A person dressed in a Santa costume runs next to another in a wheelchair as they go past the parliament building during the Santa Claus Run in Athens, Greece, November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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After a tumultuous year of two elections, a referendum, a default, a bank shutdown, capital controls and a tidal wave of migrants, it's amazing that Greece is still standing, like the Parthenon towering over Athens.After a near-death experience in midyear, when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' radical leftist government rejected a bailout deal with creditors, defaulted on an IMF loan, called a referendum to defy them and had to shut banks for three weeks and ration cash, Greece is in remission.A re-elected Tsipras government is methodically enacting measures demanded by a third bailout program eventually sealed in August, cooperating better with creditor institutions, and has successfully recapitalized the four big systemic banks.On the migration crisis, too, there is deep suspicion between Athens and its European partners, some of whom dangled a threat of suspending Greece from the open-border Schengen zone to force it to accept EU assistance in managing its borders.On the political front, the three center-left, centrist and center-right opposition parties which backed the bailout deal in parliament are refusing to help the government on the sensitive issue of pension reform.
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