Timeline: Greece's debt crisis


Posted at Nov 07 2011 09:07 AM | Updated as of Nov 07 2011 05:07 PM

Here is a timeline of events since Prime Minister George Papandreou first sealed a bailout deal for Greece in 2010.

May 2, 2010 - Papandreou says has sealed a deal with the EU and IMF, opening the door for a bailout in return for extra budget cuts of 30 billion euros ($43 billion) over three years.

-- Three-year package amounts to 110 billion euros and represents first rescue of a euro zone member.

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

May 6 - Greek parliament approves austerity bill.

May 9 - IMF unanimously approves its part of rescue loans, with 5.5 billion euros being provided immediately.

May 10 - Global policymakers install emergency safety net worth about $1 trillion to bolster international financial markets and prevent Greek crisis from damaging the euro. The net consists of 440 billion euros in guarantees from euro zone states, plus 60 billion euros in European debt instruments. EU finance ministers say IMF will contribute 250 billion euros.

May 18 - Greece receives 14.5 billion euro ($18.7 billion) loan from EU and can repay immediate debt.

July 7 - Greek parliament passes pension reform, key requirement of the EU/IMF deal, which includes raising women's retirement age from 60 to match men at 65.

Aug. 5 - EU and IMF inspectors give Greece green light for fresh 9 billion euro tranche from bailout.


May 11 - EU and IMF inspectors arrive in Athens to press Greece to shore up finances and to determine if country will get fifth aid tranche of 12 billion euros.

May 23 - Greece unveils series of privatisations, part of its goal to raise 50 billion euros by 2015 to pay down debt.

June 8 - Greece agrees to 6.48 billion euros of extra austerity measures for 2011 and savings up to 2015 to cut deficits and to keep receiving aid.

June 13 - Greece gets the lowest credit rating in the world after S&P downgrades it by three notches, to CCC from B.

June 17 - Papandreou reshuffles cabinet, appoints Evangelos Venizelos, his main party rival, as new finance minister. The new cabinet wins confidence vote on June 22.

June 29 - Papandreou wins parliamentary majority in favour of five-year austerity plan by 155 votes to 138, clearing hurdle to winning access to new international funding.

July 8 - IMF approves disbursement of about 3.2 billion euros to help Greece pay debts due this month. This tranche brings IMF disbursements to about 17.4 billion euros.

July 21 - Euro zone leaders agree on second rescue package with extra 109 billion euros ($157 billion) of government money, plus contribution by private sector bondholders estimated to total as much as 50 billion euros by mid-2014.

Sept. 21 - Greece adopts more austerity measures, including cutting high pensions by 20 percent.

Sept. 27 - Greece passes an unpopular property tax to persuade IMF and EU it deserves the next 8-billion-euro tranche.

Sept. 29 - The "troika" team of inspectors begins talks on a plan demanded by lenders to deepen budget cuts and raise taxes.

Oct. 2 - Government draft budget figures say Greece will miss a deficit target set just months before in the massive bailout package. The 2012 draft budget is approved by cabinet and predicts a deficit of 8.5 percent of GDP for 2011, well short of the 7.6 percent target.

-- The cabinet approves a measure creating a "labour reserve" allowing 30,000 state workers to be placed on 60 percent pay and be dismissed after a year.

Oct. 5 - Public sector workers and state utilities employees go on strike for 24 hours against anti-austerity measures in action called by main labour unions ADEDY and GSEE.

Oct. 21 - Greece approves a set of austerity measures, defying violent protests in Athens and a general strike which shuts down much of the country, bringing more than 100,000 people to the streets in the last two days. At least 74 people are injured and one man dies of a heart attack.

Oct. 27 - Euro zone leaders strike a deal with private banks and insurers for them to accept a 50 percent loss on their Greek government bonds under a plan to lower Greece's debt burden

Oct. 31 - Papandreou calls a referendum on the latest bailout without consulting with European leaders.

Nov. 2 - Papandreou wins cabinet backing to hold a referendum on the 130-billion-euro ($178 billion) bailout package.

-- Later, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel tell Papandreou at a tough meeting in Cannes that Athens will not receive any more aid until it votes to meet its commitments to the euro zone.

Nov. 3 - Finance Minister Venizelos comes out against the referendum, saying Greece's euro membership was a historic achievement and "cannot depend on a referendum".

-- Papandreou defies demands he resign over his decision to hold a referendum and calls instead for his party to unite for a confidence vote in the government.

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

Nov. 5 - Papandreou survives a parliamentary confidence vote in the early hours, avoiding snap elections which would have torpedoed Greece's debt crisis bailout deal.

-- Papandreou later launches his campaign for a coalition to save Greece from bankruptcy.

Nov. 6 - Papandreou seals a deal with the opposition to form a coalition to approve the bailout before early elections. Under the agreement, Papandreou will stand down.