In 2002, Greece was a developed nation located in southeastern Europe. With a population of 11 million people, it had an economy based on tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. The literacy rate was high at 97%, and the majority of the population lived in relative wealth. The economy had transitioned from an agrarian economy to one based on industry during the late 20th century and relied heavily on exports to other countries. According to computerannals, Greece had excellent infrastructure with well-maintained roads, reliable electricity and efficient telecommunications networks. Healthcare services were excellent; while universal healthcare coverage existed, access to quality medical care was available throughout the country. Education levels were also high; most adults had completed secondary school, while tertiary enrollment rates hovered around 40%. Despite its many advantages, Greece still faced economic challenges due to its reliance on exports and its large public sector debt levels.
Greece. On January 1, the drachman was exchanged for the euro. A day-long buying boycott was carried out on September 2 in protest of the price increases, which were attributed to the new currency. The government promised to investigate the matter.
Public servants went on strike in April and May against plans to redevelop the country’s largest pension fund. The strike affected airports, ports, state offices and hospitals. On June 18, a 48-hour strike paralyzed ferry and air traffic.
In March, Greece and Turkey agreed to build a pipeline for Turkish natural gas supplies.
Defense Minister Ioannis Papantoniou visited Macedonia on May 23, and then signed a military cooperation agreement.
Police arrested a suspected member of the terrorist group at the end of June on November 17 after an unsuccessful attack in the port city of Piraeus. Later, about 15 other suspected members were arrested, including alleged leader Alexandros Yotopoulos. The group has been attributed to 23 murders since 1975.
According to Countryaah website, national day of Greece is every March 25. Former Minister of Culture Dora Bakoyianni from the conservative opposition ND (Nea Democracy, ‘New Democracy’) in October became Athens’s first female mayor. ND went ahead in the local and mayoral elections, which was seen as a protest against the ruling socialist PASOK (Panellinio Socialistiko Kinima, ‘The All-Greek Socialist Movement’).
In February, the 18-year-old Swede Calle Jonsson was released against a bail of about SEK 130,000. after being jailed for six months, accused of cutting a man on the island of Kos. In December, he was reported to have received an offer to deal with the young Greek he was accused of having cut. In exchange for NOK 16,000. Jonsson would have to avoid a further process. The Swede was hesitant about the proposal as he considers himself innocent.
On November 6, an appeals court released twelve British and two Dutch flight crews who were sentenced to three years in prison for spying at the end of April. The group was arrested in November 2001 near a military base.
2015 New Hope
In 2014, the EU started working on a 3rd aid package for Greece because the previous two had not worked. The economy had shrunk by 25% since the start of the crisis, 1 million had been pushed out of the labor market, hundreds of thousands of educated young Greeks – doctors, nurses and engineers – had to flee the country to Northern Europe to find a job and unemployment reached 27 %. The EU/IMF crisis policy made one thing very clear. At the same time that Greece was actually paying off its public debt, the economy collapsed at the same time. Debt’s share of GDP remained unchanged. The policy merely helped to tear the country apart.
Due. the continuing deep crisis, the parties in parliament in December 2014 could not agree on electing a new president, and therefore new elections were postponed.
As expected, the January 2015 parliamentary elections provided a landslide victory for the left-wing coalition Syriza, which rose 9.5% to 36.3% of the vote. It gave 99 seats and a further 50 seats as the largest party, a total of 149 seats out of the 300 seat parliament. The two major losers of the election were the Pasok Social Democratic Party, which went back 20 seats to 13. The party gained only 4.7% of the vote – a hint of a chariot to Europe’s other neoliberally-oriented social democracies. The Democratic Left (DIMAR) lost all of its 17 seats and completely ran out of parliament. The former government party, the conservative New Democracy lost 3 seats as well as 50 by no longer being the largest party. The fascist Golden Dawn returned 1 mandate. Most of the party’s leadership sat in jail for murder and violent assaults.
Syriza formed government together with the small right-wing party of Independent Greeks (ANEL) who received 17 seats. The coalition government, therefore, had a solid majority in parliament, and although it was an uneasy coalition between the right and the left, it was a sensible marriage, as both parties were high on the agenda to deal with EU and IMF crisis policies vis-à-vis the country. Syria’s charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras assumed the post of prime minister. New Minister of Finance became Yanis Varoufakis, who came to negotiate with the EU and IMF to amend the existing agreements that the new government did not intend to respect. One of the new government’s first steps was to halt public privatization initiated and to remove the barriers
In March, Parliament elected Prokopis Pavlopoulos as new president.
From February until July 2015, the government negotiated a new debt agreement with the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF. The Syriza government suffered from the delusion that the EU would agree to a better deal for Greece. However, it was the opposite. The EU was in no case interested in granting concessions to a leftist Greek government, and not at all to conclude an agreement that could set a precedent for negotiations with other southern European countries. But the fundamental thrust of the negotiations between the two parties was the issue of Austerity– public cuts and dismantling of the state apparatus. Across the EU, but especially in Greece, this was the political cause of the deepening of the economic crisis. The fronts between the Greek finance minister Varoufakis and especially the German Wolfgang Schäuble ended up being drawn so sharply that Schäuble and the rest of the EU finance ministers eventually ended up refusing to negotiate with Varoufakis. Contributing to the crisis was that in March, Greece demanded war damages from Germany for the massacres and damage that Germany had inflicted on the country in 1943-45. A claim that was rejected by Germany despite the fact that international lawyers considered Greece to be a good cause. In March and again in May, Greece complies with its interest payments and repayments on loans to the IMF and the ECB. But the negotiations are unsuccessful because of the EU ‘ s unshakable position. At the end of May, Greece announces that it is likely to be unable to pay $ 1.6 billion. US $ to the IMF in early June and must therefore suspend payment. The EU does not care. On June 4, Greece therefore announces that it will have to postpone scheduled payments until the end of June. This is a rule in the IMF’s terms of payment that has never been used by an I-country, but only by impoverished developing countries. Negotiations between Greece, the ECB and the EU break down several times during June, but will be repeated every time. On June 23, the Greek government presents a comprehensive reform package to meet the EU by to include a pension reform. The package is, in most respects, contrary to Syria’s election promises from January. But the European Union is clearly choosing to reject the proposal. Instead, the Union presents an ultimatum to the Greek government, which will be a total capitulation. This ultimatum is rejected by the government which instead sends it to the referendum. The Greek right wing is launching a vigorous campaign to secure a Greek yes to the EU ultimatum. EU heads of state and finance ministers also blend openly in the referendum, threatening the Greeks to vote yes. To further trump, the ECB is suspending its remittances to Greece. This would be equivalent to the Danish National Bank refusing to supply banknotes for example. Fyn. The ECB’s monetary terror forces the Greek state to close its banks, introduce currency controls and only allow the payment of a maximum of € 60 at a time from the Greek ATMs. The step comes a little late. In the previous 5 months, Greek citizenship has drawn more than $ 30 billion.