Greece. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Greece include Independence Day (March 25) and New Year (January 1). 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 Greece’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 Greece.
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 Walid Taleb.
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 Thessaloniki.
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.