This Article is From Jul 05, 2015

Key Dates in the Greek Debt Crisis

Key Dates in the Greek Debt Crisis

File Photo: Greece braced itself Saturday ahead of a make-or-break bailout referendum as polls showed the 'Yes' and 'No' camps neck and neck and uncertainty rose over the future of the country's battered economy. (Agence France-Presse)

Athens: Greeks vote in a closely-watched bailout referendum that has divided the nation and could determine its financial future as well as that of the government.

Here are the key dates in Greece's debt crisis that has rumbled on for five years and could culminate in the country's exit from the eurozone.


October: The Greek government of George Papandreou reveals that the national public deficit for 2009 was twice as much as thought at 12.7 per cent of the country's output, instead of 6.0 per cent. The figure is later raised again to 15 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

December: The three main credit ratings agencies Fitch, Standard & Poor's and Moody's downgrade Greece's debt.


January-March: Fears over Greece's finances send its bond yields the interest rate the government must pay to borrow soaring.

April: 10-year bond yields leap above 8.5 percent, the highest since the country adopted the euro in 2001. With public debt now at 350 billion euros ($435 billion) and with bond yields surging making it unsustainable for Greece to borrow on the markets Athens appeals for aid from the EU and the IMF.

May: Greece becomes the first eurozone country to receive a bailout as the EU and IMF announce a 110-billion-euro package in exchange for painful austerity measures, including harsh wage cuts and tax hikes.


October: As Greece's economic situation deteriorates further, the eurozone proposes a second bailout package of 130 billion euros under which private sector creditors also agree to write off about half the debt owed to them.


February: The eurozone approves Greece's second bailout package.


April: Greece returns to sovereign debt markets for the first time in four years, and posts a primary surplus (which excludes debt interest payments) at the end of the year.


January 25: The anti-austerity Syriza party, led by Alexis Tsipras, wins a snap election with a pledge to renegotiate the bailout terms. In five years, national output has been cut by 25 percent, salaries have fallen by more than that, and a quarter of the workforce is unemployed.

February 20: Greek authorities and its creditor institutions agree to extend aid until the end of June. Athens pledges to come up with reform measures in exchange for the last 7.2 billion euros in rescue funds.

June 2: After months of bickering, the creditor institutions make a final pitch to Greece regarding the reforms deemed necessary.

June 5: Tsipras rejects creditor demands for pension cuts and labour market reforms.

June 10: EU leaders in turn reject a counter-proposal from Greece.

June 17: The Greek central bank warns for the first time the country could suffer an exit from the eurozone and even the EU if it fails to reach a bailout deal.

June 24: For the fifth time in eight days, the ECB increases emergency funding for Greek banks.

June 26: Creditors offer Athens a five-month, 12-billion-euro extension of its bailout programme but say it must seal a deal quickly to avoid an IMF default on June 30.

June 27: Tsipras calls for a surprise July 5 referendum on the creditors' latest bailout proposals. Eurozone finance ministers accuse Greece of breaking off talks "unilaterally" and refuse to extend its bailout past June 30. In Greece, bank customers rush to withdraw cash.

June 28: The government orders banks to close until today and imposes capital controls as ATMs run dry and the ECB refuses to increase emergency funding for Greek lenders.

June 30: Greece's bailout officially expires and the country defaults on a 1.5-billion-euro debt payment to the IMF.

July 5: Greeks vote in a knife-edge referendum.