Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Monday, 11 June 2012 12:50 UK

Greece timeline

A chronology of key events:

1924 - Greeks vote for abolition of the monarchy, country becomes republic.

Erechtheion with the Porch of the Caryatids on the Acropolis, Athens
Figures on Acropolis Hill survey Athens, a teeming metropolis
486 BC: Parthenon completed
88 BC: Romans sack Athens
1456: Turks occupy city
1833: Athens becomes capital of kingdom of Greece

1935 - Monarchy restored.

1936 - General Metaxas appointed prime minister by king, establishes right-wing dictatorship.

1940 - Mussolini's forces attack Greece from Italian-held Albania, but are repelled.

1941 - Metaxas dies. Greece falls to Germany. More than 100,000 die in famine.

King George II and government flee to Egypt.

1942 - 1944 - Fierce resistance to the occupation by communist and royalist factions alike.

1944 - British and Greek forces combine to force Nazi withdrawal. With backing from Britain, Georgios Papandreou becomes prime minister. Communists protest. Tensions rise and there is sporadic violence.

1946 - 1949 - Royalist parties win elections, restore monarchy. Ensuing civil war ends with defeat of communist forces.

1952 - New constitution declares Greece a parliamentary democracy with a monarch as head of state. Greece joins Nato.

1955 - Konstantinos Karamanlis becomes prime minister.

1964 - King Constantine II succeeds his father, Paul.

1967 - Group of army officers seize power in military coup. Elections are postponed indefinitely and Col George Papadopoulos takes office as prime minister.

Hundreds of political activists are arrested under a regime characterised by brutality and repression.

1973 - Greece declared a republic, the monarchy is abolished and Papadopoulos assumes the presidency.

Lighting of Olympic flame for Turin 2006 Winter Games, ancient Olympia, 2005
Olympia: Ancient site of the Olympic Games

Opposition to military rule leads to increasing unrest. Papadopoulos overthrown in bloodless coup by Brigadier-General Demetrios Ioannidis, commander of the military police. He partially restores civilian rule but retains large measure of power.

1974 - An Athens-backed coup against President Makarios of Cyprus is followed by Turkish invasion and occupation of north of the island.

Ioannidis government collapses. Exiled Karamanlis recalled and sworn in as prime minister. Referendum rejects restoration of monarchy.

Parliamentary republic

1975 - New constitution declares Greece a parliamentary republic with some executive powers vested in a president.

1980 - Karamanlis elected president.

General George Papadopoulos
George Papadopoulos led 'regime of colonels'

1981 - Greece joins EU. Andreas Papandreou's Socialist Party (Pasok) wins elections.

1985 Karamanlis resigns in protest at government plans to reduce powers of president. Christos Sartzetakis becomes head of state.

1986 - Constitutional amendment transfers some of president's powers to the legislature

1990 - Centre-right New Democracy party forms government under party leader Constantine Mitsotakis

1991 - Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia declares independence.

Greece objects to name and flag of Republic of Macedonia on grounds they imply territorial claims to the Greek province of Macedonia.

1993 - Election returns Papandreou to power.

1995 - Relations with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia normalised.

1996 - Tension flares between Greece and Turkey over disputed Aegean islet.

Constantine Karamanlis
Konstantine Karamanlis came out of exile to become PM

Papandreou resigns because of illness and dies shortly afterwards. Succeeded by Kostas Simitis.

1999 September - Earthquake hits Athens - dozens killed, thousands left homeless.

2000 June - Senior British diplomat, Brigadier Stephen Saunders, shot dead in Athens by left-wing guerrilla group November 17.

2002 January - Euro replaces drachma.

2002 March - Greek, Turkish governments agree to build gas pipeline through which Turkey will supply Greece with gas.

2002 July - Suspected leader and members of November 17 terror group arrested after one of them is injured, allegedly by his own bomb, and provides information to police.

2003 December - Trial of November 17 suspects ends with their conviction. Head of group and its main hitman jailed for life.

2004 February - Kostas Simitis calls March elections and stands down as Pasok leader. George Papandreou takes over as party chief.

Government change

2004 March - Conservative New Democracy party led by Costas Karamanlis wins general election, ending over a decade of Pasok government.

Aftermath of attack, Athens
Radical leftist group November 17 aimed to overthrow capitalism

2004 August - Athens hosts Olympic Games.

2004 December - European Commission issues formal warning after Greece found to have falsified budget deficit data in run-up to joining eurozone.

2005 March - Trade unions launch 24-hour strikes in protest at rising unemployment and high inflation.

2005 April - Parliament ratifies EU constitution.

2005 December - Amid protest strikes by transport workers, parliament approves changes to labour laws, including an end to jobs for life in the public sector. The plans sparked industrial action in June.

2006 March - Public sector workers strike over pay and in protest at government plans to scrap job security laws and intensify privatisation.

