NEWS

Timeline: Greece holds repeat elections amid crisis

Here is a look at Greece?s financial crisis in the last two years as the country goes to the polls:

2010:

May 2 – Then prime minister George Papandreou says he has sealed a bailout deal with the European Union and International Monetary Fund in return for extra budget cuts of 30 billion euros ($39 billion) over three years. The package represents the first rescue of a euro zone member.

May 4/5 – Public sector workers stage a 48-hour nationwide strike. Three people are killed when a bank is set on fire.

May 6 – Greek parliament approves the austerity bill.

May 10 – Global policymakers install an emergency safety net worth about $1 trillion to bolster international financial markets and prevent the crisis from damaging the euro. This includes 440 billion euros in guarantees from euro zone states.

July 7 – Parliament passes a pension reform in line with the EU/IMF deal, and raises women?s retirement age from 60 to 65.

Oct. 4 – Government submits a 2011 draft budget to parliament promising to cut the deficit faster than agreed in the IMF/EU bailout deal.

2011:

May 23 – Greece unveils planned privatisations as part of its goal to raise 50 billion euros by 2015 to reduce debts.

June 13 – Greece gets the lowest credit rating in the world after S private sector bondholders will contribute some 50 billion euros by mid-2014.

Oct. 21 – Greece approves more austerity measures, defying violent protests in Athens and a general strike.

Oct. 27 – Euro zone leaders beef up the rescue to an estimated 130 billion euros. They persuade private banks and insurers to accept a 50 percent loss on their Greek bonds – a figure which in subsequent negotiations will rise to 74 percent.

Oct. 31 – In a shock move, Papandreou calls a referendum on the latest bailout without consulting European leaders.

— France and Germany say Athens will receive no more aid until parliament votes to meet its commitments to the euro zone.

Nov. 4 – After intense pressure from European leaders, the government confirms it has dropped referendum plans.

Nov. 6 – Papandreou seals a deal with the opposition to form a coalition to approve the bailout before early elections.

Nov. 10 – Former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos is appointed to head a new coalition. He says Greece will implement the bailout deal before calling elections.

Dec. 6 – Violence breaks out at protests outside parliament in Athens. Some people are wounded and 38 people are arrested.

Dec 7 – The new coalition passes an austerity 2012 budget aimed at cutting the deficit to 5.4 percent of GDP (from what is now projected at nine percent in 2011) and at creating a 2012 surplus before interest payments are taken into account.

2012:

Feb. 9 – The two main Greek coalition parties agree on austerity terms of the new bailout demanded by the EU and IMF.

— Unemployment rises to 20.9 percent, a new record.

Feb. 12 – Greek lawmakers endorse a new austerity deal after 10 hours of debate while thousands protest in Athens.

Feb. 20/21 – Euro zone ministers agree the 130 billion euro bailout, and finalise measures to cut Greece?s debt to 120.5 percent of GDP by 2020.

March 9 – Greece averts an uncontrolled default when it agrees a bond swap deal with private creditors clearing the way for bailout and cutting its debt by more than 100 billion euros.

May 6 – The national election produces a hung parliament divided between supporters and opponents of Greece?s bailout, with political leaders unable to agree on a cabinet.

May 19 – Greece confirms it will a hold a repeat general election on June 17.

June 12 – The leftist SYRIZA party, led by Alexis Tsipras rules out forming a government with pro-bailout parties. Opinion polls showed SYRIZA running even with conservative New Democracy party, which wants only minor adjustments to the bailout.

June 17 – Repeat elections. [Reuters]