Greece

 

Greece Destinations Travel Guide

 

Flag of Greece

Language: Greek

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Calling Code: 30

 

Greece (Greek Ελλάδα) is a state in southern Europe. Member of the European Union and NATO. The population is 10.8 million people (as of January 1, 2017, according to Eurostat estimates), the area is 131,957 km². It occupies 84th place in the world in terms of population and 95th in terms of area.

The capital is the city of Athens. The official language is Greek.

Unitary, parliamentary republic. In March 2015, Prokopis Pavlopoulos took over as president. It is subdivided into 13 regions.

The country is located on the Balkan Peninsula and numerous islands. It is washed by the Aegean (including the Ikarian and Thracian seas) in the east, the Ionian in the west, and the Mediterranean and Cretan seas in the south.

It has a land border with Albania in the northwest, northern Macedonia and Bulgaria in the north, with Turkey in the northeast.

About 98% of the population profess Orthodoxy.

Modern Greece is the heir to the culture of Ancient Greece, considered the cradle of Western civilization, the birthplace of democracy and Western philosophy, the basic principles of the physical and mathematical sciences, theater and the modern Olympic Games. The rich cultural heritage and geographical location make Greece one of the most visited countries in the world.

Greece is an industrial-agrarian country. The volume of GDP in 2011 amounted to 294.339 billion US dollars (about 24 543 US dollars per capita). The monetary unit is the euro.

The independence of the country was proclaimed on March 25, 1821. Before that, she was part of the Ottoman Empire.

 

Travel Destinations in Greece

Athens Area

Athens
Brauron
Daphni Monastery
Koutouki Cave
Oropos
Rhamnous

Peloponnese (Greece)

Achaea

Akrata
Diakofto
Zachlorou
Kalavryta
Patras

Arcadia

Ano Doliana
Astros
Dimitsana
Karytaina
Langadia
Lousios Gorge
Stemnitsa
Tripoli
Tyros
Zygovisti

Argolis

Epidaurus
Argos
Ermioni
Kiveri
Nafplio
Mycenae
Tiryns
Portocheli
Thermisia
Tolo

Corinthia

Corinth
Kiato
Loutraki
Nemea
Xylokastro

Elis

Olympia

Laconia

Sparta
Monemvasia
Mystras
Pyrgos Dirou Caves

Messenia (Greece)

Kalamata
Pylos
Korobi and Methone
Iamia
Foinikounta
Kardamyli
Kyparissia

 

Central Greece (Greece)

Aetolia-Acarnania

Mesolongi
Agrinio

Nafpaktos

Attica (Greece)

Eleusis
Marathon
Sounion
Lavrio
Marousi
Piraeus
Rafina
Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni

Boeotia

Hosios Loukas
Livadeia
Arachova
Orchomenus
Thebes
Chaeronea
Antikyra

Evvia

Chalcis
Eretria

Edipsos

Evrytania

Agrafa
Granitsa (Evrytania)
Karpenisi
Megalo Chorio
Proussos

Phthiotis

Agios Konstantinos
Atalanti
Kamena Vourla
Lamia
Ypati

Phocis

Delphi

Galaxidi
Itea

 

Thessaly (Greece)

Magnesia

Agria

Volos

Larissa

Larissa
Tyrnavos

Elassona
Farsala

Trikala

Meteora

 

Northern Greece (Greece)

Alexandroupolis

Chalkidiki

Мount Athos  

Drama

Florina

Imathia

Ioannina

Kastoria

Kavala

Philipi

Komotini

Kozani

Pella

Pieria

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki

Serres

Xanthi

Epirus

Arta

Ioannina

Preveza

Crete

Heraklion
Chania
Rethymno
Sitia
Ierapetra
Agios Nikolaos
Malia
Archanes
Houdetsi
Frangokastello
Knossos
Psychro Cave
Samaria Gorge

 

Greek Islands (Greece)

Cyclades Islands

Santorini

Dodecanese

Lindos

Ionian Islands

Corfu Island

Ithaca Island

Saronic Gulf Islands

Rhodes

Sporades Islands

East Aegean Islands

North Aegean Islands

 

Etymology

The word "Greece" is of Latin origin and is not used in Greek. The self-name of the Greeks of their country is Hellas (Ellas, Greek Ελλάδα). Initially, according to Homer's Iliad, Hellas - the name of the region in southern Thessaly - Phthiotis, gradually spread to the whole of Greece. With the adoption of the term Hellenes as a general term for all Greeks, Hellas became the collective name for all of mainland Greece, and later for all of Greece, including the archipelagos, islands, and areas in Asia Minor (as opposed to the historical Magna Graecia, located in southern Italy).

