Greece History

As a country that belongs to European Union according to, Greece has a long and rich history during which it spread its influence over three continents. After several years of wars, occupation and monarchies, in 1973, the current Hellenic State was established after the coup that overthrew King Constantine II.

The coasts of the Aegean Sea saw the rise of the first European civilizations, the Cretan or Minoan civilization (in memory of the legendary King Minos) and the Mycenaean. After its disappearance, another reappeared around 700 BC. The last one was conquered by Rome in 168 a. C., although the superiority of the Greek culture profoundly modified the Roman one. In fact, in the eastern part of the empire Greek culture and language continued to be more influential.

The Medieval Greek Empire is one of the largest empires in the history of Europe; it ranges from the Adriatic Sea and southern Italy to the Middle East ; Constantinople stands as the Second Rome and as the center of the inheriting civilization of ancient Greece and Rome. The Greek Empire of Byzantium is also one of the oldest empires in history: it lasts for more than 1,000 years, from the 5th to the 15th century.

It followed the fall of Constantinople, the capital of the Empire, the entry of the Ottomans into Greece, as well as the rest of the Balkan Peninsula. The Greeks lived for 350 years under the Turkish yoke, from which they were freed in 1821 thanks to the Greek War of Independence. Once Greece regained its independence in most of its territory, the modern Greek state was formed, the noble Ioannis Kapodistrias being the prime minister of modern Greece. At the end of the 19th century, the Greeks continued to battle against the Turks to continue liberating territories until then subjected, such as Thessaly or Epirus.. During the Balkan Wars, Greece also managed to liberate Macedonia and Thrace. In 1922 the Greek invasion of Asia Minor, however, ended in defeat and the expulsion of 1,500,000 Greeks, thus ending 4,000 years of uninterrupted Greek presence east of the Aegean Sea.

During the 1930s, Greece was drawn into fascism by the dictator Ioannis Metaxas. During World War II, Greece was occupied by Nazi Germany under a collaborationist regime. The Nazi occupation was followed by the Greek Civil War, which ended in 1949. In 1952, Greece joined NATO, and in 1981, the European Union.

In 2010 Greece was the protagonist of a crisis of confidence that infected the entire European Union. It all started when in 2009 [5] Brussels warned Greece that the data on its accounts are not very clear and highly reliable, two weeks after October 4, the day PASOK won the elections, it is revealed that the official data Known until then about the level of debt in Greece were falsified and that the public deficit is around 12%, a figure that would later be corrected upwards to 13.6%.

Given these information, the distrust of investors makes it impossible to put new bonds on sale at reasonable interest rates, to cover those that are already maturing, and the Greek government is forced to resort to the help of the European Union to avoid bankruptcy. , which decides to also involve the IMF. As a result of the agreements, it is decided to protect Greece from the high interests demanded by the market, but in return it requires harsh austerity conditions that, if met, would save 30,000 million euros in three years. While Greece ensures that they will be able to avoid the suspension of payments, some economists, journalists and politicians sow doubts about the government’s ability to implement the austerity plan and avoid bankruptcy.

The crisis of confidence spread over several European countries, which, without being in the same economic conditions and without having sown any suspicions about falsification of economic data, but previously punished by the crisis of 2008-2009, saw the interest that the Investors demanded to buy their debt, and were forced to undertake fiscal reforms aimed at reducing their deficit even at the cost of the danger that these measures could have for economic growth and at the risk of a relapse into recession.

Government and society

From the 1 of June of 1975, with the adoption of the new Constitution, the Hellenic Republic is a democratic parliamentary republic. Previously, the country had been governed by a parliamentary monarchy, a system that was rejected by a referendum of the Greek people on December 8, 1974. Voting is compulsory and universal, this right being acquired at eighteen years of age.

Being a parliamentary republic, the country’s political power is divided into four figures:

  • the State, represented by the President of the Hellenic Republic (position currently held by Prokopis Pavlopoulos)
  • the Legislative, power that is in the hands of the Hellenic Parliament
  • the Government, in the figure of the Prime Minister (position currently held by the radical leftist Alexis Tsipras)
  • the Judicial, exercised by a Court and a Supreme Court.

Greece History