General information: Greece achieved independence in 1829 (until 1829 – under the rule of the Ottoman Empire). During the second half of the XIX century. and the first half of the 20th century. she gradually annexed neighboring territories and islands with a Greek-speaking population. After the suppression of the communist rebellion in 1949, Greece joined NATO (1952). The military dictatorship that in 1967 temporarily abolished political freedoms and forced the king to leave the country was overthrown seven years later. A democratic vote in 1974 abolished the monarchy and a parliamentary republic was established; Greece joined the EU in 1981 Geography
Location: Southern Europe, coast of the Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean seas between Albania and Turkey.
Geographic coordinates: 39° 00′ N. latitude, 22° 00′ E
Reference map: Europe.
Area: total: 131,940 km2; land surface area: 130,800 km2; water surface area: 1,140 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Alabama.
Land borders: total: 1,210 km; with neighboring states: with Albania 282 km, with Bulgaria 494 km, with Turkey 206 km, with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 228 km.
Coastline: 13,676 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: to a depth of 200 m or to the depth of field development; territorial waters: 6 nautical miles.
Climate: temperate; mild warm winter; hot dry summer.
Relief: mostly mountainous with mountain ranges protruding into the sea in the form of peninsulas or a chain of islands.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m; highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m.
Natural resources: bauxite, brown coal, manganese, oil, marble, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 19%; cultivated land: 8%; pastures: 41%; forests and plantations: 20%; others: 12% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 13,140 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: earthquakes happen.
Current environmental issues: air pollution; water pollution.
International agreements on environmental protection: participant: Air Pollution, Air Pollution – Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1994, Antarctica – Environmental Protection Protocol, Conservation of Marine Life in Antarctica, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Antarctic Treaty, Air Pollution – Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution – Volatile Organic Compounds, Kyoto Protocol.
Note to the section “Geography”: dominant strategic position in the Aegean and south of the Black Sea straits; the country is located on a peninsula, owns an archipelago of about 2,000 islands.
Population: 10,623,835 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 14.98% (male 820,219; female 771,466); 15 to 64 years old: 67.3% (male 3,580,535; female 3,569,755); over 65: 17.72% (male 834,247; female 1,047,636) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.21% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 9.83 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 9.73 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 1.96 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male/female; under 15: 1.06 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1 male/female; over 65: 0.8 male/female; for the general population: 0.97 male/female (2000 est.);
Child mortality: 6.38 deaths/1000 live births (2000 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 78.59 years; men: 76.03 years; women: 81.32 years (2000 est.).
Total fertility rate: 1.33 children/wife, (2000 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.16% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 8,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Greek; adjective: Greek.
Ethnic groups: Greeks 98%, other 2%; note: Greek government agencies do not register citizens by ethnicity.
Believers: Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%.
Language(s): Greek 99% (official), English, French.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 95%; men: 98%; women: 93% (1991 est.). State Name:
Common long form: Hellenic Republic;
conventional short form: Greece; local long form: Elliniki Dhimokratia; local short form: Ellas or Ellada; former: Kingdom of Greece.
State structure: parliamentary republic; Monarchy abolished by referendum on 8 December 1974; See a2zgov.com to know more about Greece government and politics.
Administrative division: 51 prefectures (nom) and 1 autonomous region*: Aion Oros* (Mount Athos), Argolis, Arcadia, Arta, Attica, Achaea, Boeotia, Grevena, Dodecanese, Drama, Zakynthos, Imathia, Ios, Heraklion, Kavala, Karditsa, Kaetoria, Kerkyra, Kefalonia, Cyclades, Kilkis, Kozani, Corinthia, Xanthi, Laconia, Larisa, Lasithi, Levkas, Lesbos, Magnesia, Messinia, Pela, Pieria, Preveza, Rethymni, Rhodope, Thessaloniki, Samos, Sere, Thesprotia, Trikala, Florina, Phokis, Phthiotis, Halkidiki, Chania, Chios, Euboea, Evrytania, Evros, Elis, Aetolia and Akar-nania.
Independence: from 1829 (until 1829 – under the rule of the Ottoman Empire).
National holiday: Independence Day, March 25 (1821) (beginning of the Revolutionary War).
Constitution: adopted June 11, 1975; amended March 1986
Legal system: based on codified Roman law; The judicial system is divided into civil, criminal and administrative courts.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal and mandatory.
chief of state: President Konstantinos STEPHANOPOULOS (since 10 March 1995);
head of government: Prime Minister Konstantinos SIMITIS (since 19 January 1996)
Government: the cabinet is appointed by the president on the proposal of the prime minister; elections: the president is elected by the Parliament for 5 years; elections last held 8 February 2000 (next to be held in March 2005); the prime minister is appointed by the president; election results: Konstantinos STEFANO-POULOS re-elected president; percentage of votes in the Parliament – 90%.
Legislature: unicameral Parliament (Vouli ton Ellinon) (300 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote for 4 years); elections: last held 9 April 2000 (next to be held April 2004); election results: distribution of votes between parties: PASOK 43.8%, ND 42.7%, KKE 5.5%, Synaspismos 3.2%; distribution of seats among parties: PASOK 158, ND 125, KKE 11, Synaspismos 6.
Judiciary: Supreme Court; Special Supreme Tribunal; judges are appointed for life by the president after consultation with the legal council.
Political parties and leaders: Coalition of the Left and Progressives (Synaspismos) (Nikolaos KONSTANDOPOU-LOS); Communist Party of Greece (KKE) (Aleka PAPARIGA [Aleka PAPARIGA]); New Democracy (ND) (conservative) (Konstandinos KARAMANLIS); Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) (Konstantinos Simitis).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, G-6, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNOMIG, UPU, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: Ambassador Alexandros PHILON (Alexandras PHILON); office: 2221 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 939-5800; fax:[\\ (202) 939-5824; consulates general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco; Consulates: Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador R. Nicholas BURNS; embassy:^ Vasilissis Sophias Boulevard, 10160 Athens; postal address: PSC 108, APO AE 09842-0108; phone:  (1) 721-2951; fax:  (1) 645-6282; consulates general: Thessaloniki.
Description of the flag: nine equal horizontal stripes of blue and white; in the upper left corner is a blue rectangle with a white cross; the cross symbolizes Orthodoxy – the official religion of the country.