REPUBLIC OF

GREECE


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President Prokopis Pavlopoulos

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Capital
»Athens

Official Language
»Greek

Demonym
»Greek

Government
»Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic

Area
»131,957 km2(97th)

Population
»10,816,286 (80th)

GDP (PPP)
»$271.308 billion(51st)
» Per capita -$24,574 (41st)

GDP (nominal)
»$249.449 billion (44th)
» Per capita -$22,594 (37th)

Currency
»Euro (€) (EUR)

Time Zone
»EET (UTC+2)

Greece is a country located in the southern part of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. According to the 2011 census, Greece’s population is around 11 million. Athens is the nation’s capital and largest city.

Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. Its mainland territory, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north and Turkey to the northeast.

The country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands.

mykonos_greece

The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring a vast number of islands (approximately 1,400, of which 227 are inhabited). Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, of which Mount Olympus is the highest peak at 2,917 m (9,570 ft).

Modern Greece traces its roots to the civilization of Ancient Greece, which developed out of the Aegean Civilizations of the Bronze Age. Considered the cradle of all Western civilization, Greece is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature and historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles and Western drama including both tragedy and comedy.

The cultural and technological achievements of Greece greatly influenced the world, with many aspects of Greek civilization being imparted to the East following Alexander the Great’s conquests, and to the West through Greece’s incorporation into the Roman Empire and the subsequent Byzantine Empire.

The rich legacy of Classical Greece is partly reflected by the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Greece, ranking it 6th in Europe and 13th in the world. The modern Greek state, which comprises most of the historical core of Ancient Greek civilization, was established in 1830 following the war of independence from the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent Balkan Wars.

Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the 10th member to join the European Communities (precursor to the European Union) and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001.

The nation is also a member of numerous other international institutions including the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE and the WTO. Greece, which is one of the world’s largest shipping powers, has the largest economy in the Balkan Peninsula where Greece is an important regional investor; its economy is also the ninth largest in the Eurozone and the 43rd in the world.

The economy of Greece is the 43rd or 51st largest in the world at $242 billion or $283 billion by nominal gross domestic product or purchasing power parity respectively, according to World Bank statistics for the year 2013. As of 2013, Greece is the thirteenth largest economy in the 28-member European Union. In terms of per capita income, Greece is ranked 37th or 40th in the world at $22,083 and $25,331 for nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively.

Greece shopping mall

A developed country, the economy of Greece mainly revolves around the service sector (80.6%) and industry (16%), while agriculture made up an estimated 3.4% of the national economic output in 2012.Important Greek industries include tourism and shipping.

The Greek Merchant Navy is the largest in the world, with Greek-owned vessels accounting for 15.17% of global deadweight tonnage as of 1 January 2013, due to the unprecedented demand of investment on the shipping industry of international transportation between Greece and Asia in recent years.

With 17.9 million international tourist arrivals in 2013, Greece was the seventh most visited country in the European Union and sixteenth in the world. The country is also a significant agricultural producer within the EU. With an economy larger than all the other Balkan economies combined, Greece is the largest economy in the Balkans and an important regional investor.

Greece is the number-two foreign investor of capital in Albania, the number-three foreign investor in Bulgaria, at the top three foreign investors in Romania and Serbia and the most important trading partner and largest foreign investor of the Republic of Macedonia.

The Greek telecommunications company OTE has become a strong investor in former Yugoslavia and other Balkan countries.

Greece organic farming

The country is also a significant agricultural producer within the EU. With an economy larger than all the other Balkan economies combined, Greece is the largest economy in the Balkans and an important regional investor.

Greece is the number-two foreign investor of capital in Albania, the number-three foreign investor in Bulgaria, at the top three foreign investors in Romania and Serbia and the most important trading partner and largest foreign investor of the Republic of Macedonia.

Greek banks open a new branch somewhere in the Balkans on an almost weekly basis. The Greek telecommunications company OTE has become a strong investor in former Yugoslavia and other Balkan countries.

The Greek telecommunications company OTE has become a strong investor in former Yugoslavia and other Balkan countries.

Greece is classified as an advanced, high-income economy and was a founding member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

The Treaty of Accession of Greece to the European Communities was signed in Athens on 28 May 1979, and the country formally joined what is now the European Union on 1 January 1981. On 1 January 2001 Greece adopted the euro as its currency, replacing the Greek drachma at an exchange rate of 340.75  drachmae per euro.

Greece is also a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization and is ranked 31st on the KOF Globalization Index for 2010 and 34th on the Ernst & Young’s Globalization Index 2011.

Since the turn of the millennium, Greece saw high levels of GDP growth above the Eurozone average, peaking at 5.9% in 2003 and 5.5% in 2006.  Greece had a significant growth after six years of economic decline in the second quarter of 2014  and was the eurozone’s fastest-growing economy in the third quarter.

