Greece

Greece

The Balkan state of Greece is bounded on three sides by the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Ionian seas. It has a strong seafaring tradition, with some of the world’s richest shipowners.

Geography: Mountainous peninsula and over 2000 islands. Large plain along the mainland’s Aegean coast.

 Climate: Mainly Mediterranean, with dry, hot summers. Alpine climate in northern mountain areas.

 People and Society: Post-war industrial development altered the dominance of  agriculture and seafaring. The rural exodus to industrial cities has been stemmed but a third of the population now lives in Athens. Age-old culture and Greek Orthodox Church balance social mobility. Civil marriage and divorce became legal only in 1982.

 The Economy: One of Europe’s leading tourist destinations. World’s largest shipping fleet. Fruit, vegetables, olives. Large black economy. Public debt and budget deficit remain high.

 Insight: The modern Olympics,first held in Athens in 1896, evolved from Olympia’s ancient Greek games

Fact-File:

 Official Name: Hellenic Republic

 Date of Formation: 1829

 Capital: Athens

 Population: 11.2 million

 Total Area: 50,942 sq. miles (131,940 sq. km)

 Density: 221 people per sq. mile

 Languages: Greek*, Turkish, Macedonian, Albanian

 Religions: Orthodox Christian 98%, Muslim 1%, other 1%

 Ethnic Mix: Greek 98%, other 2%

 Government: Parliamentary system

 Currency: Euro = 100 cents

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