Form of Government: Republic
Area: 132 049 sq km
Population: 10 746 740 inhab. (estimate 2016)
Density: 81.38 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: 0.866 (rank: 29)
President: Prokopis Pavlopoulos (ND), since 13 March 2015
Prime Minister: Alexis Tsipras (SYRIZA), since 21 September 2015
Parliament: seats based on the elections of 20 September 2015: SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left), 145; ND (New Democracy, conservative), 77; Movement for Change (centre-left), 20; Golden Dawn (populist extreme right), 15; KKE (Communist Party), 15; Independent Greeks (nationalist eurosceptic), 7; The River (social-democratic, europeist), 6; Union of Centrists, 6; independents, 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

Despite the EU-Turkey accord having reduced landings, thousands of migrants remain stuck in reception camps on some islands in the Aegean Sea: Greece requests an enormous effort on the part of Europe to resolve the crisis. On 15 May 2018, a law was approved for speeding up procedures for recognizing asylum rights. Having overcome a vote of no confidence on 16 June 2018 that was tied to negotiations with nearby Macedonia, the government under Alexis Tsipras led the country towards assistance programs, which successfully ended in August 2018 as planned, when the final three tranches of 7.5 billion euro in 2017-18 were paid. On 22 June 2018, the Eurogroup confirmed improvements in public finances and pledges for partial renegotiation of the public debt. In July 2018, more than 90 people were killed in the severe fires that raged in the countryside outside Athens.

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 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


Occupied by Italian and German troops in 1940-41, Greece, after liberation (1944), 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. In the following years, there has been an alternation of centre-right and centre-left governments. 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
Crimes1 903per 100 000 pop.2016
Homicides0.8per 100 000 pop.2015
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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 (% - 2017)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate8.62016
Death rate112016
Foreigners
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Foreigners, total810 034units2017
Albanians481 663units2006
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Greek93.7%2006
Albanian4.3%2006


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Greek Orthodox98%2016
Muslim1.3%2016


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Greek
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years13.8%2017
15-29 years15.1%2017


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Economy


Economic situation.
After years of recession and austerity imposed by international assistance programs, the country is moving towards a new normal of moderate economic growth (1.4% in 2017). In 2018-19, the economy should grow 1.9% and 2.3%, respectively, led by private investments, while domestic consumption is still low. Unemployment should drop below 20% for the first time since 2011. The renewed strength of public finances should allow the country to return to financing itself on the markets, even if the protection of international financial institutions remains vigilant.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)92.68index2016
Balance of trade-24 251M US$2017
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population4 779 700units2017
Active population, Females44.5%2017
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate21.5%2017
Unemployment rate, Females53.9%2017
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses64 691M LCU2017
Revenues62 767M LCU2017
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture12.1%2017
industry15.4%2017
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture4%2017
industry17%2017
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation31.9BN LCU2017
International reserves7 803.7M US$2017
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Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture and 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 and 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
barley405.9691000 t2016
cereals, total4 382.1571000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes634.2091000 t2016
roots and tubers, total637.5131000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes13.2111000 t2016
asparagus4.6661000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry16.2221000 t2016
beans, green61.8151000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes990.2891000 t2016
raisins76.71000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olives2 343.3831000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts1.8231000 t2016
rapeseed13.3151000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet375.4861000 t2016
tobacco29.2161000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton1 354.7541000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow01000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples256.4831000 t2016
apricots79.071000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds29.451000 t2016
hazelnuts0.6811000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits1 103.8031000 t2016
citrus fruits, nes0.7831000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados3.1991000 t2016
bananas3.4531000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms3.6011000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley153.9531000 ha2016
maize171.0691000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes26.671000 ha2016
sweet potatoes0.1641000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes1.5181000 ha2016
cabbages5.7311000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry8.0841000 ha2016
beans, green6.7811000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape112.2941000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olive887.1771000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts0.5121000 ha2016
rapeseed6.9581000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet6.1051000 ha2016
tobacco19.851000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton323.6081000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow01000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples12.0771000 ha2016
apricots6.6851000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds14.1141000 ha2016
hazelnuts0.2641000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits54.6951000 ha2016
citrus fruits, nes0.1811000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados0.3831000 ha2016
bananas0.0791000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms0.0111000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Aleppo pine (resin)1 257t2003
timber1 432 0002016
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle629.7061000 heads2016
cattle and buffaloes632.261000 heads2016
Livestock - Buffaloes
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
buffaloes2.5541000 heads2016
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs834.6071000 heads2016
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep8 359.1511000 heads2016
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats3 915.31000 heads2016
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses171000 heads2016
asses and mules25.5921000 heads2016
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds33 1841000 heads2016
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
corals0.8t2016
crustaceans and molluscs38 483.8t2016
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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. 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, total37 827.91000 t2017
lignite37 827.91000 t2017
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina8211000 t2016
bauxite1 8001000 t2017
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bentonite8001000 t2017
clay2401000 t2017
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
marble491.21000 m³2015
pozzolan153.11000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold465kg2015
silver781kg2015
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal34 648.4M kWh2015
- other renew.8 864M kWh2015
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal10 7611000 kW2015
- other renew.4 7891000 kW2015
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation49 294.4M kWh2015
total installed capacity18 9421000 kW2015
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina8201000 t2017
aluminium1801000 t2016
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bikes107 156no.2015
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fridges2 115no.2014
ovens497 106no.2015
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen1 0751000 t2015
petrol7 775.21000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia1191000 t2016
artificial yarn3.41000 t2001
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets1 293.21000 m²2014
cotton fabrics0.04M m²2013
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear1 241 564pairs2015
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley3801000 t2014
cottonseed oil211000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes30 680.4M units2015
cigars and cigarettes30 680.4M units2015
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
other paper4091000 t2016
paper4091000 t2016
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement8 5001000 t2015
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production2 446.3M US$2013
food, beverages and tobacco production6 328.5M US$2013
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Trade


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.

The trade balance is in great deficit, only in part counter-balanced by income from tourism and by the chartering of the merchant fleet, one of the largest in the world.


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
manufactures37.410% of goods exports2016
fuels27.519% of goods exports2016
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Italy3 422M US$2017
Germany2 278M US$2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Germany5 646M US$2017
Italy4 208M US$2017
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201732 597.493M US$ -
201628 165.291M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201756 848.311M US$ -
201648 842.626M US$ -
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Tourism


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

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures3 415M US$2016
Number of arrivals24 799 000units2016
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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 2017, China and Greece signed cooperation agreements in the transportation and energy sectors.

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 schooling17.3years2014
Gradautes, percentage30.2%2016
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level66 755units2015
Teachers, secondary level76 473units2015
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending37% of total expenses2015
Social protection spending26.4% of GDP2015
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds4.2per 1000 pop.2015
Physicians6.6per 1000 pop.2016
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.3% of adults2015
HIV, total0.08%2001
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Archaeological sites299units2015
Archaeological sites, visitors10 320 053units2015
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending1.01% of GDP2016
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking94.29%2016
Access to electricity100%2016
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear3.8%2016
education2.1%2016
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