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Yearbook 2006

Greece. According to CountryAAH, Greece's conservative government struggled during the year to push the budget deficit below 3% of GDP to avoid sanctions under the EU Stability and Growth Pact. The European Commission announced in November that the budget deficit appeared to end at 2.6% in 2006 and 2.4% in 2007, giving G's Prime Minister Kostas Karamanli a little respite.

2006 Greece

In April, the European Commission notified Greece to the European Court of Justice for failing to obey a September 2005 decision to recover unauthorized state grants of EUR 540 million to crisis-hit airline Olympic Airways and its successor Olympia Airlines.

A series of strikes and protests were carried out against the austerity measures during the year. Despite the discontent and unrest in the labor market, the ruling party New Democracy (ND) held the positions in local and regional elections in October. The party won the mayor posts in Athens and Thessaloniki. The Socialist Party PASOK took home the port cities of Patras and Piraeus. Karamanlis reformed the government on February 14. Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis became new Foreign Minister. The government transformation was preceded by the disclosure that Karamanlis and about 100 other high government officials and journalists' mobile phones had been intercepted during June 2004 to March 2005. The motive was unclear, but the interception seems to have been most intense during the Athens 2004 Olympics.

Russia, Bulgaria and Greece agreed in September to build an oil pipeline between the Black Sea and the Aegean. The plan has been discussed for 13 years and made public when the Presidents of Russia and Bulgaria visited G.

Violent crows shook Athens on April 25 when US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met his Greek counterpart. Police attack tear gas against protesters who threw stones and gasoline bombs. At least ten people were injured and some 40 were arrested on November 17, when thousands of protesters marked the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising against the then military junta.

A Greek pilot was killed on May 23 when a Greek and a Turkish fighter plane collided over the Aegean Sea. Both countries were restrained in their initial reactions.

At the end of November, Greece's Supreme Court announced that the trial against the Swede Calle Jonsson must be resumed. He had previously been released from the charge of attempted murder on Kos Island in 2001.

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