Greece is a country positioned between the Balkans and the Aegean sea, with its land consisting of part on the Peninsula in addition to a series of islands. The Greeks are descended from the Hellenic people who in the Classical age colonized the area of the Center-east Mediterranean, giving life to the most important civilization in history. The country itself was founded in 1822, after independence was obtained that year from the Ottoman Empire. During the contemporary era from 1967 to 1974, Greece was in a period of Junta, a period of military control of the government following the Coup d'etat on 1967. With the return of multi-party democracy, the country embarked on a path of joining the EU, which it entered in 1981. Since 2009 the country has been suffering one of the most serious post-war economic crises in Europe, because of the austerity measures imposed in order to meet its debt repayments. The capital is Athens, and the country's other important city is Thessaloniki.