Greece has had a relatively well-developed
social insurance system, but the deep economic crisis of
2009 hit the system hard. Many Greeks descended into
deep poverty with increasingly limited support from
society. By the end of the 2010s, the situation had
During the economic crisis of the early 2010s, many
Greeks were hit hard. In Athens alone, it was estimated
that around 13,000 people live on the streets in 2012, a
total of around 20,000 homeless Greek Orthodox Church
distributes food to a quarter of a million people each
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Greece, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
According to calculations in 2013 of the Greek
equivalent of Statistics Sweden, Elstat, the Greeks had
on average lost 40 percent of their purchasing power
since 2008. Actual incomes had decreased by 29.5
percent, and taking into account the price increases
during the same period, the total effect was a dropout
of 40 percent.
The UN agency, ILO, wrote in a 2014 report that
Greece risked an ongoing social crisis for a further up
to a couple of decades, although the country managed to
achieve stable economic growth.
Ten years after the economic crisis erupted, another
one of three Greek residents was still at risk of
poverty and social exclusion. This meant that they earn
less than 6 percent of the official poverty line, which
was around SEK 48,000 for one person and 105,000 for a
family at the end of the 2010s. About 30 percent of the
poorest households had difficulty getting basic foods
such as chicken, fish, meat and vegetables every day and
a fifth could not afford heat during the winter.
In 1983, a national health care system was introduced
to guarantee all citizens health care regardless of
income. The insurance systems are complex and divided
into a number of insurance funds and institutions linked
to different professional groups.
The largest is the state cash register IKA. The funds
are responsible for, among other things, the members'
pensions and sickness benefits, and they are mainly
financed through employer contributions and taxes. The
quality of care differs between the health insurance.
The system has been rationalized in recent years by
merging the institutions. The funds have large financial
deficits created by rising pension costs.
The Greek pension system has had major structural
shortcomings and some problems still exist. The high
pension costs, and too generous conditions according to
experts, were one of the reasons why the budget deficit
increased sharply in the years before the economic
In 2008, Parliament implemented major changes to the
pension system. These included lower pensions and poorer
opportunities for early retirement. The changes
triggered nationwide strikes and protests. During the
crisis period 2010 to 2018, several reforms of the
pension system were implemented. The retirement age was
increased to 67, but those who worked for many years
could retire at 62.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
4 per 1000 births (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
100.0 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
99.0 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
8.4 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
1,511 US dollars (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
19 percent (2018)
Bribery in arms purchases
A Head of Department at the Department of Defense is arrested and admits that
during the 1990s he received approximately € 16 million in bribes in connection
with arms deals with companies in a number of countries, including Sweden. The
Ministry of Finance says it has been able to return seven billion euros to the
state. Large arms purchases over a period of years are considered to be one of
the reasons why Greece has incurred such large debts.
New property tax
Parliament adopts a new property tax, which is expected to bring in € 2.65
billion in 2014. A member of New Democracy votes against the bill and is
excluded from the party. Thus, the government's majority is reduced to 153 out
of 300 seats.
Parliament adopts the 2014 budget
The 2014 budget is adopted by Parliament. This means savings of a total of
EUR 3.1 billion. According to the government, austerity should lead to the
country's GDP growing by 0.6 percent during the year. Lenders - the European
Commission, the ECB and the IMF - are disrupting the government's forecasts.
While the government estimates a budget deficit of just over half a billion
euros, the lenders estimate the deficit to be more than 1.5 billion euros.
Disbelief quotes are stopped
Parliament voted down a proposal by Syriza to direct a declaration of
confidence in the government. The proposal comes after the police drove away
journalists from the ERT who occupied the closed ether media company's premises
and continued the news reporting via the internet. A member of Pasok who voted
with the opposition is excluded from the party.
Two members of Golden Dawn are murdered
Two members of Golden Dawn are shot to death and a third is shot outside one
of the right-wing party's Athens office.
State support for Golden Dawn is being abolished
Withdraws financial support for Golden Dawn (EUR 873 000 in 2013); Under a
new law, state aid should not be paid to a party whose leader, or a tenth of its
elected representatives, is being investigated for membership in a criminal
organization or for terrorist offenses.
