributions to knowledge even in the twenty-first century. It should also be mentioned that we can thank the Greeks for many other important inventions like the Olympics, gyros, and Liam Neeson’s portrayal of Zeus.
In modern times, Greece has been better known as a tourist destination with its plethora of beautiful beaches, historical sites, and excellent cuisine. But since the economic collapse of 2009, times have been tough for the Hellenic Republic. Even before Greece joined the Euro zone in 2000, the country suffered from financial trouble brought on by high inflation and record unemployment, with one in ten Greeks out of work. After ridding themselves of the drachma like a cheap plate on a taverna floor, Greece used their newly strengthened credit to increase government employee wages and to fund their massive pension program. When you take into account the rapidly aging population of this Mediterranean country, this was a disastrous move. Greece’s financial troubles were made even worse by Olympian levels of government corruption. One of the highest profile cases involved Akis Tsochatzopoulos, former defense minister and Socialist party member (the Socialists have since kicked him to the curb). During his tenure as defense minister, Tsochatzopoulos reportedly took $26 million in bribes for assigning military contracts to rich buddies. As a result of this widespread corruption and mismanagement, things have only gotten worse. As of November 2013, the unemployment rate in Greece reached an astounding 28%, nearly double that of the previous record high for unemployment in the Euro Zone. While many of Greece’s 11 million people are struggling as a result of the financial devastation of their country, a number of Greeks (both at home and abroad) are dominating various industries.
5 5. - C. Dean Metropoulous- $1.3 Billion
4 4.- Aristotelis Mistakidis- $2.7 Billion
3 3.- John Catsimatidis- $3.1 Billion
2 2.- Spiros Latsis- $3.3 Billion
1 - John Paul DeJoria- $4 Billion
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