Greek parliament approves 'bailout' budget
The Greek parliament passed austerity measures despite another wave of recent protests.
November 11th, 2012
06:18 PM ET

Greek parliament approves 'bailout' budget

The Greek parliament voted Sunday to approve the nation's 2013 budget that contains steep austerity cuts required for Greece to receive the next installment of a crucial economic bailout.

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Filed under: Budget • Economy • Finance • Greece
November 7th, 2012
05:49 PM ET

Greek parliament OKs new austerity cuts

The Greek parliament early Thursday adopted a new round of austerity cuts, a victory for a government that says the move was required before getting the next installment of an international economic bailout.

The vote came as protesters violently demonstrated in Athens against the added measures.


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Filed under: Greece
July 25th, 2012
11:06 AM ET

Greek athlete suspended from Olympic team for offensive Twitter remark

An Olympic athlete from Greece, Voula Papachristou, has been suspended from her country's team after making an offensive comment on Twitter about African immigrants in Greece, a spokeswoman for the Greek Olympic team said Wednesday.

Papachristou apologized on her Facebook page for making an "unfortunate and tasteless joke."

"I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights," she wrote. "My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races. I would like to apologize to all my friends and fellow athletes, who I may have insulted or shamed, the National Team, as well as the people and companies who support my athletic career. Finally, I would like to apologize to my coach and my family."

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Filed under: Greece • Olympics
June 21st, 2012
01:36 AM ET

Greece to swear in new government Thursday

Greece, which has gone without an elected government for 224 days, will swear in a new one Thursday. It will consist of a coalition of three parties - the center-right New Democracy, which placed first in Sunday's vote, Pasok and the Democratic Party of the Left.

The party with the second highest number of votes, the leftist Syriza, which is against austerity measures, has declined to be a part of the government. 

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras was sworn in Wednesday as Greece's new prime minister at the presidential mansion after meeting with President Karolos Papoulias, who asked him to form a government.

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Filed under: Greece • World
June 20th, 2012
01:29 PM ET

Samaras sworn in as head of new Greek government

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras was sworn in Wednesday as Greece's new prime minister, following months of political uncertainty for the debt-stricken country.

He was inaugurated at the presidential mansion after meeting with President Karolos Papoulias, who asked him to form a new Greek government.

His swearing-in followed the news that three parties - the center-right New Democracy, which placed first in Sunday's vote, Pasok and the Democratic Party of the Left - had reached agreement on the terms for the coalition.

Speaking as he left the presidential mansion, Samaras said: "We trust that with God's help we will do all we can to get our people out of the crisis. I will ask the government tomorrow morning to work hard in order to be able to give tangible hope to our people."

Greece has been without an elected government for 223 days, and the new government, which has pledged to push for a renegotiation of the painful austerity measures imposed under the terms of an international bailout, will face significant challenges.

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Filed under: Economy • Europe • European Union • Greece
May 16th, 2012
11:48 AM ET

Greeks set election date amid possibility of bank panic

Greece will hold new elections on June 17, state media reported Wednesday, after Greeks pulled hundreds of millions of euros out of the banking system amid fears that the country will not be able to stay in the European Union's single currency.

Setting the date for a new vote comes 10 days after a national election in which voters punished the major parties for harsh budget cuts, leaving no party able to form a government.

A caretaker administration led by a senior judge will run the country until the new vote.

Interim Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos and his Cabinet will take their oaths of office on Thursday morning, Greek state television reported.


Filed under: European Union • Greece
May 15th, 2012
02:09 PM ET

Overheard on Readers debate Greece's financial savvy, role in Eurozone

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The office of President Karolos Papoulias said Tuesday that debt-wracked Greece will hold new elections. The country is in a political stalemate, and some might now call it the "sick man in Europe." Readers are debating what would happen if the country left the Eurozone, and if Greece is doing enough to help itself out.

Greece to hold new elections after stalemate

Some readers said they believe the Greek people are making too much of austerity measures.

URSilly: "Let the Greeks suffer in their own stupidity. They will find out what real austerity is when their government has NO money to pay pensions and the like. Good luck with the drachma and its spiraling devaluation."

Does the situation compare to the U.S.?

turtle995: "The U.S. is the biggest debtor nation in the history of the world. The only difference between us and them is that we have the world's reserve currency and can print at will. This privilege will end soon because the Fed is abusing it. What is happening to Greece will be coming to the U.S. soon."

In responding to this comment, readers talked about Greece's sacrifices, and whether enough are being made. FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • Greece • Overheard on • World
May 15th, 2012
09:17 AM ET

Greek talks end with no deal on government

Greek politicians ended a meeting with President Karolos Papoulias without any sign of agreement Tuesday, increasing the chances the country would have to hold new elections as its debt crisis threatens the stability of the European Union's single currency.