Former Minister is sentenced to 20 years in prison
Former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos from Pasok is sentenced to 20
years in prison for money laundering and bribery. Tsochatzopoulo's wife,
ex-wife, daughter and 13 other persons are also convicted of money laundering.
Anti-fascist rapper is murdered
An anti-fascist rapper is murdered in a suburb of Athens. The killer and his
gang are suspected of being followers of Golden Dawn. The murder triggers
anti-fascist demonstrations demanding that Golden Dawn be banned. The right-wing
party denies links to the murder. Police arrest Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos
Michaloliakos, several of its MPs and a number of other leading party
representatives. They are charged with belonging to a criminal organization and
for involvement in murder and assault. Supporters of Golden Dawn demonstrate
against the arrests.
A new state-owned etheric media company will be formed
Decides that a new state-owned broadcasting company should be formed; The
company is named Nerit (New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television).
The shipping companies contribute voluntarily to the Treasury
Most of Greece's shipping companies donate substantial sums to the Treasury.
Through a settlement with the government, the shipping companies will give the
state around EUR 140 million per year over the next three years. The 441
shipping companies concerned own 90 percent of the vessels flying the Greek
flag. During the crisis, shipping companies received harsh criticism for making
big profits in low-tax countries.
Thousands of public servants are dismissed
Parliament is voting on the new public sector cuts required for EU and IMF
lenders to pay EUR 6.8 billion; Four thousand public servants are laid off
before the end of the year. In addition, the government cuts VAT on food from 23
to 13 percent to stimulate domestic consumption and tourism. The vote in
Parliament is preceded by widespread protests in several cities and a new
State ERTs start resending
The state television and radio company ERT is starting to broadcast to a
limited extent again. At the same time, the Government announces that a new
state broadcasting company will be formed within two months.
Clear sign for payout
Eurozone finance ministers give Greece a payout of € 6.8 billion. The aid
must be paid in installments after assessing the tightening requirements that
the lenders require. Among other things, 4,000 government employees will be laid
The closure of the ERT causes a government crisis
The closure of the ERT causes the small ruling Democratic left party to leave
the government, whose parliamentary majority is reduced to three terms. The
departure will lead to a transformation of the government, which means that
Pasok's leader Evangelos Venizelos will become Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister. The government's majority increases to five seats when two independent
MPs join New Democracy.
ERT is closed for saving reasons
The state TV and radio company ERT is forced to cease its broadcasts after a
government decision to save. The opposition talks about a coup d'état and the
unions announce a general strike. The Supreme Administrative Court illegally
declares the closure decision and orders the broadcasts to resume, albeit to a
Environmental protests against mining
In northern Greece, several people are injured in violent protests against
the government's and a Canadian company's plans to open a gold mine there.
"Hat's soup kitchen"
Police use tear gas to stop Golden Dawn's food handouts to Greeks only in a
square in Athens. The mayor of the city talks about "hate soup kitchen".
New tough loan requirements
Greek lenders demand that the number of public servants be reduced by 150,000
over the next two years.
Prison for former minister
Former Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, a veteran politician in Pasok, is
sentenced to eight years in prison and fined half a million euros for failing to
declare all his financial assets, including a home. Subsequently, three former
ministers are charged with tax evasion.
Syriza's opinion support is growing
The Syriza Left Party receives the strongest support in two opinion polls.
Second place comes New Democracy.
Social unrest is increasing
Strikes are carried out in public transport and healthcare in protest of the
government's budget savings. Sailors strike because of missing wages but are
ordered to work by the government, since islands become without food supplies.
In Athens, riots erupt among mediocre and desperate Greeks, when fruits and
vegetables end at a free dispensation organized by farmers in protest of
increased taxes and rising living costs.
More tax increases
The majority of the parliament votes in opposition to the opposition through
tax increases, which will give € 2.5 billion more to the state each year. Income
tax, as well as corporate and property tax, are being increased in an attempt to
meet international lenders' conditions.
The ruling party excludes two parliamentarians
The Democratic Left ruling party excludes two MPs. The reason is that they
support the opposition party Syriza's demand that the Pasok leader and former
finance minister Evangelos Venizelos be investigated together with former
finance minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou for handling the list of possible tax
refugees (see December 2012).