Greece is a country in southeastern Europe, in the south of the Balkan Peninsula. It borders Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria, to the north, and Turkey, to the northeast. The mainland is bathed by the Aegean Sea to the east, the Cretan Sea to the south and the Ionian Sea to the west. Greece has an area of 131 940 km2 , of which 1/5 corresponds to about 2000 islands (only 170 inhabited). The main cities are Athens, the capital, with 762 100 residents (2004), Thessaloniki (372 100 residents), Piraeus (179 600 residents) And Patras (164 000 residents).
Three geographical elements dominate Greece: the sea, whose influence is explained not only by the high number of islands, but also because only a small region of the Greek continent is more than 80 kmfrom the coast; the mountains, whose systems they occupy close to 80% of the territory, with emphasis on the mountainous system of Pindo; and, finally, the lowlands, which range from river valleys to coastal areas. On the other hand, it is worth noting the geographical division of the almost two thousand Greek islands by the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea, where they are in greater numbers. However, it is in the south that the largest Greek island is found: Crete.
The Greek climate is Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot, dry summers. In the north and inland, winters are more severe.
The Greek economy, despite its structure based on private companies, is considered to be of medium development, as can be seen from the fact that Greek GDP is one of the lowest in the European Union. Agriculture, whose importance has been decreasing, has as main productions wheat, corn, sugar beet, tomatoes, olive oil, wine and fruits.
The food, textile and cement industries emerge from the Greek industrial environment, characterized by its weak competitiveness. But the highlight goes to the activity of Greek shipowners, who own one of the largest fleets in the world, representing an added value in terms of obtaining foreign exchange. The sector that has grown the most in the last decade is the tertiary sector (occupying 50% of the active population and constituting 50% of GDP), thanks mainly to the development verified in tourism, which, in turn, is the basis for the emergence of a society increasingly turned to trade. This development of tourism is linked to the increase in public infrastructure linked to transport. Greece’s main trading partners are Germany, the United States of America, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 8.2.
The population was, in 2006, 10 688 058 residents, which is equivalent to a population density of approximately 80.86 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are respectively 9.68% and 10.24%. Average life expectancy is 79.24 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.892 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.886 (2001). The population of Greek origin is largely in the majority (96%), with communities of Macedonians (1.5%), Turks (0.9%) and Albanians (0.6%). The Eastern Orthodox Church is followed by 98% of the population. The official language is Greek.
Art and culture
Ancient Greece is considered by many to be the cradle of Western civilization, not only in the political aspect (democracy), but also in the intellectual and artistic aspect. Philosophers like Socrates and Plato or mathematicians like Aristotle and Pythagoras are well known and Greek art itself has perpetuated itself over time, serving as inspiration, for example, in the Renaissance current, in the 15th and 16th centuries. However, the Greek cultural wealth has also been recognized in our times, especially through literature, highlighting the poets awarded the Nobel Prize Giorgos Seferis (1963) and Odysseus Elytis (1979), as well as the novelist Nikos Kazantzákis, author of the famous work Zorba the Greek.
Inhabited since the Paleolithic, Greece has of the Minoan civilization (Crete, 2000 a. C.) the most solid ancient vestiges. The famous classic Greece appears in the year 750 a. C., succeeding to the domain of Dorians, a people of Indo-European origin. This was one of the city-states that went into decline with the civil war that took place in the Peloponnese Peninsula between 401 and 404 a. A., Being conquered by Philip II of Macedonia in 338 a. C. The Roman Empire annexed Greece between 205 and 146 a. And, until being expelled by the barbarians (5th century AD), the Romans were heavily influenced by Greek culture, allowing it to become even stronger. At the same time, the Byzantine Empire, which already controlled eastern Greece at the time of the decline of the Roman Empire, was gradually dominating the rest of the country. Byzantine rule was interrupted in 1204 by the action of the Crusades, the consequences of which were reflected in the creation of some states in the region. Although they regained these areas, they were definitely expelled by the Turkish Ottoman Empire in 1453. In the next four centuries, Greece was nothing more than an Ottoman region, under which it lived difficult times, with the Orthodox Church guaranteeing Greek identity. It is due to the birth of Greek nationalism in the early 19th century, duly taken advantage of by personalities such as Rigas Velestinlis, who had lived part of the last decade of the 18th century in Vienna, where he absorbed French revolutionary ideals. Rigas was eventually hanged in 1798, but his concepts inspired other movements, such as those seen in the Greek community in Russia since 1814 (called “Philikí Etaireía” – Sociedade Amiga – and founded by three young Greeks) and in the Peloponnese Peninsula, ruled by Ali Pasa Tepelenë. Despite paying tributes to the Ottomans, his style of governance gave that peninsula a status of almost independence. And it was from this region that, with the support of countries such as Russia, England and France, the revolt against the Ottomans began in 1821, a revolt which, despite internal differences among the westernized, supporters of a political system western Europe that made Greece a European country, and conservatives, somehow connected to the Orthodox Church and eager to maintain the benefits gained during Ottoman rule, succeeded in bringing Greece into independence, officially recognized by the 1832 treaty signed between Bavaria and the protective countries (England, France and Russia). As a result of this treaty, Otto I, of Bavaria, was appointed king of Greece in 1833, but the failure of his expansionist policies led to his exile in 1862, and the following year he succeeded the Danish Jorge I, who abdicated in 1922. The following year, a military junta dissolved the monarchy, establishing the Republic of Greece, but the disagreement between the various republican factions allowed George II to reestablish the monarchy in 1935. For Greece democracy and rights, please check intershippingrates.
