Form of Government: Republic
Area: 132 049 sq km
Population: 10 716 322 inhab. (estimate 2019)
Density: 81.15 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: 0.888 (rank: 32)
President: Katerina Sakellaropoulou (independent), elected 22 January 2020, in office since 15 March 2020
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

Greece faced three waves of COVID-19 between the end of 2020 and summer 2021. The third wave was caused by the spread of the Delta variant. During spring 2021, the vaccination campaign prioritized islanders in order to create “COVID-free zones” in tourist areas. Following strained relations with Turkey, the country decided to make significant increases in the defence budget. Pressure was reduced in refugee camps (fewer than 10 000 persons) for the first time since 2015. On 7 October 2020, the Court of Appeal of Athens sentenced the leaders of the far right party, Golden Dawn, to 13 years imprisonment. According to the court, the party had acted like a “criminal organization”.
In August, during a record heat wave, devastating fires struck several areas and islands, causing immeasurable damage and resulting in the evacuation of thousands of people, including residents and tourists.

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.
Following strained relations with Turkey, at the end of 2020, the country decided to increase military spending by 57%. The resources will be used to purchase 18 Rafale fighter planes from France and increase the size of the army by 15 000 units. The judicial system is based on European continental civil law.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force14.5%2015
Army65.4%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes2 055per 100 000 pop.2019
Homicides0.9per 100 000 pop.2018
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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 (% - 2020)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate7.82019
Death rate11.72019
Foreigners
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Foreigners, total906 345units2020
Albanians481 663units2006
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Greek93.7%2006
Albanian4.3%2006


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Greek Orthodox85.5%2019
nonreligious/atheist9.5%2019


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Greek
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years14.5%2020
15-29 years15.6%2020


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Economy


Economic situation.
The Greek economy fell by 8.2% in 2020. Growth prospects are low for 2021 (+3.8%), with an unemployment rate that remains high (16.6%). According to European Commission estimates, growth is expected to return due to the measures implemented by the government and the funds guaranteed by the Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)92.68index2016
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)74.43index2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population4 630 500units2020
Active population, Females44.2%2020
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate16.3%2020
Unemployment rate, Females53.6%2020
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses77 231M LCU2020
Revenues60 425M LCU2020
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture10.631%2020
industry14.999%2020
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture4.688%2020
industry15.839%2020
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation33.452BN LCU2020
International reserves11 931.18M US$2020
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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, as well as fishing (the dispute with Italy for the exploitation of fish resources in the Ionian Sea was resolved in 2020) and sponge harvesting.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land25.005%2018
forests30.284%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley366.581000 t2019
cereals, total2 944.221000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes470.211000 t2019
roots and tubers, total470.211000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes15.131000 t2019
asparagus8.41000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry18.2291000 t2018
beans, green42.991000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes807.571000 t2019
raisins76.71000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olives1 228.131000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts3.81000 t2018
rapeseed9.681000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet79.371000 t2019
tobacco22.531000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton837.4321000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow0$1000 t2017
linseed0.141000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste0.481000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples277.111000 t2019
apricots118.341000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds21.951000 t2019
hazelnuts1.11000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits1 106.181000 t2019
citrus fruits, nes21.11000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados9.381000 t2019
bananas4.841000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms1.091000 t2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley132.571000 ha2019
maize115.51000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes15.951000 ha2019
sweet potatoes0.1131000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes0.971000 ha2019
cabbages2.791000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry7.9331000 ha2018
beans, green4.061000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape101.851000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olive903.081000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts1.1441000 ha2018
rapeseed4.451000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet1.611000 ha2019
tobacco14.251000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton265.4851000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow0$1000 ha2017
linseed0.041000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste0.361000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples9.821000 ha2019
apricots8.351000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds15.131000 ha2019
hazelnuts0.521000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits44.231000 ha2019
citrus fruits, nes0.951000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados1.081000 ha2019
bananas0.11000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms0.121000 ha2019
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber1 453 2012019
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle5301000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes5341000 heads2019
Livestock - Buffaloes
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
buffaloes4$1000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs7331000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep8 4271000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats3 5801000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses8.5471000 heads2018
asses and mules21.8811000 heads2018
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds37 6041000 heads2018
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey22.2881000 t2018
Livestock - Silk farming
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
silk, raw0.0031000 t2018
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter1.1841000 t2018
cheese218.7221000 t2018
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
corals0.3t2018
crustaceans and molluscs38 639.42t2019
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
The most important mineral productions are lignite (mined in western Macedonia, in Euboea and in the Peloponnese), bauxite (main deposits are at Ámfissa, Dístomo and Lamía), and nickel. There are mines of chromite, manganese, lead, zinc, magnesite and pyrite.
Small amounts of oil are also extracted. Emery (a variety of corundum) is a valuable product from the island of Naxos, as is marble.
Energy and industry.

