The hundreds of billions of dollars that banks, insurance companies and other international investors poured into this country after the advent of the euro financed roads and houses, raised wages and helped Constantine Choutlas sustain a 1,000-person construction firm with projects such as building the athletes’ village for the 2004 Olympics.
What it did not do was build a competitive economy, and when the rest of the world woke up to that fact and the money rushed away, so did Choutlas’s business.
“You could see it wouldn’t last. The country was just borrowing money,” Choutlas, whose Proodeftiki Technical has been scaled back to a handful of employees, said as he jabbed a finger in the air for emphasis. “Nobody, nobody, nobody, said lets take a look at where we are going.”