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Greece

 

Greece
Introduction Greece
-------------------
Background: Greece achieved its 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
with Greek-speaking populations.
Following the defeat of Communist
rebels 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. Democratic elections in
1974 and a referendum created a
parliamentary republic and abolished
the monarchy; Greece joined the
European Community or EC in 1981
(which became the EU in 1992).

Geography 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
water: 1,140 sq km
land: 130,800 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, The
Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia 246 km
Coastline: 13,676 km
Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to
the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 6 NM
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: bauxite, lignite, magnesite,
petroleum, marble, hydropower
potential
Land use: arable land: 22.12%
permanent crops: 8.47%
other: 69.41% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 14,220 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: severe earthquakes
Environment - current issues: air pollution; water pollution
Environment - international party to: Air Pollution, Air
agreements: Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-
Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-
Marine Living Resources,
Biodiversity, Climate Change,
Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification,
Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea,
Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban,
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, Antarctic Treaty,
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
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: 10,645,343 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14.8% (male 814,605;
female 765,613)
15-64 years: 67.1% (male 3,579,945;
female 3,564,068)
65 years and over: 18.1% (male
851,087; female 1,070,025) (2002
est.)
Population growth rate: 0.2% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 9.82 births/1,000 population (2002
est.)
Death rate: 9.79 deaths/1,000 population (2002
est.)
Net migration rate: 1.96 migrant(s)/1,000 population
(2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/
female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/
female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 6.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.74 years
female: 81.48 years (2002 est.)
male: 76.17 years
Total fertility rate: 1.34 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.16% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 8,000 (1999 est.)
AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Greek(s)
adjective: Greek
Ethnic groups: Greek 98%, other 2%
note: the Greek Government states
there are no ethnic divisions in
Greece
Religions: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%,
other 0.7%
Languages: Greek 99% (official), English,
French
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
and write
total population: 97%
male: 98.5%
female: 96% (1999)

Government Greece
-----------------
Country name: conventional long form: Hellenic
Republic
conventional short form: Greece
local short form: Ellas or Ellada
former: Kingdom of Greece
local long form: Elliniki
Dhimokratia
Government type: parliamentary republic; monarchy
rejected by referendum 8 December
1974
Capital: Athens
Administrative divisions: 51 prefectures (nomoi, singular -
nomos)and 1 autonomous region*;
Agion Oros* (Mt. Athos), Achaia,
Aitolia kai Akarmania, 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
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and
compulsory
Executive branch: chief of state: President
Konstandinos (Kostis) STEPHANOPOULOS
(since 10 March 1995)
elections: president elected by
Parliament for a five-year term;
election last held 8 February 2000
(next to be held by NA February
2005); prime minister appointed by
the president
head of government: Prime Minister
Konstandinos SIMITIS (since 19
January 1996)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the
president on the recommendation of
the prime minister
election results: Konstandinos
STEPHANOPOULOS reelected president;
percent of Parliament vote - 90%
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 9
April 2000 (next to be held by NA
April 2004)
election results: percent of vote by
party - PASOK 43.8%, ND 42.7%, KKE
5.5%, Coalition of the Left and
Progress 3.2%; seats by party -
PASOK 158, ND 125, KKE 11, Coalition
of the Left and Progress 6; note -
seats by party as of January 2002 -
PASOK 156, ND 122, KKE 11, Coalition
of the Left and Progress 6,
independents 5
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) [Nikolaos
KONSTANDOPOULOS]; Communist Party of
Greece or KKE [Aleka PAPARIGA]; New
Democracy or ND (conservative)
[Konstandinos KARAMANLIS];
Panhellenic Socialist Movement or
PASOK [Konstandinos SIMITIS]
Political pressure groups and NA
leaders:
International organization Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE,
participation: CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EMU, EU,
FAO, G- 6, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC,
ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC,
IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol,
IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NAM
(guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS
(observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA,
UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO,
UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK,
UNOMIG, UPU, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador
Alexandros PHILON; note - expected
to be replaced by Yeorgios
SAVVAIDHIS in 2002
consulate(s): Atlanta, Houston, and
New Orleans
consulate(s) general: Boston,
Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and
San Francisco
FAX: [1] (202) 939-5824
telephone: [1] (202) 939-5800
chancery: 2221 Massachusetts Avenue
NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas
US: J. MILLER
embassy: 91 Vassilissis Sophias
Boulevard, GR-10160 Athens
mailing address: PSC 108, APO AE
09842-0108
telephone: [30] (10) 721-2951
FAX: [30] (10) 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 mixed capitalist
economy with the public sector
accounting for about half of GDP.
Tourism is a key industry, providing
a large portion of GDP and foreign
exchange earnings. Greece is a major
beneficiary of EU aid, equal to
about 3.3% of GDP. The economy has
improved steadily over the last few
years, as the government tightened
policy in the run-up to Greece's
entry into the EU's Economic and
Monetary Union (EMU) on 1 January
2001. Major challenges remaining
include the reduction of
unemployment and further
restructuring of the economy,
including privatizing several state
enterprises, undertaking social
security reforms, overhauling the
tax system, and minimizing
bureaucratic inefficiencies.
Economic growth is forecast at 3%-
3.5% in 2002.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $189.7
billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.7% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $17,900
(2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 8.3%
industry: 27.3%
services: 64.4% (1998)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 3%
percentage share: highest 10%: 25.3% (1993 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini 32.7 (1993)
index:
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.4% (2001)
Labor force: 4.32 million (1999 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: industry 21%, agriculture 20%,
services 59% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 11% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $45 billion
expenditures: $47.6 billion,
including capital expenditures of
$NA (1998 est.)
Industries: tourism; food and tobacco
processing, textiles; chemicals,
metal products; mining, petroleum
Industrial production growth rate: 7% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 49.581 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 91.53%
hydro: 6.6%
other: 1.87% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption: 46.099 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 1.74 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 1.729 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets,
olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco,
potatoes; beef, dairy products
Exports: $12.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Exports - commodities: food and beverages, manufactured
goods, petroleum products,
chemicals, textiles
Exports - partners: EU 44% (Germany 12%, Italy 9%, UK
6%), US 5% (2000)
Imports: $30.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Imports - commodities: machinery, transport equipment,
fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners: EU 59% (Germany 13%, Italy 13%,
France 7%, Netherlands 6%, UK 5%),
US 3% (2000)
Debt - external: $57 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $5.4 billion from EU (1997 est.)
Currency: euro (EUR); drachma (GRD)
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
Currency code: EUR; GRD
Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 1.1324
(January 2002), 1.1175 (2001);
drachmae per US dollar - 380.21
(December 2000), 365.40 (2000),
305.65 (1999), 295.53 (1998), 273.06
(1997)
note: in January 2001, the drachma
became a participating currency
within the Eurosystem, and the euro
market rate became applicable to all
transactions
Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications Greece
---------------------
Telephones - main lines in use: 5.431 million (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 937,700 (1997)
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: 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)
Radios: 5.02 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 36 (plus 1,341 low-power repeaters);
also two stations in the US Armed
Forces Radio and Television Service
(1995)
Televisions: 2.54 million (1997)
Internet country code: .gr
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 27 (2000)
Internet users: 1.33 million (1999)

