Dec 8 Ratings agency Fitch downgraded Greece's
debt on Tuesday, driving its bonds, bank shares and the euro
lower in the latest blow to the troubled euro zone country as it
struggles with youth riots.
Bank stocks extended the previous day's losses on a Standard
& Poor's report they faced the highest risks in western Europe.
Here is a timeline of events in Greece in the last year.
Oct. 2008 - Hundreds of pilots, dock workers, and employees
at other public companies march on parliament chanting
"Elections now!" before a vote to permit the privatisation of
Olympic and other state-owned firms.
-- The government, which launched a tender to sell off
Olympic, has its tenuous grip on parliament weakened when Prime
Minister Costas Karamanlis dismisses a rebel deputy, cutting its
support base to 151 seats in the 300-member house.
Dec. 2008 - A police officer shoots dead 15-year-old
Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in central Athens. Riots spread across
Greece causing damage worth hundreds of million of euros.
-- A general strike starts as thousands march on parliament
in protest at high youth unemployment. The opposition socialist
party calls for elections.
Jan. 2009 - Gunmen linked to Greece's most militant
guerrillas, the left-wing Revolutionary Struggle group, shoot
and seriously wound a policeman in Athens.
-- Karamanlis dismisses finance minister George
Alogoskoufis, whose tax rises and privatisation policy have
angered many ordinary Greeks.
Feb. 2009 - Karamanlis rules out an early election and says
his ruling New Democracy party's priority is dealing with the
impact of the global economic downturn.
April 2009 - Thousands of Greeks join a nationwide 24-hour
strike to protest against the government's response to the
economic crisis, disrupting transport and services.
May 9, 2009 - The conservative government shuts down
parliament early, prompting protests from opposition parties
which say the move is aimed at dismissing investigations into a
series of scandals.
Aug. 2009 - Around 10,000 people are evacuated from their
homes as wildfires sweep the country, reaching the outskirts of
Athens and destroying thousands of hectares of forest.
Sept. 2009 - Karamanlis calls early elections, seeking a new
mandate to deal with the economic crisis. The government is
dragged down by discontent with a sharp economic slowdown,
scandals, the worst riots in decades and its handling of the
Oct. 2009 - A snap election on Oct. 4 returns George
Papandreou's socialist PASOK party to power with a comfortable
majority. It will hold 160 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
Karamanlis resigns as party leader. The new government discloses
that the 2009 budget deficit will be 12.7 percent, more than
double the previously announced figure.
Nov. 2009 - The new government pledges in its 2010 draft
budget to save the country from bankruptcy by cutting the
deficit while keeping electoral promises to help the poor amid
the economic crisis. The final budget draft is submitted on Nov.
20 and is due for adoption on Dec 23.
-- Greece will aim to cut its budget deficit to 9.1 percent
of GDP in 2010 to assure EU partners and markets it is serious
about restoring fiscal health, its final 2010 budget draft
Dec. 2009 - Police fire teargas to disperse rioting
protesters as thousands march in Athens on Dec. 6 to mark the
police killing of a teenager.
-- S&P on Dec. 8 puts the country's A- sovereign rating on
negative watch. Fitch Ratings, which had cut Greece to A- when
the government revealed the higher deficit, cuts Greek debt to
BBB+ with a negative outlook.