Greece - Country history and economic development

2600 B.C. Period of early Minoean civilization in Crete, beginning more than 1,400 years of cultural development.

9TH CENTURY B.C. The poet Homer writes The Odyssey and The Iliad , the Greek classical epic poems.

8TH CENTURY B.C. Trade relations begin between Athens, Sparta, and other city-states.

450s B.C. Under the rule of Pericles, the Golden Age of Athens begins. This period is marked by achievements in architecture, sculpture, and philosophy.

336 B.C. Alexander the Great assumes power and creates the largest empire in history.

86 B.C. Rome conquers Athens. Pax Romana period begins in 31 B.C.

1453. Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople and Greece falls to Ottomans and remains under Ottoman control for close to 400 years.

1821-32. Inspired by the Enlightenment movement in Europe, the Greek War of Independence begins which liberates modern-day Greece. Britain and France assist Greece's efforts.

1863. New constitution establishes parliament. Prince William of Denmark named King George I of Greece.

1881. Ottomans relinquish control of Thessaly and part of Epirus to Greece following pressure from Great Powers at 1878 Congress of Berlin.

1909. Greek government is overthrown by a military coup. Eleutherios Venizelos named head of new government.

1930. World depression causes political and economic unrest in Greece.

1936-41. General Ioannis Metaxas heads dictatorship after Venizelos resigns in 1932.

1941. Nazis invade Greece. Start of 4-year occupation. National resistance movement founded.

1944. Athens is freed from German control and Greece falls under post-WWII British sphere of influence.

1946-49. Civil war erupts between government and Democratic Army of Greece.

1949. Greece receives aid for post-war rebuilding from the U.S. Marshall Plan.

1967. Military seizes the government in a coup d'etat, starting a 7-year period of international isolation. King Constantine goes into exile.

1974. Turkey invades Cyprus in response to coup attempt by Greece against Cypriot president. Greek military junta loses power and civilian government returns. Democratic institutions are restored and the monarchy is abolished by popular vote.

1975. A new constitution based on republican form of government is created. Turkish Federated State of Cyprus declared, heightening tensions between Greece and Turkey.

1981. Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) ends post-war conservative control and starts 8-year rule marked by reform program under Andreas Papandreou; Greece becomes member of European Community (EC).

1990. New government formed by Konstantinos Mitsotakis's New Democracy (ND) party, which wins control of half of assembly.

1992. The New Democracy party privatizes the mass transit system. Strikes erupt against Mitsotakis' government and its economic policies.

1993. European Union (EU) 5-year economic reform program adopted by Greece; Papandreou again elected prime minister.

1994. Greece imposes trade embargo against Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and EU declares embargo violates international law. UN, U.S., and EU attempt to work out a solution with Greece.

1995. Government ratifies UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, causing Turkey to threaten war if treaty is applied in Aegean Sea. Greece lifts trade embargo against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

1996. Papandreou resigns as prime minister because of poor health and is replaced by Constantine Simitis.

2001. Greece joins European Monetary Union (EMU). New Athens International Airport opens.

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