News of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ self-proclaimed “success story” hasn’t trickled down to Greeks still suffering the effects of harsh austerity measures with a report from the U.S.’ Cato Institute ranking the country as the 10th most miserable in the world for lifestyle.
Four years of pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions, and public worker firings have combined to create record unemployment, deep poverty and soaring suicide and homelessness while the country’s rich and politicians have largely escaped unscathed and even prospered.
Venezuela tops the list, with Iran second and Serbia third, followed by Argentina, Jamaica, Egypt, Spain, South Africa, Brazil ahead of Greece. Cyprus, which is undergoing an economic crisis as well, came in 14th among 90 countries surveyed.
The countries were selected based on data from the Economist Intelligence Unit. The data was analyzed by Professor Steve Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. The formula used to establish the list is based on inflation, lending rates, unemployment rates and reduction of the per capita GDP from year to year.
Inflation is the most important factor to plague three of the four countries that top the list. As for Greece, the factor that was most instrumental in the country’s ranking was unemployment, with 1.4 million people out of work.