Currently, in Greece, the word Hellas is the official self-name, and the words Greek (lat. Graecus) or Greece (lat. Graecia) are not recognized by the population and are used only in communication with foreigners. In other countries, Hellas is often synonymous with the concept of Ancient Greece.

State symbols
The national flag - 9 white and blue stripes with a cross - correspond to the nine syllables of the national motto - "Freedom or Death". The first national flag was created in 1821 by General Alexander Ypsilanti - red with a white cross. Since 1833, red has been replaced by blue.

The national emblem is a blue shield with a white cross framed by two olive branches as symbols of the leading religion in Greece - Orthodoxy.

The anthem of Greece since 1860 is the "Hymn to Liberty", written by the founder of Modern Greek poetry, Dionysios Solomos, in 1823 and set to music by the first notable Modern Greek composer, Nikolaos Mandzaros.

 

History

Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization. In the period of about 3 thousand years BC, a highly developed Minoan civilization arose on the island of Crete, the culture of which subsequently spread to the mainland. It was followed by the era of the Cretan-Mycenaean or Aegean civilization. Later, Greek policies emerged, as well as antique colonies of the Northern Black Sea region, Great Greece and Asia Minor. The cultural level of development extended to the entire Mediterranean region, which was reflected in architecture, theater, science and philosophy.

The policies of Athena and Sparta played a leading role in the victory over Persia, but later they themselves were defeated by Thebes, and later the Kingdom of Macedonia. The latter, under the leadership of Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great, achieved extraordinary power, which was a harbinger of the beginning of the Hellenistic era. However, Macedonia was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, and Hellas became dependent on the Roman Republic.

Further mutual influence of Hellenic and Roman cultures is formalized in the culture of the Byzantine Empire. It remained the main cultural center for a thousand years, until its fall under the pressure of the Ottoman Empire on May 29, 1453. During the Ottoman rule, there was a system of Ottoman milletas that helped the Orthodox Greeks maintain their traditions for 4 centuries and contributed to their cohesion on the basis of religion, which played an important role in the formation of modern Greek identity.

Modern Greek period
Greece gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830, after the national liberation war of 1821-1829. The first president of independent Greece was John Kapodistrias, but soon a monarchy was established in Greece and a minor Otton of Bavaria from the Wittelsbach dynasty was invited to the throne. The uprising of September 3, 1843 forced King Otto to submit the Constitution and establish a representative National Assembly. In 1863, Otton was overthrown, and the Danish prince William, who became George I, was invited to the Greek throne. In honor of his coronation, Great Britain gave the Ionian Islands to Greece. In 1877, at the initiative of Harilaos Trikupis, the most prominent figure of Greek politics of the time, the king was deprived of the right to influence the National Assembly by raising a vote of no confidence in the country's prime minister.

After the completion of the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, Greece significantly expanded its territory. In subsequent years, the political struggle between King Constantine I and Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos split Greek society on the eve of World War I. After the completion of the latter, Greece entered the war with Turkey, then headed by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. This war led to the loss by Greece of part of the territory and the massive exchange of people between the two countries in the framework of the Lausanne Peace Treaty signed on July 24, 1923.

On October 28, 1940, fascist Italy demanded that Greece provide a bridgehead for the deployment of its forces, to which Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas refused categorically “no,” realizing that now war is becoming inevitable for Greece. Although German troops were withdrawn from the territory of the country in 1944 as a result of the Soviet offensive in the direction of Yugoslavia, from October 28, 1942 in Greece they celebrate the day “No” to the ultimatum of the countries of the axis of Italy and Germany as a national holiday - Ohi Day (Όχι in Greek - "no").

 

In the Civil War of 1946, the Communist Party of Greece was defeated. In 1949, the monarchy was restored in Greece, which was finally abolished on April 21, 1967, after the military coup of the "black colonels" supported by the United States of America. After the overthrow of the military junta in 1975, a new Constitution was adopted, the previous Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis returned to the country from Paris, and as a result of a popular referendum, the monarchy was abolished and Greece became a parliamentary republic. In contrast to the New Democracy of Karamanlis, Andreas Papandreou founded PASOK; these parties still remain the most influential in the country.

In 1980, Greece rejoined the NATO military alliance (in 1974, it withdrew from it in protest against the occupation of northern Cyprus). Greece became a member of the European Union on January 1, 1981.

