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 Greece [Country Flag of Greece]
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Greece]

Greece

Geography

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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: 1,210 km
border countries: Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 228 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 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

Land use:
arable land: 19%
permanent crops: 8%
permanent pastures: 41%
forests and woodland: 20%
other: 12% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 13,140 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: severe earthquakes

Environment—current issues: air pollution; water pollution

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, 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-Nitrogen Oxides, 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

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Population: 10,662,138 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 16% (male 890,673; female 830,945)
15-64 years: 67% (male 3,602,473; female 3,577,961)
65 years and over: 17% (male 780,029; female 980,057) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.43% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 9.65 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 9.37 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 7.26 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.31 years
male: 75.76 years
female: 81.04 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.31 children born/woman (1998 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 (official), English, French

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95%
male: 98%
female: 93% (1991 est.)

Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: Hellenic Republic
conventional short form: Greece
local long form: Elliniki Dhimokratia
local short form: Ellas
former: Kingdom of Greece

Data code: GR

Government type: parliamentary republic; monarchy rejected by referendum 8 December 1974

National capital: Athens

Administrative divisions: 51 prefectures (nomoi, singular—nomos)and 1 autonomous region*; Ayion Oros* (Mt. Athos), Aitolia kai Akarnania, Akhaia, Argolis, Arkadhia, Arta, Attiki, Dhodhekanisos, Drama, Evritania, Evros, Evvoia, Florina, Fokis, Fthiotis, Grevena, Ilia, Imathia, Ioannina, Irakleion, Kardhitsa, Kastoria, Kavala, Kefallinia, Kerkyra, Khalkidhiki, Khania, Khios, Kikladhes, Kilkis, Korinthia, Kozani, Lakonia, Larisa, Lasithi, Lesvos, Levkas, Magnisia, Messinia, Pella, Pieria, Preveza, Rethimni, Rodhopi, Samos, Serrai, Thesprotia, Thessaloniki, Trikala, Voiotia, Xanthi, Zakinthos

Independence: 1829 (from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 March (1821) (proclamation of the war of independence)

Constitution: 11 June 1975

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)
head of government: Prime Minister Konstandinos SIMITIS (since 19 January 1996)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by Chamber of Deputies for a five-year term; election last held 10 March 1995 (next to be held by NA March 2000); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Konstandinos STEPHANOPOULOS elected president; percent of Chamber of Deputies vote—NA

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 22 September 1996 (next to be held by NA September 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party—PASOK 41.5%, ND 38.1%, KKE 5.6%, Coalition of the Left and Progress 5.1%, DIKKI 4.4%, Political Spring 2.9%; seats by party—PASOK 162, ND 108, KKE 11, Coalition of the Left and Progress 10, DIKKI 9; note—seating has subsequently changed as a result of disciplinary actions by PASOK, ND, and DIKKI; as of 3 February 1998 seating is PASOK 159, ND 102, KKE 11, Coalition of the Left and Progress 10, DIKKI 8, independents 10

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

Political parties and leaders: New Democracy or ND (conservative) [Konstandinos KARAMANLIS]; Panhellenic Socialist Movement or PASOK [Konstandinos SIMITIS]; Communist Party or KKE [Aleka PAPARIGA]; Political Spring [Andonios SAMARAS]; Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) [Nikolaos KONSTANDOPOULOS]; Democratic Social Movement or DIKKI [Dhimitrios TSOVOLAS]; Rainbow Coalition [Pavlos VOSKOPOULOS]

International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EU, FAO, G- 6, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MTCR, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNOMIG, UPU, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Loukas TSILAS
chancery: 2221 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-5800
FAX: [1] (202) 939-5824
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco
consulate(s): Atlanta, Houston, and New Orleans

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador R. Nicholas BURNS
embassy: 91 Vasilissis Sophias Boulevard, 10160 Athens
mailing address: PSC 108, APO AE 09842-0108
telephone: [30] (1) 721-2951
FAX: [30] (1) 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