2006 May - Greek and Turkish fighter planes crash into the Aegean after colliding in mid-air.

2006 September - Greece, Russia and Bulgaria back a long-awaited deal to build an oil pipeline which will carry Russian oil to Europe via Alexandropoulis in Greece.

2007 January - A left-wing guerrilla group claims responsibility for firing a rocket at the US embassy in Athens. No-one is injured in the attack.

2007 February - The conservative government survives a no-confidence vote and promises to forge ahead with reforms.

2007 August - Government, seeking a fresh mandate for its reforms, sets date for early elections at 16 September.

The Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum opened in 2008 with a lavish ceremony

Wildfires sweep through tinder-dry forests across the mainland and islands, killing dozens of people.

2007 September - Despite criticism of his government's handling of the fires, Prime Minister Karamanlis wins a narrow majority in the poll. He says he now has a mandate for more reforms but also pledges to make national unity a priority.

2008 March - Greece blocks Macedonia's bid to join Nato because of unresolved dispute over former Yugoslav republic's name.

Parliament narrowly passes government's controversial pension reform bill in face of general public sector strike and mass protests.

2008 October - Hundreds of thousands of public-sector employees and professionals go on strike in protest at privatisation, pay ceilings and pension reform.

2008 December - Students and young people take to city streets in nationwide protests and riots over the police killing of a 15-year-old boy in Athens. Major public-sector strikes coincide to increase pressure on the government over its economic policies.

2009 August - Around 10,000 people are evacuated from their homes as wildfires sweep across the country.

2009 October - Opposition Pasok socialist party wins snap election called by PM Karamanlis and leader George Papandreou takes over as new prime minister.

Debt crisis

2009 December - Clashes break out in Athens on the first anniversary of the killing of a teenager by police.

Protest in Athens against government austerity measures in February 2010
Greece's 300bn-euro debt plunged the country into crisis in 2009

Greece's credit rating is downgraded by one of world's three leading rating agencies amid fears the government could default on its ballooning debt. PM George Papandreou announces programme of tough public spending cuts.

2010 January - Government announces second round of tough austerity measures, including public sector pay cuts, fuel increases, and a crackdown on tax evasion.

2010 February - Government austerity measures prompt series of general strikes and protests that continue into March.

2010 March - PM George Papandreou likens budget crisis to "wartime situation", announces third round of tax rises and spending cuts totalling $6.5bn.

Bailout package

2010 April/May - Fears of a possible default on Greece's debts prompt eurozone countries to approve a $145bn (110bn euros; £91bn) rescue package for the country. As part of the bailout deal, PM Papandreou announces a round of even more stringent austerity measures. Trade unions call a general strike in protest.

2010 October - Government announces new, tougher, austerity measures in 2011 draft budget. Measures include new taxes and higher rate of VAT.

2011 February - International lenders say austerity measures so far implemented do not go far enough, and that Greece must speed up reforms to get its finances back on track.

2011 June - 24-hour general strike. Tens of thousands of protesters march on parliament to oppose government efforts to pass new austerity laws.

Crisis deepens

2011 July - European Union leaders agree a major bailout for Greece over its debt crisis by channelling 109bn euros through the European Financial Stability Facility.

All three main credit ratings agencies cut Greece's rating to a level associated with a substantial risk of default.

2011 September - Credit rating agency Moody's downgrades eight Greek banks due to concerns over Greece's ability to pay back its debts.

2011 October - Eurozone leaders agree a 50% debt write-off for Greece in return for further austerity measures. PM George Papandreou casts the deal into doubt by announcing a referendum on the rescue package.

2011 November - Faced with a storm of criticism over his referendum plan, Mr Papandreou withdraws it and then announces his resignation.

A government of national unity is formed after talks between leaders of the governing Socialist Pasok, the centre-right New Democracy party and the nationalist Laos party.

Lucas Papademos, a former head of the Bank of Greece, becomes interim prime minister with the task of getting the country back on track in time for elections scheduled provisionally for the spring of 2012.

New bailout plan

2012 January - Debt rescheduling talks with Greece's private creditors falter, endangering the 130bn euro EU/IMF rescue package that Greece needs to meet its next debt repayment deadline in March.

2012 February - Against a background of violent protests on the streets of Athens, the Greek parliament approves a new package of tough austerity measures agreed with the EU as the price of a 130bn euro bailout.

2012 March - Greece reaches a "debt swap" deal with its private-sector lenders, enabling it to halve its massive debtload.

EU finance ministers had insisted that the debt swap deal was a condition that had to be met before they would agree to sign off the 130bn euro bailout.

2012 May - Early parliamentary elections see support for coalition parties New Democracy and Pasok slump, with a increase in support for anti-austerity parties of the far left and right. The three top-ranking parties fail to form a working coaltion and President Papoulias calls fresh elections for 17 June.

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