In December 2008, riots broke out in Athens, which quickly swept and stirred up the whole of Europe. The cause of the riots was a long-growing discontent with the economic situation, which was significantly complicated by the World Economic Crisis that began in the same year. The reason for the unfolding of mass protests, which often turned into riots and riots, was the December 6 killing of a 15-year-old teenager by a Athenian police patrol. Since the spring of 2010, almost continuous national strikes, riots and terrorist attacks have become a real test for the government.

On January 25, 2015, snap parliamentary elections were held. The victory was won by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), for which 36.34% of voters voted. Out of 300 seats in parliament, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) won 149 seats.

In 2020, Katerina Sakellaropoulou was elected President of Greece. She became the first female president.

 

Politics

Greece is a unitary state, consisting of 52 administrative units - regions (nomes). In 1983, it was legally established that issues of local importance are in charge of councils elected by the population through direct elections.

The current Constitution came into force on June 11, 1975. Greece is a parliamentary republic in terms of government. The political regime is democratic.

Legislative power is vested in the Parliament, a unicameral representative body elected by direct universal suffrage for a term of 4 years. It should include at least 200 and no more than 300 people. The Chamber meets once a year for a regular session, which lasts at least 5 months. At the beginning of each session, it forms parliamentary commissions from its members for the purpose of preparing and studying bills and legislative proposals. Legislative activity is carried out, as a rule, during plenary sessions. However, some bills are considered and adopted in sections, the number of which cannot exceed 2. The Constitution determines on which issues bills can be adopted at a plenary session, and which ones are submitted for consideration by sections. Bills adopted by the parliament must be ratified by the president, and the presidential veto can be overridden (recognized as invalid) by an absolute majority of the votes of the total number of deputies.

The head of state is the President, who is elected by parliament for a term of 5 years. The constitution gave the president broad powers, entrusting him with the exercise of executive power. The president appoints the prime minister and, on his recommendation, appoints and dismisses other members of the government. According to the conclusion of the Council of the Republic, an advisory body that is formed under the President in cases provided for by the Constitution, the president can remove the government if it has lost the confidence of parliament. In exceptional cases, he presides over the Council of Ministers. The President convenes Parliament in regular session once a year and in extraordinary sessions when he sees fit. He has the right to postpone the parliamentary session for up to 30 days. The powers of the President also include the approval and promulgation of laws adopted by Parliament and the possibility to return a draft law to Parliament for reconsideration. The president can call a referendum and send messages to the nation. Finally, he is the head of the armed forces. In addition, the president exercises a number of rights with ministerial countersignature. These include the right to represent the country in foreign relations, declare war and make peace, as well as the right to dissolve parliament if after 3 votes it cannot elect the President or when the parliament is at odds with public opinion or cannot ensure the stability of the government.

In March 1986, a series of amendments were adopted that removed a number of important powers from the President, including the right to remove the Prime Minister. He can dissolve parliament only if the resignation of 2 governments in a row shows a lack of political stability. Its right to announce a referendum has been limited, and the right to declare a state of emergency has been transferred to Parliament.

Executive power is exercised by the Greek government, which consists of the prime minister and ministers (one or more of them may be appointed vice-premiers). The government is formed by the party that wins the majority of seats in parliament. The leader of that party becomes prime minister. Within 15 days from the moment he takes the oath, the government must raise the issue of confidence before the parliament. The Chamber of Deputies has the right to "take back its confidence" in the government or one of its members. A resolution of reproof may only be introduced 6 months after the House has rejected the previous resolution. The resolution of reprimand must be signed by at least 1/6 of the deputies. The government determines and implements the general policy of the state in accordance with the Constitution and laws. Members of the Council of Ministers and State Secretaries are liable for omissions committed in the performance of their functions, in accordance with the provisions of the ministerial liability laws.

Local self-government in the regions is carried out by governors (Greek Περιφερειάρχης), vice-governors (Greek αντιπεριφερειάρχες) and regional councils (Greek περιφερειακό συμβούλιο) elected by the population. Local self-government in nomes is carried out by prefects (Greek Νομάρχης) and councils of nomes (Greek Νομαρχιακό συμβούλιο). Local self-government in each of the municipalities is carried out by the mayor (Greek Δήμαρχος), the municipal council (Greek Δημοτικό Συμβούλιο) consisting of 15-20 municipal councilors (Greek Δημοτικοί Σύμβουλοι).

