TAGS: Photography, Politics, Economy, Finance, Society, Culture, Protest

The year began with protests against pension reform and ended with the government handing a 617-million-euro bonus to pensioners. In general, 2016 had a back-and-forth feel about it. The government wrapped up the first program review but failed to conclude negotiations on the second assessment. They will drag on into 2017.

The refugee camp at Idomeni, on Greece's border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), was cleared by spring but come autumn, overcrowding had begun to cause problems at so-called hot spots on the Aegean islands. In between, global figures and celebrities such as Pope Francis and Angelina Jolie visited Greece to draw attention to the plight of tens of thousands of people fleeing danger in Syria, Iraq and other places.

Other visitors to Greece this year included Russian President Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, who paid homage to the idea of democracy in his last major speech abroad as US president before he passes the baton to Donald Trump, who takes the Oath of Office on January 20.

On the domestic political front, Kyriakos Mitsotakis sprung a surprise by winning the leadership race at New Democracy. The conservatives subsequently built a steady lead over SYRIZA in the opinion polls. After much legal wrangling, the government was forced to abandon its efforts to regulate the broadcasting sector. The Council of State found that its tender for four TV licenses was unconstitutional, meaning a new process will have to be launched.

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