Greece

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Introduction - Greece:
CountryGreece
BackgroundGreece 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:
LocationSouthern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates39 00 N, 22 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Areatotal: 131,940 sq km
land: 130,800 sq km
water: 1,140 sq km
Area comparativeslightly smaller than Alabama
Land boundariestotal: 1,228 km
border countries: Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km, Macedonia 246 km
Coastline13,676 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climatetemperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers
Terrainmostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands
Elevation extremeslowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m
Natural resourceslignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential
Land usearable land: 20.45%
permanent crops: 8.59%
other: 70.96% (2005)
Irrigated land14,530 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardssevere earthquakes
Environment current issuesair pollution; water pollution
Environment international agreementsparty 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 notestrategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits; a peninsular country, possessing an archipelago of about 2,000 islands
People - Greece:
Population10,706,290 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 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 agetotal: 41.2 years
male: 40 years
female: 42.3 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate0.163% (2007 est.)
Birth rate9.62 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate10.33 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate2.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat 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 ratetotal: 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 birthtotal population: 79.38 years
male: 76.85 years
female: 82.06 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate1.35 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate0.2% (2001 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids9,100 (2001 est.)
Hiv aids deathsless than 100 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Greek(s)
adjective: Greek
Ethnic groupspopulation: Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7% (2001 census)
note: percents represent citizenship, since Greece does not collect data on ethnicity
ReligionsGreek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%
LanguagesGreek 99% (official), other 1% (includes English and French)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96%
male: 97.8%
female: 94.2% (2001 census)
People notewomen, men, and children are trafficked to and within Greece for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor
Government - Greece:
Country nameconventional long form: Hellenic Republic
conventional short form: Greece
local long form: Elliniki Dhimokratia
local short form: Ellas or Ellada
former: Kingdom of Greece
Government typeparliamentary republic
Capitalname: 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 divisions51 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
Independence1829 (from the Ottoman Empire)
National holidayIndependence Day, 25 March (1821)
Constitution11 June 1975; amended March 1986 and April 2001
Legal systembased on codified Roman law; judiciary divided into civil, criminal, and administrative courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branchchief 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 branchunicameral 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 branchSupreme Judicial Court; Special Supreme Tribunal; all judges appointed for life by the president after consultation with a judicial council
Political parties and leadersCoalition 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 leadersGeneral 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 participationAustralia 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 uschief 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 uschief 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 descriptionnine 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 overviewGreece 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 rate4.2% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $24,000 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 5.1%
industry: 20.6%
services: 74.4% (2006 est.)
Labor force4.88 million (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 12%
industry: 20%
services: 68% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate9.2% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 28.3% (1998 est.)
Distribution of family income gini index35.1 (2003)
Inflation rate consumer prices 3.3% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 25.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $99.16 billion
expenditures: $106.7 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt104.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productswheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes; beef, dairy products
Industriestourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleum
Industrial production growth rate2% (2006 est.)
Electricity production55.51 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption53.5 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity exports1.5 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity imports3.4 billion kWh (2004)
Oil production5,401 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil consumption435,700 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil exports119,200 bbl/day (2004)
Oil imports550,400 bbl/day (2004)
Oil proved reserves7 million bbl (1 January 2005)
Natural gas production23 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption2.34 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas exports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas imports2.641 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves991.1 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 commoditiesfood and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, textiles
Exports partnersGermany 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 commoditiesmachinery, transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
Imports partnersGermany 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 rateseuros per US dollar - 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)
Communications - Greece:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use6.185 million (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular11.098 million (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral 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 stationsAM 26, FM 88, shortwave 4 (1998)
Television broadcast stations36 (plus 1,341 repeaters); also 2 stations in the US Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (1995)
Internet country code.gr
Internet hosts587,717 (2006)
Internet users2.048 million (2006)
Transportation - Greece:
Airports82 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 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 runwaystotal: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 13 (2006)
Heliports8 (2006)
Pipelinesgas 1,166 km; oil 94 km (2006)
Railwaystotal: 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)
Roadwaystotal: 114,931 km
paved: 105,507 km (includes 880 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,424 km (2004)
Waterways6 km
note: Corinth Canal (6 km) crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; shortens sea voyage by 325 km (2007)
Merchant marinetotal: 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 terminalsAgioitheodoroi, Aspropyrgos, Irakleion, Pachi, Piraeus, Thessaloniki
Military - Greece:
Military branchesHellenic Army (Ellinikos Stratos, ES), Hellenic Navy (Ellinikos Polemiko Navtiko, EPN), Hellenic Air Force (Elliniki Polimiki Aeroporia, EPA) (2007)
Military service age and obligation18 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 servicemales age 18-49: 2,459,988
females age 18-49: 2,442,818 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 2,018,557
females age 18-49: 2,000,650 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 58,399
females age 18-49: 55,571 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp4.3% (2005 est.)
Disputes internationalGreece 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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