The supreme court is the Areopag (άρειος πάγος), the courts of appeal - Ephetia (εφετείο), the courts of the first instance - the first courts (πρωτοδικείο), the lower link of the judicial system - the world courts (ειρηνοδικείο), the highest court of administrative regulations (σtechniding της Επικρατείας), courts of appeal of administrative justice - administrative ephetia (Διοικητικό Εφετείο), courts of first instance of administrative justice - administrative first courts (Διοικετικό Πρίτο).

Unions
The largest trade union center is the General Confederation of Labor of Greece (Γενική Συνομοσπονδία Εργατών Ελλάδας). However, during the years of the economic crisis, the All-Workers' Fighting Front of Greece (PAME; Πανεργατικό Αγωνιστικό Μέτωπο) - a trade union association associated with the Communist Party of Greece - approached a million people in size. The largest confederation of trade unions of civil servants is ADEDI

There are also the Union of Cleaners and Janitors (secretary - Konstantin Kuneva) and anarcho-syndicalist trade unions.

 

Geography

Greece is located in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula and on the islands adjacent to it and to the coast of Asia Minor and covers an area of ​​132 thousand km², including an area of ​​25.1 thousand km² of islands. It borders with Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. It is washed by the Mediterranean Sea, including: the Ionian, Aegean Seas, and the southern coast of Crete - the Libyan Sea. Greece consists of about 2 thousand islands, which account for almost 20% of the entire country.

The length of the land borders is 1110 km.

The territory of Greece can be divided into three parts:
mainland Greece, which includes Macedonia (Thessaloniki, Florina, Pella, Kavala, Kastoria, Halkidiki, etc.), Thrace (Rhodope, Xanthi and Evros), Epirus (Thesprotia, Preveza, Ioannina, etc.), Thessaly (Larisa, Magnesia and others) and Central Greece (Phthiotis, Phokis, Attica, etc.). Also geographically, the Ionian Islands can be attributed to this region;
Peloponnese - the largest peninsula of Greece and the center of the most ancient civilization of Europe, includes the nomes of Arcadia, Laconia, Messinia, etc. The famous Corinth Canal, dug by a French company for the Greek state in the 19th century, is also located here;
islands of the Aegean Sea, the largest of which are:
Crete is the fifth largest in Europe (8259 km²);
Euboea (3654 km²), connected to the continent by a bridge thrown over the Strait of Eurypus;
Lesbos (1630 km²), located off the coast of Turkey.

There are also many groups of small islands - Northern Sporades, Cyclades, Dodecanese.

Relief
The Greek landscape is an alternation of rocky, usually treeless mountains, densely populated valleys, numerous islands, straits and bays. Picturesque cliffs, beaches, exotic grottoes provide great opportunities for seaside recreation and mountain tourism. The wide distribution of limestones, especially in the western part of the country, has led to the formation of karst funnels, caves that attract lovers to try their hand at speleology. Mountain ranges occupy almost a quarter of the country's surface. These are predominantly medium-altitude mountains (up to 1200-1800 m). The highest point in Greece is Mount Olympus (2917 m). Pindus, Parnassus, the mountain range of Central Greece and Taygetos also rise above 2000 meters. There are few plains, they are concentrated in the eastern half of the country, with the exception of the Peloponnese, where the plains prevail on the western coast.

Greece has strong earthquakes.

Climate
The climate of Greece can be divided into three types: Mediterranean, Alpine and temperate, each of which affects a certain area. The Pindus mountain range strongly influences the climate of the mainland: the regions located to the west of the slopes of Pindus (Epirus) receive more rainfall than the regions located on the eastern side of the range (Thessaly).

Islands
Greece includes more than 2,000 islands, from large (Crete, Euboea) to tiny (Patmos, Chrissi, Meyisti). They account for about 20% of the entire Greek territory.

All islands are divided into several groups:
The Ionian Islands are located in the Ionian Sea off the western coast of Greece. The largest island is Kefalonia.
The Northern Aegean Islands are located in the north of the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Turkey. The largest island is Lesvos.
The Northern Sporades and the island of Euboea are located off the eastern coast of Greece.
The Cyclades are located in the center of the Aegean Sea. The center of the ancient developed Cycladic culture. There are mainly small islands here: Andros, Naxos, Mykonos, Santorini.
The Dodecanese is a group of islands located in the south of the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Turkey. Sometimes they are also called Southern Sporades. It is an important tourism center in Greece. The largest island is Rhodes.
Crete is the largest island of Greece. Center of ancient Cretan civilization. Near the island there are many small satellite islands (Chrisi, etc.). From the south, the island is washed by the Libyan Sea.

