Form of Government: Republic
Area: 132 049 sq km
Population: 10 760 421 inhab. (estimate 2017)
Density: 81.49 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 42° - 35° N; long. 19° - 30° E
Capital: Athens=Athína (capital) 664 046 inhab. (2011); Greater Athens 3 168 000 inhab. (2011), urban agglomeration
Currency: euro (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.87 (rank: 31)
President: Prokopis Pavlopoulos (ND), since 13 March 2015
Prime Minister: Kyriakos Mītsotakīs (ND), since 8 July 2019
Parliament: seats based on the elections of 7 July 2019: ND (New Democracy, centre-right), 158; SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left), 86; KINAL (Movement for Change, centre-left), 22; KKE (Communist Party), 15; Greek Solution (nationalist), 10; MeRA25 (left-wing), 9
Internet: www.statistics.gr (Hellenic Statistical Authority)
Member of Council of Europe, EBRD, EU, NATO, OAS observer, OECD, OSCE, UN, WTO

Greece

Ellás, Ellinikí Dimokratía
Useful information

International license plate code GR
International dialling code 0030
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 220/230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .gr

GMT  +2
DST  +3
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October

Annual average temperature (°C) Athens 18.1; Irákleio (Creta) 18.5; Rhodes 18.6; Salonika 16.1
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Athens 9.5/28; Irákleio (Creta) 12.5/25; Rhodes 11/26.5; Salonika 5.5/26.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Athens 11/4; Irákleio (Creta) 11/4; Rhodes 11/4; Salonika 10/4
Annual average precipitation (mm) Athens 398; Irákleio (Creta) 456; Rhodes 777; Salonika 470
Days of rainfall (annual average) Athens 58; Irákleio (Creta) 54; Rhodes 64; Salonika 65

Politics and current affairs

Alexis Tsipras’s government led the country out of the international aid program, concluded in 2018, but it suffered a heavy defeat in the European elections on 26 May 2019, losing to New Democracy. The crisis for Tsipras’s government is owed to its shift on austerity policies, as well as the historic agreement for changing the name of North Macedonia. Signed on 17 June 2018, the deal was ratified by the Greek Parliament on 25 January 2019, but it sparked strong political tensions and severe public protests. Following his defeat in the European elections, Tsipras decided to call early elections, which took place on 7 July 2019. The elections upheld New Democracy’s landslide victory, with 39.9% of the votes and 158 seats. The party launched a one-party government led by Kyriakos Mītsotakīs. Syriza is the opposition party, taking 31.5% of the votes and 86 seats. The far-left and nationalist parties have joined Parliament, while the far-right party Golden Dawn did not win any seats. Despite the 2016 EU-Turkey deal, the situation regarding the migrants blocked on the islands in the Aegean Sea remains critical.

Geography.
Greece’s mainland occupies the southern region of the Balkan Peninsula and borders to the north-west with Albania, to the north with the Republic of North Macedonia and Bulgaria and to the north-east with Turkey.
Three seas surround the country: the Aegean to the east, the Mediterranean to the south, and the Ionian to the west. It is predominantly mountainous and with very irregular coastlines: the Peloponnese peninsula lies to the south of the country and the Chalkidiki peninsula lies to the north-east. The rivers on the eastern side are shallow and torrent-like: the longest is the Aliákmonas while those on the western side (the Árachthos and the Achelous) are deeper. The climate is Mediterranean.
There are numerous islands, together accounting for approximately a fifth of the country’s total area: the Ionian Islands in the Ionian Sea; Euboea, the Cyclades, the northern Sporades and the southern Sporades in the Aegean Sea; Crete, to the south of the Peloponnese; the Dodecanese and Rhodes, to the west and to the south of the Anatolian coast.

Government


Following the occupation by Italian and German troops in 1940-41 (for which Germany was asked to negotiate possible war reparations in 2019), after liberation in 1944, Greece was the stage for a long civil war that ended in 1949 with the defeat of communist forces. The country assumed its current borders in 1947, with the annexation of the Dodecanese. On 21 April 1967, the military took power and set up the “Regime of the Colonels” that lasted until 1974. The failure of the coup d’état on the island of Cyprus, inspired by the Greek dictatorship, also brought down the regime in Athens and 1974, in a referendum, the Republic was set up. Tensions with Turkey over the matter of Cyprus continue, particularly with regards to the use of offshore gas fields. According to the 1975 Constitution, the Government is responsible before Parliament (300 members elected by direct suffrage for four years); the President of the Republic, who has powers that are, for the most part, representative, is elected by Parliament for five years.