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Economy—overview: Greece has a mixed capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for roughly half of GDP. Tourism provides a major portion of foreign exchange. Greece is among the poorest EU countries in terms of per capita income; Athens continues to rely heavily on EU aid, which currently amounts to about 4.5% of GDP. Macroeconomic problems include the huge public sector, substantial budget and balance of payments deficits, and 10% unemployment. Economic growth is strengthening, and the government's strict fiscal and monetary policies are responsible for the decline in inflation and the budget deficit. Despite widespread protests from labor unions and farmers over austerity, the government is taking further steps to enhance revenue collection and reduce expenditures to prepare Greece for participation in the EU's single currency by 2001. Greece entered the exchange rate mechanism—a requirement for European Monetary Union (EMU) membership—in March 1998. GDP growth is projected at 3.5% for 1998, inflation at 4%, and unemployment at 8.5%

GDP: purchasing power parity—$137.4 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3.7% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$13,000 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 11%
industry: 25%
services: 64% (1994)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 6% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 4.21 million
by occupation: services 52%, agriculture 23%, industry 25% (1995)

Unemployment rate: 10% (1997 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $37 billion (excluding privatization receipts)
expenditures: $45 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 0.5% (1997 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 8.606 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 38.814 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 3,720 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes; meat, dairy products

Exports:
total value: $9.8 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)
commodities: manufactured goods 53%, foodstuffs 34%, fuels 5% (1994)
partners: EU 60% (Germany 22%, Italy 14%, France 6%, UK 6%), US 3% (1995)

Imports:
total value: $27 billion (c.i.f., 1997 est.)
commodities: manufactured goods 72%, foodstuffs 15%, fuels 10% (1994)
partners: EU 70% (Italy 18%, Germany 16%, France 8%, UK 6%) US 4% (1995)

Debt—external: $33 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: EU, $5.4 billion (1997 est.)

Currency: 1 drachma (Dr) = 100 lepta

Exchange rates: drachmae (Dr) per US$1—286.99 (January 1998), 273.06 (1997), 240.71 (1996), 231.66 (1995), 242.60 (1994), 229.26 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

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Telephones: 5,571,293 (1993 est.)

Telephone system: adequate, modern networks reach all areas; microwave radio relay carries most traffic; extensive open-wire network; submarine cables to off-shore islands
domestic: microwave radio relay, open wire, and submarine cable
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 29, FM 17 (repeaters 20), shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 361 (1987 est.)

Televisions: 2.3 million (1993 est.)

Transportation

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Railways:
total: 2,474 km
standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-m gauge (36 km electrified; 100 km double track)
narrow gauge: 887 km 1.000-m gauge; 22 km 0.750-m gauge (a rack type railway for steep grades)

Highways:
total: 117,000 km
paved: 107,406 km (including 470 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,594 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 80 km; 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; and three unconnected rivers

Pipelines: crude oil 26 km; petroleum products 547 km

Ports and harbors: Alexandroupolis, Elefsis, Irakleion (Crete), Kavala, Kerkyira, Chalkis, Igoumenitsa, Lavrion, Patrai, Peiraiefs (Piraeus), Thessaloniki, Volos

Merchant marine:
total: 875 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 25,264,916 GRT/45,188,813 DWT
ships by type: bulk 354, cargo 74, chemical tanker 22, combination bulk 13, combination ore/oil 15, container 43, liquefied gas tanker 4, multi-function large load carrier 1, oil tanker 229, passenger 14, passenger-cargo 2, refrigerated cargo 4, roll-on/roll-off cargo 18, short-sea passenger 79, specialized tanker 3
note: Greece owns an additional 1,898 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 69,697,820 DWT operating under the registries of The Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Liberia, Malta, Panama, Philippines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Syria, Vanuatu (1997 est.)

Airports: 78 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 63
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 17
under 914 m: 9 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 15
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 11 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 2 (1997 est.)

Military

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Military branches: Hellenic Army, Hellenic Navy, Hellenic Air Force, National Guard, Police

Military manpower—military age: 21 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 2,693,116 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 2,062,117 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 78,894 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $4.04 billion (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Turkey in Aegean Sea; Cyprus question with Turkey; dispute with The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia over name; in September 1995, Skopje and Athens signed an interim accord resolving their dispute over symbols and certain constitutional provisions; Athens also lifted its economic embargo on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

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