In July 2007, the Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works published the “General Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development Framework” with no plans for new coal plants in Greece. A month later, the Ministry of Development published the “1st report on the long-term energy planning of Greece, 2008-2020,” stating that 5.6 to 21 percent of Greece’s energy would come from coal in the years 2008 to 2020.
In early 2011, the Greek state developed a plan of austerity measures to meet its debt repayments. Due to major financial problems, it had just failed to meet the budget targets established in 2010 when it received a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Eurozone. The new proposal to be voted on in June 2011, called “The Medium Term Economic Program,” included the privatization of a number of industries and utilities including but not limited to power and water companies, ports, banks, and the train operator.
Greece, a country characterized by consistent economic growth, began to display signs of a serious economic downturn in 2009. Unemployment was on the rise, the budget deficit was growing, and it received the second lowest value in the European Union (EU) for Index of Economic Freedom.