Greece

Map

Greece Terrain: mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands;

Natural Resources: lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential;

Natural Hazards: severe earthquakes

volcanism: Santorini (elev. 367 m) has been deemed a “Decade Volcano” by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; although there have been very few eruptions in recent centuries, Methana and Nisyros in the Aegean are classified as historically active;

Population: 10,772,967 (July 2013 est.)

Factbook

Quick Facts About Greece

Population

10,749,943 (July 2010 est.)

Age Structure

0-14 years: 14.2% (male 787,697/female 741,882)
15-64 years: 66.4% (male 3,564,399/female 3,574,922)
65 years and over: 19.4% (male 911,335/female 1,169,708) (2010 est.)

Religions

Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%

Languages

Greek 99% (official), other 1% (includes English and French)

Internet Users

4.253 million (2008)

Country Name

conventional long form: Hellenic Republic
conventional short form: Greece
local long form: Elliniki Dhimokratia
local short form: Ellas or Ellada
former: Kingdom of Greece

Government Type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Athens
geographic coordinates: 37 59 N, 23 44 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Military Branches

Hellenic Army (Ellinikos Stratos, ES), Hellenic Navy (Ellinikos Polemiko Navtiko, EPN), Hellenic Air Force (Elliniki Polimiki Aeroporia, EPA) (2009)

Dependency Status

*

Background

Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. In World War II, Greece was first invaded by Italy (1940) and subsequently occupied by Germany (1941-44); fighting endured in a protracted civil war between supporters of the king and Communist rebels. Following the latter”s defeat in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. In 1967, a group of military officers seized power, establishing a military dictatorship that suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country. In 1974, democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy. In 1981, Greece joined the EC (now the EU); it became the 12th member of the European Economic and Monetary Union in 2001. In 2010, the prospect of a Greek default on its euro-denominated debt created severe strains within the EMU and raised the question of whether a member country might voluntarily leave the common currency or be removed.

Area – Comparative

slightly smaller than Alabama

Area

total: 131,957 sq km
land: 130,647 sq km
water: 1,310 sq km

Terrain

mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands

Climate

temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers

Natural Hazards

severe earthquakes