In the real-life Jenga game that is the Eurozone, Greece and its nearly bankrupt economy hang precariously near the bottom. The 26 other countries in the European Union wobble every time there's news Greece might pull out of the EU. The fear is if Greece fails, other EU pillars — economies, commerce, banks, the euro itself — might fall down, too. But it's no game. Greeks are despairing over high taxes, unemployment and poverty. They’re rioting, burning buildings and storming their parliament over painful austerity measures the government must enforce so it can be deemed worthy enough for yet another bailout. In May, that was $141 million. In November, $57 billion and debt reduction. In part, Greece earned its spendthrift reputation. In the global boom of the early 2000s, it hugely boosted government pensions and invested heavily in the housing bubble. When the 2009 bust hit, sparked by U.S. banking misdeeds, Greece was in bigger trouble than, say, Germany, a "saver nation." It earned a shady reputation, for hiding its deficit with murky accounting, which EU rules do not allow. Other EU countries are also hurting and have their own rioting, suicides, evictions and protests, however the EU was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize this year.
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