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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January, 2004
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook.

This page was last updated on 10 February, 2005

Map of Greece

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Greece
Definition Field Listing
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, 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 royalist supporters of the king and communist rebels. Following the latter's defeat in 1949, Greece was able to join 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. Greece joined the European Community or EC in 1981 (which became the EU in 1992); it became the 12th member of the euro zone in 2001.
   Geography    Greece
Definition Field Listing
Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
39 00 N, 22 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 131,940 sq km
land: 130,800 sq km
water: 1,140 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Alabama
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,228 km
border countries: Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km, Macedonia 246 km
Definition Field Listing
13,676 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Definition Field Listing
temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers
Definition Field Listing
mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 21.1%
permanent crops: 8.78%
other: 70.12% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
14,220 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
severe earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
air pollution; water pollution
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10,647,529 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 14.5% (male 792,938; female 746,119)
15-64 years: 67% (male 3,563,703; female 3,566,549)
65 years and over: 18.6% (male 873,540; female 1,104,680) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 40.2 years
male: 39.1 years
female: 41.3 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.2% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.73 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.08 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 5.63 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.19 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 78.94 years
male: 76.44 years
female: 81.59 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.32 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,800 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 100 (2003 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Greek(s)
adjective: Greek
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Greek 98%, other 2%
note: the Greek Government states there are no ethnic divisions in Greece
Definition Field Listing
Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%
Definition Field Listing
Greek 99% (official), English, French
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.5%
male: 98.6%
female: 96.5% (2003 est.)
People - note:
Definition Field Listing
women, men, and children are trafficked to and within Greece for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor
   Government    Greece
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
parliamentary republic; monarchy rejected by referendum 8 December 1974
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
1829 (from the Ottoman Empire)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 25 March (1821)
Definition Field Listing
11 June 1975; amended March 1986 and April 2001
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on codified Roman law; judiciary divided into civil, criminal, and administrative courts
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Konstandinos (Kostis) STEPHANOPOULOS (since 10 March 1995)
head of government: Prime Minister Konstandinos 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; election last held 8 February 2000 (next to be held by February 2005); 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: Konstandinos STEPHANOPOULOS reelected president; percent of Parliament vote - 90%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
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%; seats by party - ND 165, PASOK 117, KKE 12, Synaspismos 6
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Judicial Court; Special Supreme Tribunal; all judges appointed for life by the president after consultation with a judicial council
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
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 [Yeoryios KARATZAFERIS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
General Confederation of Greek Workers or GSEE [Khristos POLYZOGOPOLOS]; Federation of Greek Industries or SEV [Odysseas KYRIAKOPOULOS]; Civil Servants Confederation or ADEDY [Spyros PAPASPYROS]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Yeoryios SAVVAIDIS
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, and San Francisco
consulate(s): Atlanta, Houston, and Tampa
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Charles RIES
embassy: 91 Vasilissis 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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Greece has a mixed capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP 70% of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 15% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, mainly in menial jobs. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP. The Greek economy grew by about 4.0% for the past two years, largely because of an investment boom and infrastructure upgrades for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Despite strong growth, Greece has failed to meet the EU's Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criteria of 3% of GDP since 2000; public debt, inflation, and unemployment are also above the eurozone average. Further restructuring of the economy include privatizing several state enterprises, undertaking pension and other reforms, and minimizing bureaucratic inefficiencies.
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $213.6 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.7% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $20,000 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 6.7%
industry: 22%
services: 71.2% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
25.5% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 25.3% (1993 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
32.7 (1993)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.6% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.39 million (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 20%, industry 20%, services 60% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.4% (2003 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $76.84 billion
expenditures: $79.48 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
100.9% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes; beef, dairy products
Definition Field Listing
tourism; food and tobacco processing, textiles; chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleum
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.7% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
49.79 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
48.8 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
1.062 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
3.562 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,992 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
405,700 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
84,720 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
468,300 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.5 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
35 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.021 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.018 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
254.9 million cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-11.33 billion (2003)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5.899 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, textiles
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Germany 12.6%, Italy 10.5%, UK 7%, US 6.5%, Bulgaria 6.2%, Cyprus 4.8%, France 4.2%, Turkey 4% (2003)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$33.27 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Germany 12.5%, Italy 12.2%, France 6.6%, Russia 6.1%, South Korea 5.4%, US 5.2%, Netherlands 5.2%, Japan 4.3%, UK 4.2% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5.802 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$65.51 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$5.4 billion from EU (1995)
Definition Field Listing
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
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
euros per US dollar - 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 365.399 (2000), 305.647 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Greece
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,205,100 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,936,200 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
AM 26, FM 88, shortwave 4 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
36 (plus 1,341 low-power repeaters); also two stations in the US Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (1995)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
208,977 (2004)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,718,400 (2003)
   Transportation    Greece
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,571 km (764 km electrified)
standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-m gauge
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) (2003)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 117,000 km
paved: 107,406 km (including 470 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,594 km (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
6 km
note: Corinth Canal (6 km) crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; shortens sea voyage by 325 km (2004)
Definition Field Listing
gas 1,166 km; oil 94 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Alexandroupolis, Elefsis, Irakleion (Crete), Kavala, Kerkyra, Chalkis, Igoumenitsa, Lavrion, Patrai, Peiraiefs (Piraeus), Thessaloniki, Volos
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 793 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 30,186,624 GRT/52,943,968 DWT
by type: bulk 298, cargo 57, chemical tanker 38, combination bulk 5, combination ore/oil 3, container 49, liquefied gas 5, passenger 10, petroleum tanker 267, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 19, short-sea/passenger 38, specialized tanker 3
foreign-owned: Belgium 1, Cyprus 1, Israel 1, Italy 1, Liberia 3, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 1, Norway 2, Panama 3, Singapore 1, Sweden 1, United Kingdom 2, United States 5
registered in other countries: 2,443 (2004 est.)
Definition Field Listing
79 (note - new Athens airport at Spata opened in March 2001) (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 66
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 20
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 9 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 11 (2004 est.)
Definition Field Listing
7 (2003 est.)
   Military    Greece
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Hellenic Army, Hellenic Navy, Hellenic Air Force (EPA), National Guard
Military manpower - military age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age for compulsory military service; during wartime the law allows for recruitment after reaching January of the year of inductee's 18th birthday, thus including 17 year olds; 17 years of age for volunteers; conscript service obligation - 12 months for the Army, 14 months for the Air Force, 15 months for the Navy (April 2003)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 2,638,949 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 2,004,343 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 63,496 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7,288.9 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.3% (2003)
   Transnational Issues    Greece
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
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 Republic of Macedonia over its name
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
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; money laundering related to drug trafficking and organized crime

This page was last updated on 10 February, 2005

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