Greece has been in a political stalemate since elections nine days ago left no party with a majority. The leaders of three different parties have tried to cobble together a workable coalition, but all have failed.

The politicians have until Thursday to come up with a government or call new elections.

The political instability has raised the possibility that Greece will fail to make debt payments as early as next month, potentially forcing the country out of the euro, the currency used by 17 European Union countries.

The European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund have been pumping money into Greece to keep that from happening, but they have demanded that the Greek government slash spending to get the funds.

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Filed under: European Union • Greece
May 14th, 2012
02:52 PM ET

Greek government talks fail; new meeting planned

The latest efforts to form a unity government in Greece failed Monday, putting the country even closer to a disastrous eurozone exit, but the president called for another meeting Tuesday to seek a solution.

Talks between Greek President Karolos Papoulias and the leaders of three main parties broke up Monday night without a resolution, the president's office said.

Afterward, Papoulias called a meeting for Tuesday to discuss the possibility of a government of technocrats with some sort of support from political parties, according to the leader of the PASOK party, which was at the talks Monday night.

PASOK leader Evengelos Venizelos said "we have no choice" but to support the idea of a technocracy and that all parties should support it.

Papoulias had invited the leaders of the New Democracy, PASOK, Syriza, and Democratic Left parties to Monday night's meeting. Syriza was the only one not to go; the party's leader, Alexis Tsipras, said he wanted to talk with all parties or just the president on his own, and not with a selective group.

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Filed under: Greece
May 10th, 2012
08:58 AM ET

Greek Socialist leader gets chance to form government

The leader of the Socialist PASOK party in Greece is starting efforts to build a government, his party said Thursday, making him the third Greek politician since Sunday to make the attempt.

The PASOK party of Evangelos Venizelos came in third in parliamentary elections on Sunday, and his effort to hammer out a workable coalition comes after the heads of the parties that came in first and second admitted defeat.

He will have an uphill battle after voters angry about tough government budget cuts backed parties on the far left and right, punishing PASOK and New Democracy, the more moderate parties that made the cuts.

He has three days to cobble together a deal.


Filed under: Budget • Economy • European Union • Greece
May 8th, 2012
09:33 AM ET

Greek leftist leader lays out radical agenda

Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday laid out the radical agenda he hopes to pursue if he becomes prime minister, including the cancellation of international loan agreements to Greece that forced the country into sharp budget cuts.

He also called for state control of the banks as he started efforts to form a governing coalition in the wake of parliamentary elections on Sunday.

The Greek people voted clearly to reject the austerity demanded by international lenders, Syriza Party leader Tsipras said.

The two parties that made the agreement with international lenders "don't have a majority any more to vote for the plundering and looting of the Greek people," Tsipras told lawmakers.

Tsipras met Greek President Karolos Papoulias earlier on Tuesday to get instructions to try to cobble together a government in the wake of elections that left the country's political system in chaos.

Syriza will have three days to form a government.

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Filed under: Europe • Greece
May 7th, 2012
02:23 PM ET

Greek uncertainty deepens as first coalition effort fails

Greece's main center-right party has failed to form a coalition government Monday, adding yet more uncertainty to the debt-ridden country's political situation.

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said he did "everything possible" to form a coalition, but that none of the parties agreed to join with his party, which won first crack at forming a government after finishing first in Sunday's parliamentary elections.

It will now be up to the leftist Syriza coalition, which opposes unpopular austerity measures imposed to secure a European bailout, to form a government.

That group will have three days to form a government.

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Filed under: Europe • Greece • World
May 7th, 2012
07:42 AM ET

Monday's live events

The race to the presidency now turns toward the general election in November. Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

1:00 pm ET - White House briefing - The elections in France and Greece are sending shockwaves through stock markets around the world.  How will the U.S. react to these new developments?  Press Secretary Jay Carney will likely discuss the results during his briefing.


Filed under: Elections • France • Greece • On today • Politics • World
February 20th, 2012
11:25 PM ET

Eurozone approves new $173B bailout for Greece

Eurozone finance ministers sealed a deal Tuesday morning for a second bailout for Greece, including €130 billion ($173 billion) in new financing.

The finance ministers from the 17 nations that use the euro, known as the Eurogroup, gave Greece funding it needs to avoid a potential default next month.

While this new deal provides some short-term relief for Greece, difficult days lie ahead as the government tries to trim debt to 121% of the country's gross domestic product by 2020. Greece's debt now stands at about 160% of GDP.

