Four years after the country called for a financial lifeline, Greece has recorded a primary budget surplus. Mal Langsdon /Reuters

Greece has met the budget goal set by its euro area partners as a condition for talks on further debt relief, four years after the country cal(...)

People eat during a new year’s meal for the homeless and poor provided by the city of Athens on January 1st. ‘No one gives a damn about Greece’s economic or domestic wellbeing, provided it toes the line in relation to geopolitical manoeuvring.’ Photograph: Orestis Panagiotou/EPA

Writing this within view of the Albanian mountains – so close that they seem to spring up in our village street – makes it clear how intricately conne(...)

A cyclist jumps with his bicycle in front of the University of Athens. Greece ranks 118th in the world league for university efficiency. Photograph: Yorgos Karahalis/Reuters

I am sometimes asked whether the criticisms of the Greek system that I occasionally voice in this column are criticisms also of the Greek people. The (...)

Nikos Michaloliakos, leader of Golden Dawn, last month referred to two Greek citizens, sons of Nigerian immigrants, as “chimpanzees”. Photograph: John Kolesidis/Reuters

A report in these columns in July that an Italian senator had referred to the black Italian minister for integration as an “orangutan” should not give(...)

A state school teacher shouts slogans in front of a banner that reads “No to the civil mobilisation” during a peaceful protest in central Athens on May 13th. Greece’s conservative-led government issued a civil mobilisation order forcing state school teachers to work during university entrance exams. Photograph: AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis

Imagine an EU member state where the public service relied, for its efficiency, on bribery and corruption. Imagine a state where the hospital service (...)

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern speaking in the Dail.

The pensions paid to former taoisigh Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern rank among the highest in Europe, according to data compiled by (...)