Greece

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Introduction - Greece:

Country

Greece

Background

Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. In World War II, Greece was first invaded by Italy (1940) and subsequently occupied by Germany (1941-44); fighting endured in a protracted civil war between supporters of the king and Communist rebels. Following the latters defeat in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. A military dictatorship, which in 1967 suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country, lasted seven years. The 1974 democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy. In 1981 Greece joined the EC (now the EU); it became the 12th member of the euro zone in 2001.

Location - Greece:

Location

Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey

Geographic coordinates

39 00 N, 22 00 E

Map references

Europe

Area

total: 131,940 sq km
land: 130,800 sq km
water: 1,140 sq km

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Alabama

Land boundaries

total: 1,228 km
border countries: Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km, Macedonia 246 km

Coastline

13,676 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate

temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers

Terrain

mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m

Natural resources

lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential

Land use

arable land: 20.45%
permanent crops: 8.59%
other: 70.96% (2005)

Irrigated land

14,530 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

severe earthquakes

Environment current issues

air pollution; water pollution

Environment international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds

Geography note

strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits; a peninsular country, possessing an archipelago of about 2,000 islands

People - Greece:

Population

10,706,290 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 14.3% (male 789,637/female 742,535)
15-64 years: 66.7% (male 3,565,237/female 3,570,630)
65 years and over: 19% (male 895,384/female 1,142,867) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 41.2 years
male: 40 years
female: 42.3 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

0.163% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

9.62 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

10.33 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

2.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.063 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.998 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.783 male(s)/female
total population: 0.962 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 5.34 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.87 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 79.38 years
male: 76.85 years
female: 82.06 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.35 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

0.2% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

9,100 (2001 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

less than 100 (2003 est.)

Nationality

noun: Greek(s)
adjective: Greek

Ethnic groups

population: Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7% (2001 census)
note: percents represent citizenship, since Greece does not collect data on ethnicity

Religions

Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%

Languages

Greek 99% (official), other 1% (includes English and French)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96%
male: 97.8%
female: 94.2% (2001 census)

People note

women, men, and children are trafficked to and within Greece for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor

Government - Greece:

Country name

conventional long form: Hellenic Republic
conventional short form: Greece
local long form: Elliniki Dhimokratia
local short form: Ellas or Ellada
former: Kingdom of Greece

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Athens
geographic coordinates: 37 59 N, 23 44 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions

51 prefectures (nomoi, singular - nomos) and 1 autonomous region*; Achaia, Agion Oros* (Mt. Athos), Aitolia kai Akarnania, Argolis, Arkadia, Arta, Attiki, Chalkidiki, Chanion, Chios, Dodekanisos, Drama, Evros, Evrytania, Evvoia, Florina, Fokidos, Fthiotis, Grevena, Ileia, Imathia, Ioannina, Irakleion, Karditsa, Kastoria, Kavala, Kefallinia, Kerkyra, Kilkis, Korinthia, Kozani, Kyklades, Lakonia, Larisa, Lasithi, Lefkas, Lesvos, Magnisia, Messinia, Pella, Pieria, Preveza, Rethynnis, Rodopi, Samos, Serrai, Thesprotia, Thessaloniki, Trikala, Voiotia, Xanthi, Zakynthos

Independence

1829 (from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday

Independence Day, 25 March (1821)

Constitution

11 June 1975; amended March 1986 and April 2001

Legal system

based on codified Roman law; judiciary divided into civil, criminal, and administrative courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Karolos PAPOULIAS (since 12 March 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Konstandinos (Kostas) KARAMANLIS (since 7 March 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 8 February 2005 (next to be held by February 2010); according to the Greek Constitution, presidents may only serve two terms; president appoints leader of the party securing plurality of vote in election to become prime minister and form a government
election results: Karolos PAPOULIAS elected president; number of parliamentary votes, 279 out of 300

Legislative branch

unicameral Parliament or Vouli ton Ellinon (300 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: elections last held 7 March 2004 (next to be held by March 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - ND 45.4%, PASOK 40.6%, KKE 5.9%, Synaspismos 3.3%, other 4.8%; seats by party - ND 165, PASOK 117, KKE 12, Synaspismos 6; note - seats by party as of December 2006 - ND 164, PASOK 113, KKE 12, Synaspismos 6, independents 5, other 6

Judicial branch

Supreme Judicial Court; Special Supreme Tribunal; all judges appointed for life by the president after consultation with a judicial council

Political parties and leaders

Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) [Alekos ALAVANOS]; Communist Party of Greece or KKE [Aleka PAPARIGA]; New Democracy or ND (conservative) [Konstandinos KARAMANLIS]; Panhellenic Socialist Movement or PASOK [Yiorgos PAPANDREOU]; Popular Orthodox Rally or LAOS [Yeoryios KARATZAFERIS]

Political pressure groups and leaders

General Confederation of Greek Workers or GSEE [Ioannis PANAGOPOULOS]; Federation of Greek Industries or SEV [Odysseas KYRIAKOPOULOS]; Civil Servants Confederation or ADEDY [Spyros PAPASPYROS]

International organization participation

Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, G- 6, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SECI, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIS, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Alexandros P. MALLIAS
chancery: 2221 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-1300
FAX: [1] (202) 939-1324
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Tampa
consulate(s): Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Charles P. RIES
embassy: 91 Vasilisis Sophias Avenue, 10160 Athens
mailing address: PSC 108, APO AE 09842-0108
telephone: [30] (210) 721-2951
FAX: [30] (210) 645-6282
consulate(s) general: Thessaloniki

Flag description

nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white; there is a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white cross; the cross symbolizes Greek Orthodoxy, the established religion of the country

Economy - Greece:

Economy overview

Greece has a capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP at least 75% of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 15% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, mainly in agricultural and unskilled jobs. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP. The Greek economy grew by nearly 4.0% per year between 2003 and 2006, due partly to infrastructural spending related to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and in part to an increased availability of credit, which has sustained record levels of consumer spending. Greece violated the EUs Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criteria of no more than 3% of GDP from 2001 to 2005, but finally appears on track to meet that criteria in 2006. Public debt, inflation, and unemployment are above the euro-zone average, but are falling. The Greek Government continues to grapple with cutting government spending, reducing the size of the public sector, and reforming the labor and pension systems, in the face of often vocal opposition from the countrys powerful labor unions and the general public.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$256.3 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$223.8 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

4.2% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$24,000 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 5.1%
industry: 20.6%
services: 74.4% (2006 est.)