Transportation Greece
---------------------
Railways: total: 2,571 km
standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-
m gauge (36 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 961 km 1.000-m gauge;
22 km 0.750-m gauge (a rack-type
railway for steep grades)
dual gauge: 23 km combined 1.435-
m and 1.000-m gauges (three rail
system) (2001 est.)
Highways: total: 117,000 km
paved: 107,406 km (including 470 km
of expressways)
unpaved: 9,594 km (1996)
Waterways: 80 km
note: system consists of three
coastal canals including the Corinth
Canal (6 km) which crosses the
Isthmus of Corinth connecting the
Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic
Gulf and shortens the sea voyage
from the Adriatic to Peiraiefs
(Piraeus) by 325 km; there are also
three unconnected rivers
Pipelines: crude oil 26 km; petroleum products
547 km
Ports and harbors: Alexandroupolis, Elefsis, Irakleion
(Crete), Kavala, Kerkyra, Chalkis,
Igoumenitsa, Lavrion, Patrai,
Peiraiefs (Piraeus), Thessaloniki,
Volos
Merchant marine: total: 802 ships (1,000 GRT or over)
totaling 27,998,523 GRT/49,458,125
DWT
note: includes some foreign-owned
ships registered here as a flag of
convenience: Ireland 1, Japan 1,
Liberia 1, Norway 1, Panama 2,
Russia 1, Saudi Arabia 1, United
Kingdom 1 (2002 est.)
ships by type: bulk 294, cargo 54,
chemical tanker 25, combination bulk
7, combination ore/oil 5, container
45, liquefied gas 7, multi-
functional large-load carrier 1,
passenger 13, petroleum tanker 265,
refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll
off 23, short-sea passenger 54,
specialized tanker 4, vehicle
carrier 2
Airports: 79 (note - new Athens airport at
Spafa opened in March 2001) (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 65
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 9 (2001)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 10 (2001)
Heliports: 4 (2001)

Military Greece
---------------
Military branches: Hellenic Army, Hellenic Navy,
Hellenic Air Force, Police, National
Guard
Military manpower - military age: 21 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 2,668,872 (2002
est.)
Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 2,034,192 (2002
service: est.)
Military manpower - reaching males: 77,976 (2002 est.)
military age annually:
Military expenditures - dollar $6.12 billion (FY99/00 est.)
figure:
Military expenditures - percent of 4.91% (FY99/00 est.)
GDP:

Transnational Issues Greece
---------------------------
Disputes - international: Greece and Turkey have resumed
discussions to resolve their complex
maritime, air, territorial, and
boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea;
Cyprus question with Turkey; dispute
with The Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia over its name
Illicit drugs: a gateway to Europe for traffickers
smuggling cannabis and heroin from
the Middle East and Southwest Asia
to the West and precursor chemicals
to the East; some South American
cocaine transits or is consumed in
Greece
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