Blowing the bank

05.11.1312:04 PM ET

Austerity Greece Is Europe's Facelift Capital

Cosmetic surgeries surged in the recession-struck country.

Even as Greece struggled with harsh austerity measures to scramble its way out of economic crisis, its citizens are blowing the bank on facelifts and other forms of cosmetic surgery. In 2011, one in 79 Greeks invested in a cosmetic procedure, from liposuction to eyelid correction and Botox—making it second only to South Korea in the proportion of procedures performed. Surgeons are reportedly cutting their costs to appeal to recession-era budgets, and psychologists say that the boom in cosmetic surgery is hardly a surprise during a time of national insecurity. Meanwhile, the near-bankrupt government is desperately trying to wrestle its bloated health care system under control, and about 35 percent of Greeks have no health insurance at all.