 

Flora and fauna

Not many species of wild animals have survived on the territory of Greece, their populations are small. This is due to the multi-thousand-year history of this country - for more than 8,000 years, people have been actively exterminating animals and plants in Greece. Small animals are typical here: hares, badgers, porcupines and various types of mice.

Of the large mammals, the most common are the brown bear, jackal, fox, lynx and wild boar. Many species of animals are listed in the Red Book, among them the Caretta sea turtle and the monk seal.

Reptile snakes and lizards are numerous in Greece.

Among birds, you can most often see wild ducks, kingfishers and partridges, as well as predators - owls, eagles and kites.

There are many gulls in the coastal areas, and in the waters of Greece there is a huge variety of shellfish and fish, although the stocks of the latter have been significantly reduced in recent times.

More than 5,000 plant species are distributed in Greece. Small plants and shrubs are widespread in Greece: maquis and frigana. Pine forests are often found on the Halkidiki peninsula. Cypresses and plane trees are widespread. Some are several thousand years old. The olive is very common - one of the most valuable trees in Greece and the entire Mediterranean.

 

Administrative division

Previously, Greece was divided into 13 administrative districts, which were divided into 54 nomes (or prefectures). Also in Greece there was one autonomous region - Athos (Holy Mountain) in the region of Mount Athos - a monastic state governed by a council of representatives of 20 Athos monasteries. Real self-government existed at the level of nomes and smaller formations - municipalities. The municipality was headed by the mayor, and the nome was headed by the governor.

However, since January 1, 2011, in accordance with the Kallikratis Program (Law 3852/2010), the administrative system of Greece has been radically revised. The former system of 13 regions, 54 prefectures and 1033 municipalities and communities has been replaced by 7 decentralized administrations, 13 regions and 325 municipalities. The regions and municipalities have been fully self-governing since the first elections scheduled for 7 November and 14 November 2010. The decentralized administrations are managed by a general secretary appointed by the Greek government. The Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain is exempt from these reforms.

The capital of Greece is the city of Athens (Greek Αθήνα (Athena), in ancient times the name was used in the plural - Greek Ἀθῆναι (Athens)), one of the oldest cities in the world and at the same time one of the youngest capitals in Europe - the city acquired this status only in 1834 after the events of the Greek National Liberation War of the 19th century (before that, the capital of Greece in 1828-1833 was Nafplio). Currently, about 35% of the total population of the country lives in the capital; together with Piraeus, there are about 4 million inhabitants.

Thessaloniki (Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη) is the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia, the second largest city in Greece, located on the coast of Thermaikos Gulf. For many centuries Thessaloniki remained an important cultural and main religious center of Greece. Today it is also a powerful economic and educational center of the country. One of the world's largest International Exhibitions is held annually in Thessaloniki, and the local Aristotle University is the largest institution of higher education in Greece.

The status of an autonomous region has the monastic republic of Athos, located in the central and southern part of the eastern peninsula of Halkidiki, Aion Oros. This is a self-governing community of twenty Orthodox monasteries, which since 1313 have been under the direct ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople. Greek sovereignty over the peninsula was secured by the Lausanne Agreement of 1923. Unlike other dioceses of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Athos uses the Julian calendar, including in administrative documents. For the Orthodox around the world, Mount Athos is one of the main holy places, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Economy

After World War II, Greece experienced the Greek economic miracle. The GDP growth rate averaged 7% between 1950 and 1973. Since then, Greece has undertaken a number of structural and financial reforms, while receiving significant financial support from the European Union. In 2001 Greece joined the Eurozone. The annual GDP growth exceeded the corresponding level of most of its partners in the EU. In the modern economy of Greece, the service sector has the largest share and is the most important and at the same time the fastest growing sector of the economy, followed by industry and agriculture. Tourism in Greece is one of the main sources of foreign exchange earnings, it brings the state over 15% of GDP and 16.5% of the total employed population.

The public sector in Greece accounts for about 40% of GDP, but the government is taking all measures to further reduce its share. The industrial sector is dominated by high technology equipment manufacturing, especially in the field of telecommunications. Other important industries include textiles, chemicals, building materials, machinery, transport equipment, and electrical appliances. 10% of GDP comes from construction in Greece, as this sector recently experienced a boom in connection with the 2004 Athens Olympics. Agriculture currently accounts for only 7% of GDP.

