Fireworks lit up the sky above the Acropolis in Athens as Greece ushered in 2014 .
The year change also marked the moment the country took over the European Union’s six-month rotating presidency from Lithuania.
But underlying the festive celebrations was a real wish that the new year might bring some relief from the hardships of the old one.
“The only thing we can hope for is for the political situation to change in our country. Otherwise we are doomed to suffering,” said Athens resident Dr.George Kotsaris.
“We are hoping for something better for Greece. To have jobs, healthcare and not the need for charity services for food and medicine, and not to have people made homeless,” added another local.
Greece has been kept financially afloat by the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund
in exchange for severe spending cuts.
Thousands of businesses have closed and jobs been lost but government projections at last see a return to growth next year.