Greece, after having five straight years of recession, the eurozone's weakest link moves into 2013 with an economy set to further contract. Greece's unemployment rate is at at a record 26%, with one in three living on or below the poverty line, and the worst of austerity yet to come.
Greek finance minister, Yannis Stournaras, felt fit to admit that despite being the recipient of €240bn in EU and IMF rescue funds – the biggest bailout in global history – Greece could still default on its massive pile of debt, a move that would result automatically in exit from the 17-nation bloc.
"We still face a possible risk of bankruptcy," he told the FT, adding that Athens's fate would undoubtedly be determined by the ability of the prime minister, Antonis Samaras's fragile coalition to survive the unrest that will inevitably erupt with enforcement of cuts worth €9.2bn in the new year alone.
Much would depend on whether the debt-stricken country meets the expectations of international creditors keeping insolvency at bay. And whether Greeks have the stamina, and their government the resolve, to accept and enact painful reforms.
"We can make it in 2013 if we stick to the programme agreed with the EU and IMF," said Stournaras. "What we have done so far is necessary but not sufficient to achieve a permanent solution for Greece."