Greece is ranked 49 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 0.424841

Top 5 Products exported by Greece

  1. Refined Petroleum (35%),
  2. Packaged Medicaments (3.1%),
  3. Aluminium Plating (1.9%),
  4. Non-fillet Fresh Fish (1.7%),
  5. Raw Cotton (1.7%)

Top 5 Export destinations of Greece

  1. Turkey (11%),
  2. Italy (8.0%),
  3. Germany (6.4%),
  4. Bunkers (6.0%),
  5. Bulgaria (5.0%)

Top 5 Products imported by Greece

  1. Crude Petroleum (24%),
  2. Refined Petroleum (6.9%),
  3. Packaged Medicaments (5.1%),
  4. Passenger and Cargo Ships (4.0%),
  5. Petroleum Gas (3.1%)

Top 5 Import origins of  Greece

  1. Russia (11%),
  2. Germany (9.5%),
  3. Italy (8.0%),
  4. Saudi Arabia (5.1%),
  5. China (5.0%)

An important percentage of Greece’s national income comes from tourism. Tourism funds 16% of the gross domestic products which also includes the Tourism Council and the London-Based World Travel.

According to Eurostat statistics, Greece welcomed over 19.5 million tourists in 2009, which is an increase from the 17.7 million tourists it welcomed in 2007.

Greece_Hydraharbour

The vast majority of visitors in Greece in 2007 came from the European continent, numbering 12.7 million, while the most visitors from a single nationality were those from the United Kingdom, (2.6 million), followed closely by those from Germany (2.3 million).

In 2010, the most visited region of Greece was that of Central Macedonia, with 18% of the country’s total tourist flow (amounting to 3.6 million tourists), followed by Attica with 2.6 million and the Peloponnese with 1.8 million.

Northern Greece is the country’s most-visited geographical region, with 6.5 million tourists, while Central Greece is second with 6.3 million.

mykonos_greece

In 2010, Lonely Planet ranked Greece’s northern and second-largest city of Thessaloniki as the world’s fifth-best party town worldwide, comparable to other cities such as Dubai and Montreal. In 2011, Santorini was voted as “The World’s Best Island” in Travel + Leisure. Its neighboring island Mykonos came in fifth in the European category.

23 million tourists visited Greece throughout 2014, a record for Greek tourism

To See
  • Few countries can pride themselves on a heritage as important to Western civilization as Greece.
  • A range of first class historic landmarks remind one of the days when the great Greek emperors and writers made their mark on the development of science, literature and democracy. No less than 17 of those monuments are listed as World Heritage Sites. However, the many charming little islands, sandy beaches and picturesque whitewashed coastal towns are at least as much a reason to come for the millions of tourists that this Mediterranean country receives each year.
  • A mosaic in the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
  • World famous are the iconic Parthenon in the bustling capital Athens and the splendid site of Delphi, where the mighty emperors sought the prophecies of the most prominent oracle in the ancient Greek world.
  • There’s the temple of Apollo atBassae and the gorgeous old city of Rhodes, once overlooked by the Colossus of Rhodes.
  • The archaeological site of Olympia is the birthplace of our modern Olympic Games and the place from where the Olympic flame is sent across the world.
  • The many Eastern Orthodox monasteries of Meteora are just stunning to look at, built high on natural sandstone rock pillars.
  • At the small town of Verginathe ancient site of Agai was found, and many valuable artifacts were discovered in several untouched tombs, one of them being the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great.
  • Proudly situated on Mt. Taygetos is the ancient town of Mystras, close to (and often mistaken for) ancient Sparta.
  • Another great site is the island of Delos, not far from the popular holiday destination Mykonos. According to myths, this is where Apollo and Artemis were born. The island used to be the main Panhellenic sanctuary and is now dotted with archaeological remains.
  • Some major sights are nicely located on one of the beautiful Greek islands, allowing for a delightful combination of sightseeing and relaxing on one of the many fine beaches.
  • Patmos is a lovely example, boasting the historic centre Chora, the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse, but also some pleasant sea side restaurants with pretty views.
  • Corfu has the same characteristics, being a popular holiday destination with good beaches and an impressive historic town centre.
  • The beach towns of Samos, just a stone’s throw away from the Turkish mainland, are a good place to try the islands local wines (famous in the ancient world).
  • On the island are also the World Heritage Temple of Hera, the remains of the fortified port of Pythagoreion and the famous Tunnel of Eupalinos, a 1 km long subterranean aqueduct built in the 6th century BC. Although not an island, the ancient Mount
  • Athos is located in the north of Greece, on the peninsula of Chalkidiki. It’s one of the country’s most popular tourist regions with excellent beaches, numerous other ancient sites and many charming villages.
  • If you still want more of the historic stuff, admire the massive Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus or the Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns. The Monasteries of Daphni (Athens), Hosios Loukas (Beotia) and Nea Moni (on the island ofChios) complete the World Heritage listings for Greece.
  •  The beach of Elafonisi, Crete
  •  The volcanic island of Santorini is one of the most romantic picks and offers some spectacular views.
  • Other popular ones are Lesbos, Paros, Lefkada and Kos. The
  • National Marine Park on Zakynthos is the primary nesting ground for loggerhead sea turtles in the Mediterranean.
  • The rugged, green hills and valleys of Kefalonia boast a number of vineyards, and the island’s cliffs and beautiful beaches make it a tourist hotspot.
  • For a slightly more authentic and less touristy experience, try Syros, Amorgos or any of the other small and less developed islands.


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