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.
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.
During 2016, the Greek fascists around Golden Dawn
continued their violent attacks on refugees and asylum
seekers. In July, they set fire to a refugee center in
Athens. In November, they attacked refugees in the Souda
refugee center at Kios. Two were injured. Two employees who
worked at the center were also injured by the fascists as
they tried to stop the attack. Also in November, a court of
appeals in Piraeus upheld an earlier verdict on 4 facists
who in 2012 had abducted and beaten Egyptian guest worker
The government's increase in taxes did not increase tax
revenue. A study by the DiaNEOsis think tank from January
2017 pointed out that the tax debt was then $ 95 billion. €.
An increase from DKK 76 billion € in 2015. It was estimated
that most of this debt could not be recovered. The reason
many did not pay their taxes was because the choice was
between paying taxes and going bankrupt, or surviving. The
open and hidden tax fraud is then estimated to be 6-9% of
GDP. In addition, VAT fraud amounted to approx. 3.5% of GDP.
The Ministry of Finance announced in February 2017 that
the national debt was $ 226.36 billion. €. An increase of $
2.65 billion idht. the previous quarter. In May, Syriza
adopted further cuts and privatizations: the pensions were
further reduced, the minimum annual salary before tax
payable was reduced from € 8,600 to 5,700, and it was
decided to privatize the PPC electricity company, the
railways, Athens International Airport and the port of
In an interview with the Guardian in July,
Tsipras stated that Greece had put the worst of the debt
crisis behind and was on its way. A few days in advance, the
IMF had in principle approved the country to be able to
raise loans of the order of DKK 1.8 billion. US $.
At the beginning of June 2018, Turkey sent a formation of
F-16 fighter aircraft into Greek airspace over the Aegean
Sea. The military threat to Greece was a response to Greece
releasing the 8 Turkish officers who had fled the country
following the military coup attempt in Turkey almost 2 years
earlier. Turkey demanded the officers extradited, while the
Greeks decided they could seek political asylum. Like
Israel, Turkey ignores the borders of its neighboring
countries and occupies parts of Iraq and Syria.
In November, the UNHCR called on Greece to immediately
improve the conditions for the 11,000 refugees living in
open tents in camps on the islands of Lesbos and Samos.
Relationships are not worthy of a civilized society. The EU
forced drastic public cuts in 2015-16, and the Greek state
has therefore had very limited means of coping with the
refugee crisis. The EU has provided few and limited funds to
cope with the humanitarian disaster, and apologizes that
Defense Minister Panos Kammenos of the right-wing party,
Independent Greeks, has used the EU funds for other
purposes. The victims remain refugees.