Labor force

4.88 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 12%
industry: 20%
services: 68% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate

9.2% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 28.3% (1998 est.)

Distribution of family income gini index

35.1 (2003)

Inflation rate consumer prices

3.3% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

25.9% of GDP (2006 est.)

Budget

revenues: $99.16 billion
expenditures: $106.7 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)

Public debt

104.6% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes; beef, dairy products

Industries

tourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate

2% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

55.51 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

53.5 billion kWh (2005 est.)

Electricity exports

1.5 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

3.4 billion kWh (2004)

Oil production

5,401 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

435,700 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil exports

119,200 bbl/day (2004)

Oil imports

550,400 bbl/day (2004)

Oil proved reserves

7 million bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas production

23 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

2.34 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas exports

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

2.641 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

991.1 million cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance

-$21.37 billion (2006 est.)

Exports

$24.42 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

food and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, textiles

Exports partners

Germany 11.4%, Italy 11.2%, Bulgaria 6.4%, UK 6%, Cyprus 5.4%, Turkey 5.2%, France 4.5%, US 4.4%, Spain 4% (2006)

Imports

$59.12 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery, transport equipment, fuels, chemicals

Imports partners

Germany 12.6%, Italy 11.6%, Russia 7.1%, France 5.8%, Netherlands 5.2%, South Korea 4.2% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.5 billion (2006 est.)

Debt external

$301.9 billion (30 June 2006 est.)

Economic aid recipient

$8 billion annually from EU (2000-06); Greece will receive about $3.8 billion per year between 2007-13 under the EUs Community Support Funds IV

Currency code

euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries

Exchange rates

euros per US dollar - 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)

Communications - Greece:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

6.185 million (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

11.098 million (2006)

Telephone system

general assessment: adequate, modern networks reach all areas; good mobile telephone and international service
domestic: microwave radio relay trunk system; extensive open-wire connections; submarine cable to offshore islands
international: country code - 30; tropospheric scatter; 8 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 26, FM 88, shortwave 4 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

36 (plus 1,341 repeaters); also 2 stations in the US Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (1995)

Internet country code

.gr

Internet hosts

587,717 (2006)

Internet users

2.048 million (2006)

Transportation - Greece:

Airports

82 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 66
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 17
under 914 m: 9 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 13 (2006)

Heliports

8 (2006)

Pipelines

gas 1,166 km; oil 94 km (2006)

Railways

total: 2,571 km
standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-m gauge (764 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 961 km 1.000-m gauge; 22 km 0.750-m gauge
dual gauge: 23 km combined 1.435 m and 1.000-m gauges (three rail system) (2006)

Roadways

total: 114,931 km
paved: 105,507 km (includes 880 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,424 km (2004)

Waterways

6 km
note: Corinth Canal (6 km) crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; shortens sea voyage by 325 km (2007)

Merchant marine

total: 817 ships (1000 GRT or over) 31,895,832 GRT/54,341,584 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 270, cargo 61, chemical tanker 47, container 47, liquefied gas 5, passenger 11, passenger/cargo 114, petroleum tanker 244, roll on/roll off 17, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 24 (Belgium 12, Cyprus 1, Hong Kong 1, UK 9, US 1)
registered in other countries: 2,363 (Bahamas 232, Barbados 11, Belgium 4, Belize 2, Bermuda 2, Cambodia 8, Cayman Islands 21, Comoros 10, Cyprus 337, Denmark 5, Dominica 5, Egypt 6, Georgia 8, Gibraltar 7, Honduras 3, Hong Kong 27, Isle of Man 45, Italy 6, Jamaica 6, North Korea 1, Lebanon 3, Liberia 267, Malta 495, Marshall Islands 199, Norway 1, Panama 524, Philippines 5, Portugal 4, Russia 1, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 82, Sao Tome and Principe 1, Singapore 9, Slovakia 4, UAE 2, UK 7, Uruguay 1, US 1, Venezuela 3, unknown 7) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Agioitheodoroi, Aspropyrgos, Irakleion, Pachi, Piraeus, Thessaloniki

Military - Greece:

Military branches

Hellenic Army (Ellinikos Stratos, ES), Hellenic Navy (Ellinikos Polemiko Navtiko, EPN), Hellenic Air Force (Elliniki Polimiki Aeroporia, EPA) (2007)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for compulsory military service; during wartime the law allows for recruitment beginning January of the year of inductees 18th birthday, thus including 17 year olds; 17 years of age for volunteers; conscript service obligation - 12 months for the Army, Air Force; 15 months for Navy; women are eligible for military service (2005)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 2,459,988
females age 18-49: 2,442,818 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 2,018,557
females age 18-49: 2,000,650 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 58,399
females age 18-49: 55,571 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

4.3% (2005 est.)

Disputes international

Greece and Turkey continue discussions to resolve their complex maritime, air, territorial, and boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea; Cyprus question with Turkey; Greece rejects the use of the name Macedonia or Republic of Macedonia; the mass migration of unemployed Albanians still remains a problem for developed countries, chiefly Greece and Italy

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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