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Capital: Athens
Population: 10,600,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Greece Map


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

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 : 22%
permanent crops: 22%
other: 69% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 14,220 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: severe earthquakes

Environment - current issues: air pollution; water pollution

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Air Pollution, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Desertification, Tropical Timber 94

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


Population: 10,645,343 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.8% (male 814,605; female 765,613)
15-64 years: 67% (male 3,583,854; female 3,565,882)
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: 78.17 years
male: 75.64 years
female: 80.89 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.34 children born/woman (2002 est.)

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

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
female : 96% (1999)


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, Iraklion, Kardhitsa, Kastoria, Kavala, Kefallinia, Kerkira, 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 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
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, 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: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]

International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE, CERN, 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, NACC, 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 Alexandros PHILON; note - expected to be replaced by Yeorgios SAVVAIDHIS in 2002
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 Thomas J. MILLER
embassy: 91 Vasilissis Sophias Boulevard, 10160 Athens
mailing address: PSC 108, APO AE 09842
telephone: [30] (1) 721-2951, 8401
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 - 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%
services :64.4% (1998)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 3.4% (2001)

Labor force:
total: 4.32 million (1999 est.)
by occupation : industry 21%, agriculture 20%, services 59% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate: 11% (2001 est.)

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 - capacity: 8.61 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 49.581 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 46.099 billion kWh (2000)

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

total value: $12.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities :food and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, textiles
partners:EU 44% (Germany 12%, Italy 9%, UK 6%), US 5% (2000)

total value: $30.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities: machinery, transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
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); 1 drachma (Dr) = 100 lepta]
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 - 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)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 5.431 million (1997)

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 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)


total: 2,571 km
standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-m gauge (36 km electrified; 100 km double track)
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.)

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

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 Piraievs (Piraeus) by 325 km; and three unconnected rivers

Pipelines: crude oil 26 km; petroleum products 547 km

Ports and harbors: Alexandroupolis, Elevsis, Iraklion (Crete), Kavala, Kerkira, Khalkis, Igoumenitsa, Lavrion, Patrai, Piraievs (Piraeus), Thessaloniki, Volos

Merchant marine:
total: 802 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 27,998,523 GRT/49,458,125 DWT
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
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.)

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
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m : 16
under 914 m: 9 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 14
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 10 (2001)

Heliports: 4 (2001)


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: 2,668,872 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : 2,034,192 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males : 77,976 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $6.12 billion (FY99/00 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4.91% (FY99/00 est.)

Transnational Issues

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