An austerity pact was approved by the Greek parliament on February 12, leading to some of the worst riots in the country in recent years. The package, which included deep cuts in government spending, wages and pensions, helped pave the way for eurozone finance ministers to sign off on the new €130 billion ($172.6 billion) bailout deal.

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Filed under: Economy • Europe • Greece • World
February 12th, 2012
05:55 AM ET

Greece Parliament to vote on austerity measures

The parliament in Greece is expected to vote Sunday on austerity measures demanded in return for a new eurozone bailout of the debt-stricken country.

In a speech Saturday evening, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos urged the Cabinet to approve the deal, warning of "social explosion, chaos" if it fails.

"The state will not be able to pay salaries and pensions or import basic goods" such as medicine and fuel, he warned, adding that "unemployment, which is currently unacceptably high, would increase even higher."

Ultimately, Papademos said, if parliament rejects the deal, Greece - already in the midst of a prolonged recession - would be "bankrupted and out of the eurozone."

Parliamentary approval would pave the way for the eurozone finance ministers to sign off on the new €130 billion ($172.6 billion) bailout deal.

Greece needs the funds in order to meet €14.5 billion in debt repayments due next month.

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Filed under: Greece • World
February 10th, 2012
05:42 AM ET

Europe lays out tough terms for new Greece bailout

Greece faces more uncertainty Friday after euro zone finance ministers laid out tough conditions that must be met before they will sign off on a new 130 billion euro ($172.6 billion) bailout deal for the debt-ridden country.

The main Greek party leaders agreed to a last-minute deal Thursday after lengthy negotiations, which was presented to the other 16 eurozone leaders by Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

But Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg and head of the Eurogroup, which brings together euro-area finance ministers, said more assurances were needed from Athens before the bailout could be paid out.

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Filed under: Economy • Greece • World
January 19th, 2012
03:15 PM ET

Greek debt talks end Day 2 with no deal ... yet

A deal on restructuring Greek debt remained elusive Thursday as talks with the nation's private sector creditors ended for a second day without agreement.

The Institute of International Finance, which represents the private sector investors who own Greek government bonds, said negotiations would resume Friday.

The talks in Athens hinge on a plan that that cuts the value of Greek government bonds in half.

The deal would result in significant losses for the private sector, which holds over €200 billion of Greece's €350 billion debt load.

New Greek PM wins key vote of confidence from parliament
November 16th, 2011
12:25 PM ET

New Greek PM wins key vote of confidence from parliament

[Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET] New Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos won a vote of confidence in the Greek parliament Wednesday, paving the way for his interim coalition government to take power.

He won the vote with 255 in favor to 38 against, as 293 votes were cast in the 300-seat Parliament.

[Posted at 11:11 a.m. ET] The new Greek prime minister, Lucas Papademos, faces a vote of confidence in Parliament on Wednesday, following his appointment to replace George Papandreou.

Papandreou quit last week, forced out by public anger at the budget cuts he was pushing through to get international funds to pay his country's debts.

Fears that Greece might default caused shock waves through the European and American banking systems and sent stock markets on a wild ride that at times wiped billions of dollars of value out of existence.

Papademos, a former banker and European Central Bank vice president, became his country's interim prime minister Friday after several days of political wrangling.

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Filed under: Economy • Europe • European Union • Greece
November 12th, 2011
05:40 PM ET

French, German leaders stress urgency with Greece's new prime minister

A day after being sworn in as Greece's new prime minister, Lucas Papademos talked Saturday with the leaders of France and Germany about efforts to address his nation's continuing economic woes - including negative ramifications if certain moves aren't made soon.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel both congratulated Papademos on his ascension when they talked with him on Saturday afternoon, according to a statement from Sarkozy's office.

Sarkozy and Merkel then expressed an "urgent need" for Greece's new leader to ensure that his country adheres to its past commitments, including implementation of an Oct. 27 bailout package brokered between former Prime Minister George Papandreou and other European leaders.

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Filed under: Economy • France • Germany • Greece
Greece swears in Papademos as new prime minister
Lucas Papademos, an economist and former vice president of the ECB, will lead Greece's unity government.
November 11th, 2011
09:25 AM ET

Greece swears in Papademos as new prime minister

Greece's Parliament formally swore in economist Lucas Papademos Friday as the head of a new unity government as the nation seeks to regain political and financial stability after weeks of uncertainty.

Papademos, a former banker and European Central Bank vice president, becomes the country's interim prime minister after several days of political wrangling.

Papademos pledged the new government's chief task will be to implement a bailout package and austerity measures agreed to with European leaders last month.

It is hoped that the national unity government will restore political stability in Greece after several weeks of turmoil that have unnerved global financial markets. Papademos, who helped usher Greece into the euro in 2001, replaces outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou, who resigned over his handling of the crisis.

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