Defence and justice.
Due to the crisis, military expenditure fell, traditionally higher, in relation to the GDP, than the EU average. The judicial system is based on European continental civil law.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force14.5%2015
Army65.4%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes2 054per 100 000 pop.2017
Homicides0.8per 100 000 pop.2016
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Athens=Athína664 046inhab.2011
Thessaloníki315 196inhab.2011
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Greater Athens3 168 000inhab.2011
Thessaloníki806 400inhab.2011
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate8.22017
Death rate11.62017
Foreigners
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Foreigners, total816 059units2018
Albanians481 663units2006
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Greek93.7%2006
Albanian4.3%2006


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Greek Orthodox98%2017
Muslim1.3%2017


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Greek
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years13.7%2018
15-29 years15%2018


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Economy


Economic situation.
Greece is recovering from years of crisis and austerity: the economy grew 2.1% in 2018, driven by exports, and should strengthen in 2019 (+2.2%) thanks to the introduction of a minimum wage. Unemployment, also in decline, remains high. The country is respecting the objectives of fiscal stabilization, but its finances remain under close observation.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)92.68index2016
Balance of trade-25 667.2M US$2018
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population4 743 000units2018
Active population, Females44.2%2018
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate19.3%2018
Unemployment rate, Females55.5%2018
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses65 713M LCU2018
Revenues63 723M LCU2018
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture12.3%2018
industry15.2%2018
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture4.3%2018
industry17.5%2018
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation33.5BN LCU2018
International reserves7 578.5M US$2018
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Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture & forests.
Agricultural contribution to national production is higher than the European average. The most important crops are vines, olives, cotton, tobacco, cereals and sugar beet. The main wine-producing areas are the Peloponnese coastal areas (along with the islands) and the hill areas of Thessaloníki. Both grapes and dried grapes are more important than wine production (Corinthian raisins, currants from western Morea and the Ionian Islands, sultanas from Crete and Samos, rosaki grapes); special wines are destined for export (the more famous being those from Lefkada, Kymi and Nemea) as well as that are more liqueur-like (from Samos, Santorini, Cephalonia, Naxos and Corfu). Olives are widespread throughout the country; cotton is grown in Attica and Boeotia; tobacco in Macedonia, Aetolia and Thrace; sugar beet in Thessaly, the western Peloponnese and Macedonia. Figs and citrus fruit crops are also widespread.
Livestock & fishing.
Livestock farming does not satisfy the country’s needs; beekeeping is important. Fishing is increasing; sponge harvesting is a traditional activity.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land25.86%2015
forests31.45%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley350.41000 t2017
cereals, total3 148.9971000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes5361000 t2017
roots and tubers, total539.2891000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes4.51000 t2017
asparagus10.261000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry19.141000 t2017
beans, green60.21000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes1 012.61000 t2017
raisins76.71000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olives2 720.4881000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts2.5311000 t2017
rapeseed11.11000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet3841000 t2017
tobacco28.21000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton7921000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow01000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples282.31000 t2017
apricots106.61000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds22.11000 t2017
hazelnuts0.711000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits1 224.4071000 t2017
citrus fruits, nes0.8071000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados1.5151000 t2017
bananas4.431000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms61000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley133.41000 ha2017
maize132.51000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes18.81000 ha2017
sweet potatoes0.1551000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes0.651000 ha2017
cabbages31000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry8.0181000 ha2017
beans, green5.61000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape101.81000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olive871.8921000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts0.7061000 ha2017
rapeseed5.71000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet6.51000 ha2017
tobacco171000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton262.6191000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow01000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples9.61000 ha2017
apricots7.31000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds13.11000 ha2017
hazelnuts0.351000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits42.7471000 ha2017
citrus fruits, nes0.2871000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados0.3091000 ha2017
bananas0.091000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms0.0261000 ha2017
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Aleppo pine (resin)1 257t2003
timber1 432 0002017
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle5561000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes558.7021000 heads2017
Livestock - Buffaloes
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
buffaloes2.7021000 heads2017
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs7441000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep8 5931000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats6 3001000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses19.51000 heads2017
asses and mules26.6961000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds31 3951000 heads2017
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey15.71000 t2013
Livestock - Silk farming
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
silk, raw01000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter1.9941000 t2014
cheese220.11000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
corals0.5t2017
crustaceans and molluscs34 170.1t2017
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
The most important mineral productions are lignite, bauxite and nickel. Lignite is mined in western Macedonia (in Ptolemaïda), in Euboea (at Alivéri), in the Peloponnese (at Megalópoli). The main bauxite deposits are at Ámfissa, Dístomo and Lamía. Nickel is mined at Lárymna. There are mines of chromite (at Vólos), manganese (at Dráma), lead, zinc and magnesite (in the Chalkidiki) and pyrite (in the Chalkidiki and in Argolís). Small amounts of oil are extracted at Prínos (off the coast of the island of Thasos). Emery (a variety of corundum) is a valuable product from the island of Naxos, as is marble (Penteliko, Hymettus, Skýros and Paros).
Energy and industry.
Thermo-electric production predominates (linked to the lignite deposits). Hydro-electricity production has, however, increased. There is an electrical power link between Greece and Italy on the bed of the Strait of Otranto. A gas pipeline connects the country to Turkey, while work continues on the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline), which leads to Italy. The regasification terminal on the island of Revithoussa, near Athens, was recently expanded. Renewal energies are also increasing (solar and wind).
The industrial sector is relatively behind other sectors of the economy and poorly diversified: sectors with a low added value predominate, such as food, tanning and textiles. Metallurgy is relatively well-developed (steel, nickel and aluminium). Oil refineries are at Asprópyrgos, Corinth, Eleusis and Thessaloníki. The chemical industry produces, in particular, sulfuric acid, nitric acid and nitrogen fertilizers (in Eleusis and Piraeus). Cotton mills predominate in the textile sector. The carpet industry is based, for the most part, in Thessaloníki and Piraeus. The sugar, tobacco, paper and leather industries are important. Other industries include cement and rubber.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal, total36 481.81000 t2018
lignite36 481.81000 t2018
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina820.81000 t2016
bauxite1 8001000 t2017
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bentonite1 2001000 t2018
clay561000 t2018
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
marble491.21000 m³2015
marble - t1 8901000 t2016
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold86kg2016
silver25 000kg2016
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal36 957.04M kWh2016
- other renew.9 557M kWh2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal10 6981000 kW2016
- other renew.5 0751000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation52 047.04M kWh2016
total installed capacity19 1651000 kW2016
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina8201000 t2017
aluminium1801000 t2017
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bikes104 329no.2017
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fridges2 115no.2014
ovens512 985no.2016
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen7481000 t2016
petrol7 775.21000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia75.11000 t2016
artificial yarn3.41000 t2001
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets1 603.71000 m²2017
cotton fabrics0.679M m²2017
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear1 328 048pairs2017
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley3801000 t2014
cottonseed oil211000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes25 366.8M units2017
cigars and cigarettes25 366.8M units2017
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
other paper4091000 t2017
paper4091000 t2017
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement6 6801000 t2016
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production1 848.6M US$2016
food, beverages and tobacco production5 561.9M US$2016
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Trade


