Greece. According to Countryaah.com, 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.
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”.
The Greek antiquity
Greek antiquity, also referred to as ancient Greece, ancient culture in the eastern Mediterranean. Greece was not a unified state formation in ancient times, but consisted of several hundred small states. In addition to today’s Greece, the coasts of Asia Minor, southern Italy and Sicily were Greek core areas, and in classical times the Greek colonies extended from Catalonia in the west to the inner Black Sea in the east.
This article deals with the social life, culture and history of ancient Greece, in the period from about the year 1000 BCE. and until about the birth of Christ.
Greek religion and culture have their roots partly in religious notions the Indo-European tribes brought with them as they wandered into the later Greek area, partly in myths and rites which they acquired from the Greek population or from other peoples whom they subsequently came into contact with..
The Greeks had no real priesthood. Much of the worship was closely related to the family, and the significant events in human life – birth, the transition to adulthood, marriage and death – were associated with religious rites. The state took care of the relationship with the gods by building shrines, building temples, and holding regular feasts with sacrifices as an important element.
Public cult was led by the Arkhunts or other annually appointed officials, but such offices were sometimes inherited by certain families. No sacred (canonical) writing existed, but Homer’s poem, which became the common property of all Greeks, shaped the forms of the great gods as they lived in people’s consciousness, in poetry, and in fine art.
The first philosophers are the so-called Ionic natural philosophers in the 500s BCE. The oldest we know the name of was Thales from Milet who claimed that the water is the source of all things.
In the city of Athens, sophists (teachers of rhetoric and wisdom) laid the foundation for a breakthrough of philosophy with its discussions of political and moral issues. Here appeared Socrates at the end of the 400s, who, with his in-depth questions about all things, became the philosopher-ideal of later generations. Socrates left no writings, but is known through his student Plato. Plato’s student Aristotle was more systematic and empirically oriented. In his works he dealt with all the known sciences of the time, including biology, aesthetics, ethics and political philosophy. Many basic concepts in the natural sciences can be traced back to him.
Epicurean, like around 300 BCE. founded a philosophical school in Athens, gained great importance with his socrally inspired moral philosophy. In the next centuries, there was a variety of religious and philosophical speculation. New Platonism and Stoicism are among the schools that sought to create holistic views or systems.
Science in Greek antiquity is considered to be the basis of European natural science. Science originated among the great thinkers of Greece about 500-600 years before our time. Thales from Milet is therefore considered to be the West’s first scientist and philosopher. Among other things, he demonstrated that amber (electron in Greek) attracted small particles, and with him and Pytagoras the math was brought from the Orient to Greece.
Greek literature had a fundamental impact on European culture. The Greeks created a number of literary forms that have been inherited by the people of the cultural circle. Figures and thoughts that we first encounter in Greek poetry have become common property. The oldest Greek literary works preserved are Homer’s poem Iliad and the Odyssey.
Art and architecture
The actual Greek art is estimated from around the year 1000 BCE. The climax was reached in the heyday of Athens during Pericles in the 4th century BCE. Classical Greek art has later become a role model for European art.