2012

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Events

January

February

  • February 2: The House of Representatives of Cyprus rebukes UN envoy Alexander Downer over his "one-sided and detrimental statements and actions" that have eroded his credibility as an impartial facilitator in the talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
  • February 3: The International Court of Justice rules that Italy "violated the immunity which Germany enjoys under international law" by allowing Greeks to sue Germany in Italian courts over WW II war crimes.
  • February 7: A general strike by the major unions of Greece paralyse the country as private and public sector workers protest the government's plans to lower the minimum wage.
  • February 10: The four Popular Orthodox Rally government members quit their posts in protest of the proposed new austerity measures.
  • February 10: Unions begin a 48-hour strike throughout Greece.
  • February 13: The Hellenic Parliament approves, by 199 to 74, a package of austerity measures demanded by the EU and IMF in return for a 130 billion euro bailout. Following the vote, coalition parties expel more than 40 MPs for failing to back the bill while tens of thousands violently protest in Athens and other cities across Greece.
  • February 16: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu visits Cyprus marking the first time an Israeli leader has ever visited the nearby island republic.
  • February 17: Armed robbers steal more than 60 artefacts from a museum in Olympia.
  • February 17: The Athens Stock Exchange General Index closes at 824.26 as values rise 5.00%.
  • February 21: Eurozone finance ministers agree to lend Greece 130 billion euros after 13 hours of late-night talks in Brussels.
  • February 22: Fitch downgrades Greece two notches to C. In response, the Athens Stock Exchange General Index closes at 751.96 - a drop of 5.67%.
  • February 22: Kostas Douvalidis breaks the Greek record for the 60m hurdles with 7.63.
  • February 23: The Hellenic parliament approves a law to write down 107 billion euros from its debt to private creditors.
  • February 24: Former New Democracy MP Panos Kammenos announces the establishment of Independent Greeks - a centre-right party opposed to the EU-imposed austerity measures.

March

April

May

  • May 5: AE Limassol defeat Anorthosis Famagusta 1-0 and clinch their first Cypriot championship since 1968.
  • May 6: Parliamentary elections are held throughout Greece, resulting in a very strong protest vote against the austerity measures of the ruling coalition: New Democracy finish first, but with less than 19% of the vote, while PASOK end up in third place with 13%.
  • May 6: The turnout in Greek elections is at an all-time low. 34.91% of registered voters did not cast a ballot, breaks the record of 2009, when one in three people did not vote. The highest rate of abstention was registered in Florina, where 59.07% of the electorate did not turn out to vote, while in Attica the abstention rate was 24.64%.
  • May 7: President Karolos Papoulias gives New Democracy leader, Antonis Samaras, a mandate to form a government. Within hours, Samaras returns it as he is unable to form a coalition.
  • May 7: The Athens Stock Exchange General Index closes at 643.87 as values drop 6.67% in response to the political uncertainty in Greece.
  • May 8: In accordance with the Greek Constitution, President Karolos Papoulias gives SYRIZA leader, Alexis Tsipras, a mandate to form a government.
  • May 8: The Athens Stock Exchange General Index again records significant losses, closing at 620.54 as values drop 3.62% in response to the continued political uncertainty in Greece.
  • May 9: Alexis Tsipras returns the mandate as he too is unable to form a coalition.
  • May 10: In accordance with the Greek Constitution, President Karolos Papoulias gives PASOK leader, Evangelos Venizelos, a mandate to form a government.
  • May 10: The Olympic torch is lit in ancient Olympia.
  • May 11: Olympiakos triumph over Barcelona 68-64 and qualify for the Euroleague final. In the other semi-final game, CSKA Moscow defeat Panathinaikos 66-64.
  • May 13: President Karolos Papoulias summons leaders of the country's fractious political parties in a last-ditch effort to form a new coalition government.
  • May 13: Olympiakos triumph over CSKA Moscow 62-61 and win the Euroleague for the second time in their history. The red-and-whites at one point in the game were 19 points down.
  • May 14: The moderate Democratic Left party says it will not join pro-bailout parties in a coalition without the more radical far-left SYRIZA.
  • May 14: Cyprus president Dimitris Christofias announces he will not seek re-election.
  • May 14: The Athens Stock Exchange General Index closes at 584.04 as values drop 4.56% in response to the continued political uncertainty in Greece.
  • May 15: As talks to form a coalition government fail, the Athens Stock Exchange General Index drops another 3.62% to 562.88.
  • May 16: President Karolos Papoulias meets with party leaders to create a caretaker government. Senior judge Panagiotis Pikrammenos is named caretaker prime minister.
  • May 16: Greece announces June 17 as the date for the country's repeat elections.
  • May 17: The caretaker government of Panagiotis Pikrammenos is sworn in along with the newly-elected members of the Hellenic Parliament.
  • May 17: The first match of the basketball championship series between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos is postponed as the bus carrying Panathinaikos' players to the stadium is ambushed resulting in injuries to players Stratos Perperoglou and Stephen Smith.
  • May 21: The leader of conservative New Democracy, Antonis Samaras, and the head of the liberal Democratic Alliance, Dora Bakoyannis, a former conservative minister and political rival, announce that they are joining forces in “a patriotic, pro-European front” aimed at “battling the forces of populism” and ensuring that the country remains in the eurozone.
  • May 22: Aris Grigoriadis wins the second European Championship gold medal of his career, finishing first (with a time of 53.86 seconds) in the 100-meter backstroke final at Debrecen, Hungary.
  • May 24: Rumours of a Greek exit from the Eurozone contribute to a 4.53% drop in stock values as the General Index of the Athens Stock Exchange closes at 502.52.
  • May 24: Eighteen-year-old Panayiotis Samilidis clocked a national record of 2 minutes and 9.72 seconds at the European Swimming Championship in Debrecen, Hungary, in the 200-meters breaststroke to finish third, 1.12 seconds behind the winner, Daniel Gyurta of Hungary. Yiannis Drymonakos also finished third in the 200-meters butterfly with a time of 1:56.48, behind the winner, Laszlo Cseh, also from Hungary.
  • May 25: The General Index of the Athens Stock Exchange drops below 500 (485.18) after another loss of 3.45% of stock values. The closing level represents a 22-year low.
  • May 28: Diomedes Argos win the European Handball Federation Challenge Cup despite losing 22-20 to Wacker Thun, as the first match was 26-23 in favour of the Greek team.

