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Yearbook 2017

Greece. According to, Greece's strained economy recovered during the year. But at the beginning of the year it looked bad; In a new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the EU's view of the Greek economy was based on "significantly more optimistic assumptions" than those presented by the IMF: in 2060, Greece's national debt would be 275% of GDP. And in March, figures for the fourth quarter of 2016 showed that GDP fell by 1.1%. But already in the same month, fresh EU statistics showed that Greece had a government budget surplus of 2-3% (excluding borrowing costs), and a month later the figure had risen to 4.2% according to the European Commission. The Reuters news agency therefore reported that it was the first time in 21 years that Greece joined plus. Lenders' claims on Greece were at 0.5% surplus.

2017 Greece

Unemployment also fell to 22.5% during the year, which is the lowest figure in five years. In September 2016, the figure was record high, 27.9%.

Violent protests broke out in the capital of Athens in mid-May in connection with the negotiations for new loans to the country. It was the planned austerity measures (a demand from the lenders) that got 10,000 people to gather on Syntagmatorget outside Parliament on the same evening as the austerity package would be approved. Violent clashes took place between protesters (gasoline bombs) and police (tear gas). The package was voted on by a slight margin, 153 of the 300 members voted for the proposal, which included reduced pensions and higher taxes from 2019/20. At the beginning of July, the eurozone finance ministers agreed, and a payment of € 8.5 billion from the latest emergency package of 2015 was approved.

In July, the IMF approved yet another aid program for Greece; this time at € 1.5 billion.

In January, Turkey threatened to terminate the refugee agreement with Greece. This is unless the eight officers who fled to Greece in a helicopter after the failed coup attempt in July 2016 were handed over to Turkey. In the past, a Greek court has ruled that the military cannot be surrendered because they would not receive a fair trial in Turkey. In December, a decision was made to grant one of the officers asylum, which prompted Turkey to protest so loudly that the Greek government appealed the court decision.

Two Swedes were sentenced in May to 15 years in prison for membership in a terrorist organization. They were arrested in Alexandroupolis near the border with Turkey with military clothes, knives and money in the pack. According to Greek authorities, they were on their way to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS).

An earthquake struck in July in the archipelago of Dodecanese in the southeastern part of the Aegean Sea, near Turkey. A Swedish man in his 20s was killed on the tourist island of Kos in connection with the quake. In addition, two Swedes and one Norwegian were seriously injured.

Proof that the Greek economy is on the right track was given in September when the EU removed the country from the list of countries with a deficit exceeding 3% of GDP. Remaining on the list are now France, Spain and the UK.

In November, central Greece was hit by heavy rains. The worst hit was an area a few miles west of the capital, including the industrial cities of Mandra, Megara and Néa Péramos, where roads and cars were washed away and homes flooded. At least 13 people were killed in the storm, which was described by the Mayor of Mandra, Yianna Krikouki, to be "by biblical standards".

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