Greece. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the Pasok government (Panellinion Socialist icon
Kinima, Panhellian socialist movement) won the parliamentary
elections on April 9. The margin of the challenger ND (Nea
Democracy, New Democracy) was only one percentage point -
Pasok received 43.8% of the vote and ND 42.7%.
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis had announced the election
five months in advance to be able to negotiate membership in
the European Monetary Union EMU with a new mandate from the
population. The Greek currency, the drachman, had been
revalued by 3.5% on January 15. After the revaluation,
inflation fell to 2.1%, which was enough for Greece to meet the
last of the formal criteria for applying for membership in
EMU. Greece therefore submitted his application on 9 March.
Greece's Foreign Minister Georgios Papandreou visited his
colleague Ismail Cem in Turkey on January 20-22. Cem repaid
the visit by coming to Athens two weeks later. They decided,
among other things, to set up a joint working group to
reduce tensions around the Aegean Sea. On June 2, the two
countries participated in a NATO exercise in Greece. However,
during a longer NATO exercise in October, it became clear
that the contradictions consisted of issues relating to
Cyprus and the border crossing between the Aegean countries.
Greece withdrew from the exercise three days before concluding.
Stephen Saunders, Defense Attaché at the British Embassy
in Athens, was shot dead on June 8 in the Greek capital. The
left organization on November 17 assumed responsibility for
the deed. The killers had not been arrested at the end of
the year. In August, information came out that Greece and the
United States had agreed on cooperation in the fight against
79 people drowned when the Express Samina passenger ferry
crashed with over 500 passengers aboard just outside the
port on Paros Island on September 26. Captain Vassilis
Yannakis admitted that he had taken a nap at the time. After
the accident, the government decided to gradually scrap over
100 ferries older than 30 years and to allow foreign
companies to operate domestic routes.
In March 2016, the EU signed an agreement with Turkey to
welcome returned boat refugees. Turkey, in turn, received 6
billion. €. The aim was not to solve the refugee crisis, but
merely to prevent refugees from coming to Europe. The
agreement was therefore that all boat refugees could be sent
back to Turkey, which in turn could equal the same number of
refugees across the EU border. As there was no longer access
to the EU as a boat refugee, this flow died down during the
spring. On the other hand, those who arrived were interned
in camps on the Greek islands for return. This was in clear
conflict with the UN Refugee Convention and this prompted
UNHCR and MSF to stop cooperation with the Greek authorities
in protest against the EU's breach of the Convention. In
June, MSF went even further, refusing to accept EU support
in protest of the Union's human rights violations.
Despite fierce protests in Athens, in May, Parliament
adopted the disputed pension reform with Syrizas + ANEL's
153 votes against 144. The reform included a ceiling of €
384 a month in retirement after 20 years of employment.
Before the reform, the pension could be up to € 1300. The
reason for the fierce opposition to the reform was that many
of the country's unemployed - especially young people - had
lived through their parents 'or grandparents' pension for
eight years. The cuts would therefore throw not only
pensioners but also their unemployed family members into
deep poverty. Furthermore, the VAT rate was increased to
By the end of 2016, despite the EU's agreement with
Turkey, 173,450 refugees had been transported across the
Aegean Sea to Greece. 450 were dead along the way or were
missing. There were 47,400 refugees and asylum seekers on
the mainland and 15,384 in the islands. While the EU
provided massive financial assistance to Turkey, there was
no EU funding for Greece to cope with the massive refugee
pressure. Despite very difficult conditions, refugees were
nevertheless better received in Greece by the state and
especially by private organizations and groups than in any
other EU country.
Athens, Athens, Greek Athēʹnai, New Greek Athinai,
capital and largest city in Greece; 753,500 residents (2010), in the
metropolitan area 3. 8 million. Athens is located on the Attic plain, near the
Gulf of Aegina (Saronic Gulf) in the Aegean Sea, and surrounded by the Pateras,
Parnes, Pentelikon and Hymettos Mountains. Together with the port city of
Piraeus, Athens forms the Balkan Peninsula's largest urban agglomeration,
Greater Athens, which forms its own administrative region (iamerisma). The city has hosted the Summer Olympics three times: 1896, 1906 and 2004.
Greece has been industrialized in relatively modern times, and much of the
industry is concentrated in the Athens-Piraeus area. A variety of industries are
represented. Originally, the emphasis was on the food and textile industries,
but later on the metal and chemical industries were added, located in Piraeus.
The lack of effective environmental laws for industry - in combination with the
topographical situation - has led to severe pollution of both air and water.
Athens is the economic center of Greece and holds the headquarters of a number
of banks, insurance companies, shipping companies and - not least because of the
great importance of the tourism industry - travel agencies. Athens is also the
communication center of Greece, and the city has road and rail links with other
parts of the country. Piraeus is the main port city and center of the
Athens has the same range of higher education institutions as most million
cities: universities (founded in 1837), a technical college and a number of
other colleges. To this is added a school with a special archaeological focus.
The Greek Academy of Sciences has its headquarters in Athens, and several
European states, including Sweden, here has important institutes for research on
antiquity. In Athens there is the Greek National Theater, which is known for its
sets of ancient dramas, as well as an opera. The city also has a whole series of
museums, several with collections from antiquity. These include the National
Museum of Archeology, the Historical Museum, the Acropolis Museum, a numismatic
museum and the Kerameikos Museum. Otherwise there is a Byzantine museum with
objects from early Christian and Byzantine times as well as the Benaki Museum
(arts and crafts from Greece and the Orient).