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Yearbook 1998

Greece. The year was marked by the country's efforts to qualify for the European Monetary Union EMU and by protests against the cuts the efforts entailed. On March 14, the currency, the drachman, was devalued by 14% and thus G. was able to associate the drachman with the exchange rate mechanism ERM (Exchange Rate Mechanism) within the European exchange rate cooperation EMS (European Monetary System). According to Countryaah, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis said he wants G. to join the EMU in 2001. But the country was not ready for accession in January 1999 was clear. In March, the European Commission reported that G. did not meet the convergence requirements, ie. the financial goals that exist for EMU countries. In 1997, for example, inflation was 5.2%, which is a large but insufficient improvement.

1998 Greece

In February, Parliament gave managers in state-owned companies the right to reduce wage costs by cutting down various benefits. At the same time as the connection to the ERM, new cuts were announced, including in public transport and the postal system, and the privatization of several state-owned companies. These measures led farmers, postal workers, teachers, doctors, airport personnel and public transport staff and the state banks to go on strike.

During the summer, G. was hit by the worst forest fires in the country's history. 162,000 ha of land were sweated in a total of about 180 sites. At least six people were killed in the fires, which were suspected of being built by builders.

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