Thermo-electric production predominates (linked to the lignite deposits). 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; another one to Bulgaria is being built, while the construction works on the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) to Italy have been completed. On 2 January 2020, Greece, Cyprus and Israel signed an agreement on the Eastmed gas pipeline, which will transport natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe. The regasification terminal on the island of Revithoussa, near Athens, was recently expanded.
The industrial sector is 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 and the carpet industry predominate in the textile sector.
The sugar, tobacco, paper and leather industries are important. Other industries include cement and rubber.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal, total13 998.21000 t2020
lignite13 998.21000 t2020
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bauxite1 7001000 t2019
chromite1.21000 t2013
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bentonite1 3001000 t2020
clay37$1000 t2020
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
marble491.21000 m³2015
marble - t1 8901000 t2016
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold2 839kg2018
silver25 237kg2018
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal29 683.32M kWh2019
- other renew.13 104.33M kWh2019
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal10 517.971000 kW2018
- other renew.6 4351000 kW2019
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation46 752.45M kWh2019
total installed capacity19 580.971000 kW2018
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina8301000 t2019
aluminium1801000 t2019
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bikes112 187no.2018
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fridges2 115no.2014
ovens512 985no.2016
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen1 1421000 t2018
petrol7 775.21000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia1101000 t2019
artificial yarn3.41000 t2001
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets1 707.71000 m²2018
cotton fabrics0.591M m²2018
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear1 362 058pairs2018
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley360.1111000 t2018
cottonseed oil11.21000 t2018
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes18 450.3M units2018
cigars and cigarettes18 450.3M units2018
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
newsprint43.9691000 t2019
other paper276.5721000 t2019
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement6 5801000 t2018
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production1 652.316M US$2018
food, beverages and tobacco production5 361.446M US$2018
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Trade


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.

The trade balance remains in deficit, only in part counter-balanced, at least until 2018-19, 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
manufactures37.505% of goods exports2019
fuels31.551% of goods exports2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Italy3 691M US$2020
Germany2 686M US$2020
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Germany6 605M US$2020
Italy4 602M US$2020
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202035 094M US$ -
201937 908M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202055 513M US$ -
201962 510M US$ -
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Tourism


Tourism. The tourist sector contributes about 20% of the national revenue and employs about 16% of the population.

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures4 211M US$2019
Number of arrivals31 348 000units2019
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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.
An agreement was approved in 2016 that granted use of the Piraeus port by the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), which aims to create a trading hub between Asia and Europe. 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 carried16 124.71000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers396.158per 1000 pop.2019
Computers94$per 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 schooling19.5years2018
Gradautes, percentage31.89%2019
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Students, primary level643 187units2018
Students, secondary level668 196units2018
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending41.754% of total expenses2019
Social protection spending24.021% of GDP2019
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds4.2per 1000 pop.2018
Physicians6.1per 1000 pop.2018
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.2% of adults2017
HIV, total0.08%2001
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Archaeological sites155units2020
Archaeological sites, visitors2 671 900units2020
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending1.27% of GDP2019
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking100%2019
Access to electricity100%2019
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear4.2%2019
education2.1%2019
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