June

July

August

September

October

November

  • November 1: Journalist Costas Vaxevanis, editor of the weekly Hot Doc magazine, goes on trial in Athens for breach of privacy after publishing the names of 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts. After an all-day trial the courtroom - packed with journalists, rights advocates and ordinary Greek citizens - erupts in cheers when the judge pronounces Vaxevanis not guilty.
  • November 6: Public and private sector workers begin a 48-hour strike in protest of a government-proposed new wave of spending cuts.
  • November 7: Lawmakers in Greece back a fresh round of austerity measures, despite violent protests across the country.
  • November 12: The Hellenic Parliament approves by 167 votes the government-proposed new austerity budget, despite ongoing protests.
  • November 12: Eurozone ministers agree to extend by two years (from 2014 to 2016) the time needed for Greece to achieve the financial goals set by its lenders.
  • November 14: Panathinaikos replace coach Jesualdo Ferreira with former footballer Juan Ramon Rocha.
  • November 21: Fitch cuts the credit rating of Cyprus to BB- (from BB+) with a negative outlook.
  • November 26: The Eurozone and the IMF agree to reduce the debt of Greece by 40 billion euros through debt buy-back and a lowering of the interest rates on loans.

December

  • December 6: The Cyprus House of Representatives enacts into law the first three bills relating to the implementation of the bailout memorandum agreed to with the troika.
  • December 9: Greece defeat Hungary 9-5 and win the gold medal in the women’s FINA World Youth Water Polo Championship in Perth, Australia.
  • December 13: The Eurogroup ministers approve the release of 50 billion euros to Greece as part of the bailout agreement.
  • December 18: Standard and Poor's raises the credit rating of Greece by six levels from "selective default" to "B-minus".
  • December 19: The House of Representatives of Cyprus approves the "memorandum budget" by 51 votes to 2.
  • December 21: Standard and Poor's drops the credit rating of Cyprus from "B" to "CCC+".

Deaths

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

October

November

December