Greece (GPS: 39 00 N, 22 00 E) is located in Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey. The country’s area measurements are total: 131,957 sq km; land: 130,647 sq km, water: 1,310 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than Alabama. The total irrigated land is 15,550 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Greece: Strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits. A peninsular country is possessing an archipelago of about 2,000 islands.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Athens’s GPS coordinates are 37 59 N 23 44 E. Athens’s local time is 7 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+2, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830. 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 first invaded Italy (1940) and was subsequently occupied by Germany (1941-44); Fighting endured a protracted civil war between supporters of the king and other anti-communist 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 following the dictatorship collapse, 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 (EMU) in 2001.
Greece has suffered a severe economic crisis since late 2009 due to nearly a decade of chronic overspending and structural rigidities. In 2010, Greece entered three bailout agreements – with the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), the IMF, and the third in 2015 with the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – worth in total about $300 billion. The Greek Government formally exited the third bailout in August 2018.
Greece’s names conventional long form: the Hellenic Republic, traditional short form: Greece, local long way: Elliniki Dimokratia, local short form: Ellas or Ellada, former: Hellenic State, Kingdom of Greece, etymology: the English name derives from the Roman (Latin) designation “Graecia,” meaning “Land of the Greeks”; the Greeks call their country “Hellas” or “Ellada.” The English name derives from the Roman (Latin) designation “Graecia,” meaning “Land of the Greeks”; The Greeks call their country “Hellas” or “Ellada.”
Greece’s terrain is typically mountainous, with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands. The country’s mean elevation: 498 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: the Mediterranean Sea 0 m, highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m.
The general climate in the country; temperate: mild, wet winters: hot, dry summers.
The total number of border countries is 4, Albania 212 km, Bulgaria 472 km, North Macedonia 234 km, Turkey 192 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Greece’s coastline is 13,676 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation. Waterways: 6 km (the 6-km-long Corinth Canal crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; it shortens a sea voyage by 325 km) (2012). Land use: agricultural land: 63.4%; arable land 19.7%; permanent crops 8.9%; permanent pasture 34.8%; forest: 30.5%; other: 6.1% (2011 estimate).
The population in Greece 10,761,523 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 78% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: ATHENS (capital) 3.052 million (2015), while Greece has one-third of the population lives in and around metropolitan Athens; the remainder of the country has moderate population density mixed with sizeable pockets of urban agglomeration. Their spoken languages are Greek (official language) 99%, other (includes English and French) 1%. Greece’s main religions are Greek Orthodox (official) 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%. The nation uses civil legal system based on Roman law. It is a(n) parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 25 March (1821).
Economic overview for the country: Greece has a capitalist economy with a public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP about two-thirds of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 18% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the workforce, mainly in agricultural and unskilled jobs. Greece is a significant beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP. The Greek economy averaged growth of about 4% per year between 2003 and 2007. Still, the economy went into recession in 2009 due to the world financial crisis, tightening credit conditions, and Athens’ failure to address a growing budget deficit. By 2013, the economy had contracted 26%, compared with the pre-crisis level of 2007.
Greece met the EU’s Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criterion of no more than 3% of GDP in 2007-2008 but violated it in 2009 when the deficit reached 15% of GDP. Deteriorating public finances, inaccurate and misreported statistics, and consistent underperformance on reforms prompted major credit rating agencies to downgrade Greece’s international debt rating in late 2009 and led the country into a financial crisis. Under intense pressure from the EU and international market participants, the government accepted a bailout program called on Athens to cut government spending, decrease tax evasion, overhaul the civil-service, healthcare, and pension systems reform the labor and product markets. Austerity measures reduced the deficit to 1.3% in 2017.
However, successful Greek governments failed to push through many of the most unpopular reforms in the face of widespread political opposition, including from the country’s powerful labor unions and the general public. In April 2010, a leading credit agency assigned Greek debt its lowest possible credit rating. In May 2010, the IMF and euro-zone governments provided Greece emergency short- and medium-term loans worth $147 billion so that the country could make debt repayments to creditors. However, Greece struggled to meet the targets set by the EU and the IMF, especially after Eurostat – the EU’s statistical office – revised Greece’s deficit and debt numbers for 2009 and 2010 upward.
European leaders and the IMF agreed in October 2011 to provide Athens a second bailout package of $169 billion. The second deal called for Greek government bonds holders to write down a significant portion of their holdings to try to alleviate Greece’s government debt burden. However, Greek banks, saddled with a substantial amount of sovereign debt, were adversely affected by the write-down, and $60 billion of the second bailout package was set aside to ensure the banking system was adequately capitalized. In 2014, the Greek economy began to turn the corner on the recession. Greece achieved three significant milestones: balancing the budget – not including debt repayments; issuing government debt in financial markets for the first time since 2010; And generating 0.7% GDP growth, the first economic expansion since 2007. Despite the nascent recovery, widespread discontent with austerity measures helped propel the far-left Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party into government in national legislative elections in January 2015. Between January and July 2015, frustrations grew between the SYRIZA-led government and Greece’s EU and IMF creditors over implementing bailout measures and disbursement of funds. The Greek government began running up significant arrears to suppliers, while Greek banks relied on emergency lending, and Greece’s future in the eurozone was called into question. To stave off a collapse of the banking system, Greece imposed capital controls in June 2015, then became the first developed nation to miss a loan payment to the IMF, rattling international financial markets. Unable to reach an agreement with creditors, Prime Minister Alexios TSIPRAS held a nationwide referendum on 5 July on whether to accept the terms of Greece’s bailout, campaigning for the ultimately successful “no” vote. The TSIPRAS government subsequently agreed, however, to a new $96 billion bailout to avert Greece’s exit from the monetary bloc.
On 20 August 2015, Greece signed its third bailout, allowing it to cover significant debt payments to its EU and IMF creditors and ensure the banking sector retained emergency liquidity access. The TSIPRAS government, which retook office on 20 September 2015 after calling new elections in late August, successfully secured disbursal of two delayed tranches of bailout funds. Despite the economic turmoil, Greek GDP did not contract as sharply as feared, boosted in part by a strong tourist season. In 2017, Greece saw improvements in GDP and unemployment. Unfinished economic reforms, a massive non-performing loan problem, and ongoing uncertainty regarding the country’s political direction hold the economy back. Some estimates put Greece’s black market at 20- to 25% of GDP, as more people have stopped reporting their income to avoid paying taxes that, in some cases, have risen to 70% of an individual’s gross income.
Natural resources of Greece: lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential.
Main export partners for Greece, Europe are Italy 11.2%, Germany 7.3%, Turkey 6.6%, Cyprus 5.9%, Bulgaria 5.2%, US 4.8%, UK 4.2%, Egypt 4% (2015) for food and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, textiles, while the main import partners for the country are: Germany 10.7%, Italy 8.4%, Russia 7.9%, Iraq 7%, China 5.9%, Netherlands 5.5%, France 4.5% (2015) for machinery, transport equipment, fuels, chemicals.
When you visit this country in Europe, consider the natural hazards in Greece: Severe earthquakes volcanism: Santorini (elevation 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 tumultuous history and 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, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Greece faces the following environmental issues: Air pollution, Air emissions from transport and electric power stations, water pollution, Degradation of coastal zones, Loss of biodiversity in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, Increasing municipal and industrial waste.