After the Nazi occupation between 1941 and 1944, Greece saw its destiny redrawn by the protective countries, through an agreement between Stalin and Churchill where it was stipulated that Stalin would not support the Greek Communist Party in any action against the monarchy, while Churchill paved the way for Russian rule in Romania. Thus, after the victory of the monarchic right in the March 1946 elections, in September of that year, a plebiscite was held approving the return of King George II, who would die six months later, succeeding his brother Paulo. However, in December 1947, the Communists, after having formed the Democratic Army in October 1946, established the Provisional Democratic Government, thus paving the way for civil war.
On April 21, 1967, a military coup d’état took place, taking advantage of a profound political crisis caused by the disagreements between King Constantine II (who succeeded his father, King Paulo, in 1964) and Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou. The military regime was quite repressive and bitter for the Greeks, especially since the rise to power of Brigadier Demetrios Ioannidis, the main responsible for the Greek-Turkish war (July 1974) on the island of Cyprus. The defeat of Greece in this conflict brought about the fall of the military regime and the democratic elections of November 1974 gave victory to the conservative Konstantinos Karamanlis, succeeding, in the following month, a referendum that dictated the end of the monarchy and the refusal of the return of the until then King Constantine II. Karamanlis, after being re-elected as Prime Minister, he was elected President of the Republic in 1980, corollary to his successful policy of integrating Greece into the European Community, which became effective in January 1981. That same year, Andreas Papandreou, leader of the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK), was elected prime minister, a post he held until 1990, when he lost the elections to the New Democracy (ND) party, led by Konstantinos Mitsotakis. However, Mitsotakis’ policy of economic liberalization proved to be quite unpopular, as evidenced in the early legislative elections held in 1993, which gave PASOK victory, albeit little. leader of the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK), he was elected prime minister, a post he held until 1990, when he lost elections to the New Democracy (ND) party, led by Konstantinos Mitsotakis. However, Mitsotakis’ policy of economic liberalization proved to be quite unpopular, as evidenced in the early legislative elections held in 1993, which gave PASOK victory, albeit little. leader of the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK), he was elected prime minister, a post he held until 1990, when he lost elections to the New Democracy (ND) party, led by Konstantinos Mitsotakis. However, Mitsotakis’ policy of economic liberalization proved to be quite unpopular, as evidenced in the early legislative elections held in 1993, which gave PASOK victory, albeit little.
The following years were marked by periods of instability, both internally and externally. Internally, there is an almost chronic difficulty in overcoming the existing economic crisis and the defeats of PASOK in the European and municipal electoral elections, to which Papandreou’s serious health contributed. Externally, it is worth highlighting the diplomatic conflicts between Greece and the European Union, caused, not only by the Greek claim on Macedonia, but also by the Greek military attack against Albania (intending to annex the south of that country, where an important Hellenic community); and those between Greece and Turkey on the International Law of the Sea, which universally stipulated the limit of 12 nautical miles, which Turkey was opposed to because it would endanger the Turkish Aegean coast.
In 2002, Greece became part of the countries adhering to the single currency, the euro.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Greece, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Greece. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Greece
Browse a collection of city, country, political, shaded relief and historical maps of this European country. Check out the city maps of Athens, Corfu and Thessaloniki.
Expedia.com Maps – Greece
Discover a map that provides users with the ability to scan a chosen area in more detail.
Greece – ABC Maps
Includes both maps and satellite images of this Mediterrainian country, including links to country facts.
Greece – Aegean Map of Greece
Search the clickable map for details about each city in Greece. Also find travel, hotel and weather information.
Greece – Atlapedia Atlas
Access political and physical maps of Greece, surrounding countries and water bodies. Plus, country facts and information.
Greece – Merriam-Webster Atlas
Well detailed map shows many cities and villages in this southern European country. With historical overview, country facts and legend.
Greece – National Geographic Map Machine
Provides a map combining satellite imaging and outlining of borders and pinpointing of major cities and ports.
Greece – University of Texas Library
Take a look at the historic map of Greece and compare it with the modern maps provided by the CIA. Find other sites with maps of this area.