History of modern Greece

Historia (Inquiry); so that the actions of people will not fade with time. - Herodotus

tsoliades in front of the Greek parliament in Syntagma square

It took Greeks 400 years to re-gain their independence from the Ottomans and create the first Greek Republic initially in 1830, which evolved to the Kingdom of Greece in 1832. Greece remained a kingdom (with a few breaks in between) until 1967 when the Greek military seized power in a coupe d'etat, established the military junta of 1967-1974 and abolished the Greek monarchy. Democracy was restored in 1974 and Konstantinos Karamanlis became the first interim prime minister of the first Greek Parliamentary Republic.

In between, Greece fought valiantly in 2 world wars. The Greeks stopped the invasion of the Italians in World War 2 and held them off for almost 6 months and until the Germans came to their rescue. After the war, Greece was in political and economical crisis due to the German occupation and the highly polarized struggle between leftists and rightists which targeted the power vacuum and led to the Greek Civil War, one of the first conflicts of the Cold War.

Economic crisis since 2009

From late 2009, fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed among investors concerning Greece's ability to meet its debt obligations due to strong increase in government debt levels.[10][11] This led to a crisis of confidence, indicated by a widening of bond yield spreads and risk insurance on credit default swaps compared to other countries, most importantly Germany. Downgrading of Greek government debt to junk bonds created alarm in financial markets. On 2 May 2010, the Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund agreed on a 110 billion Euros loan for Greece, conditional on the implementation of harsh austerity measures. In October 2011, Eurozone leaders also agreed on a proposal to write off 50% of Greek debt owed to private creditors, increasing the EFSF to about 1 trillion Euros and requiring European banks to achieve 9% capitalization to reduce the risk of contagion to other countries. These austerity measures have proved extremely unpopular with the Greek public, precipitating demonstrations and civil unrest.