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.

The trade balance remains in deficit, only in part counter-balanced by the growth in exports, by income from tourism and by the chartering of the merchant fleet.


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) 
petroleum products 9 799, aluminium 1 814, home appliances and machinery 1 454, pharmaceuticals 1 333, plastics 1 255, electrical and electronic equipment 1 153, fruit and vegetables 1 145, fruit & vegetable juices and preserves 1 097, iron and steel 1 055, fish 745


Finance and banking.
The banking system is predominantly public. There are, however, plans for privatization.

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufactures34.679% of goods exports2018
fuels34.379% of goods exports2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Italy4 041M US$2018
Germany2 499M US$2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Germany6 559M US$2018
Iraq5 369M US$2018
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201839 474M US$ -
201732 643M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201865 141M US$ -
201756 767M US$ -
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Tourism


Tourism. The tourist sector contributes significantly to the national revenue and is still growing strongly.

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures3 308M US$2017
Number of arrivals27 194 000units2017
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Communications


Transport.
The road system is relatively well-developed, while the railway network is rather limited. Services related to maritime navigation are widespread; the ferry system between the island is very well-developed. The Corinth Canal (6 km) joins the Gulf of Corinth to the Gulf of Aegina, enabling ships to avoid circumnavigating the Peloponnese. The Corinth Canal is crossed by the Rion-Antirion road bridge, one of the longest cable-stayed bridge in Europe.
In 2016, Parliament approved an agreement to let the China Ocean Shipping Company, a massive Chinese maritime transport service, use the port of Piraeus. In 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with China regarding the Belt and Road Initiative.

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown95 700 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried13 861.81000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers338.560per 1000 pop.2017
Computers94per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare


Education, culture & research.
School is free and compulsory from the ages of 6 to 15. Primary education lasts six years; secondary education is divided into two three-year cycles.


Social security and health.
Health and social security have suffered from cuts on account of austerity measures.

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling17.9years2016
Gradautes, percentage31%2017
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level69 716units2016
Teachers, secondary level78 827units2016
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending41.8% of total expenses2016
Social protection spending23.5% of GDP2018
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds4.3per 1000 pop.2015
Physicians6.6per 1000 pop.2016
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.2% of adults2017
HIV, total0.08%2001
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Archaeological sites120units2018
Archaeological sites, visitors12 901 071units2018
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending1.13% of GDP2017
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking94.29%2016
Access to electricity100%2017
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear3.7%2017
education2.1%2017
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