The climax of the debt crisis that brought Greece to the brink of bankruptcy was the first moment after the 1974 post-junta regime change that the country moved backwards instead of looking to the future with the optimism of new beginnings.

After an era of prosperity, Greece suddenly found itself in the eye of an international tempest, was isolated as a pariah, and almost miraculously averted expulsion from the eurozone.

Economic problems permeated society and political life and led to a decade of introversion.

Today, precisely because we are in the midst of successive crises, our first crisis may seem like a thing of the distant past.

Yet, it is not so distant as one might think, and it does not concern others. On the contrary, the wounds of that period are still gaping and generations of citizens saw their lives turn upside down.

Back then, the alarm bells regarding the huge public debt were not heeded in a timely manner, and that must not be repeated.

Although it remains viable, the public debt has been rising during the pandemic, and Finance Minister Christos Staikouras (photo) in Parliament yesterday conceded that the credit spreads are becoming larger.

Overall, these parameters are considered favourable, as the prospect of a de-escalation of public debt is based on recovery data and primary surpluses.

That does not mean, however, that there is any room for complacency.

The responsibility for dealing with the current situation is not only Greek, but also EU-wide, as during the years of the pandemic the Union appeared to comprehend that harsh fiscal rules are not always a prescription for success.