In the early 2000s, Greece was one of the leading investors in the economies of almost all of its Balkan neighbors. In 2006, the National Bank of Greece acquired a 46% stake in Turkish Finansbank and 99.44% stake in Serbian Vojvođanska Bank. According to the University of Groningen, in the period 1995-2005, Greece became the country with the highest work-to-time ratio among other European countries: the Greeks worked an average of 1900 hours per year, the Spaniards came in second with 1800 hours per year. In 2007, the average worker in Greece was earning about $20 an hour. Immigrants make up almost one-fifth of the workforce in Greece and are mainly employed in agriculture and construction.

Greece's labor force in 2009 was 4.577 million people, or 46% of the total population, second among OECD countries after South Korea (48% of the total population). The median income per capita rose from $30,661 in 2008 to $31,704.028 in 2009. According to the purchasing power of the population, Greece in 2009 ranked 25th in the world. At the same time, the number of unemployed increased from 9.8% in October 2009 to 12.6% in September 2010 and to 13.5% in October 2010. According to the Human Development Index for 2007 inclusive, published on October 5, 2009, Greece ranks 25th in the world. In 2001, Greece was recognized as a developed country. In 2013, Greece became the first country in the world to lose the status of a developed state.

Due to the global financial crisis, the Greek economy was in a difficult situation at the end of 2009: the budget deficit amounted to 12.7% of GDP, while 3% of GDP was allowed in the Eurozone. The government launched a broad privatization program, issuing global bonds twice, but in the spring of 2010 the economy was on the verge of default, which brought the euro to a yearly low. 16 EU countries and the IMF have agreed on the allocation of financial assistance to Greece in the amount of 110 billion euros (80 billion from the EU and another 30 billion from the IMF) subject to the introduction of a austerity program - cuts, freezing wages, raising the retirement age, raising taxes, which turned out for the country a wave of strikes, mass protests and riots. In order to fill the “tax basket”, the government announced a tax amnesty, and also began to fight corruption among public officials. The case of the Vatopedi Monastery on Athos and the corruption scandal with the Siemens company in Greece received the most publicity.

The country has a high income level. Greece is the only EU country where the minimum wage was reduced from 2008 to 2019. Since 2017, the economy began to grow; in 2017 and 2018, GDP growth was less than 2% per year. On February 1, 2019, the minimum wage in Greece was raised to 650 euros per month. This is the first increase in the minimum wage in 7 years since the beginning of the debt crisis in the country. Until 2012, the minimum wage in 14 payments per year was 751 euros, then it was reduced to 586.08 euros for citizens over 25 years old and to 510 euros for young people. Thus, the increase in the minimum wage for the majority of the population amounted to about 11%, and for young people its increase exceeded 27%. The Keitz index (the ratio between the minimum and average wages in the country) in Greece as of January 1, 2019 (average - 1060.45 € and minimum - 683.76 €) is about 64%.

 

Tourism

A significant proportion of Greece's income comes from tourism; according to 2009 data, it accounts for 15% of the country's GDP. At the same time, according to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, if we take into account hidden income (36% in 2007), the contribution of tourism will be 18-20% of GDP. In addition, about 900 thousand people are employed in the tourism sector, including 6.9% of the total population in the HoReCa sector, which is the third indicator in the EU after Malta and Spain. In 2008, Greece received 17.5 million tourists. In 2014, this number rose to 22 million people. Most of all, tourists from Germany and the UK like to relax in Greece - in 2014, 2.46 million and 2.09 million people came from these countries, respectively.

According to a survey conducted in China in 2005, Greece was named the number one tourist choice by the Chinese. In 2007, over 19 million tourists visited Greece, making it one of the top ten tourist destinations in the world. The island of Rhodes has been recognized as the best resort by European tourists. In 2008-2009, the number of tourists decreased slightly. Greek hoteliers hope to increase the share of tourists from the CIS countries by the general introduction of All-inclusive accommodation systems and the hiring of Russian-speaking staff.

Among the most famous and popular tourist centers in Greece: historical and cultural - Athens, Delphi, Corfu, Crete; beach recreation centers - the Halkidiki peninsula, the resort islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Paros and Crete; centers of pilgrimage for Christians - Mount Athos, Meteora monasteries, Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki (St. Demetrius Basilica, Hagia Sophia and others) are included in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

 

Population

As of July 2021, the population of Greece is 10,569,703 according to The World Factbook.

The age structure of the population of Greece as of 2020: 0-14 years old - 14.53%; 15-64 years old - 63.04%; 65 years and older - 22.43%. The average age of the Greek population according to The World Factbook for 2020 was 45.3 years (9th in the world), including 43.7 years for men and 46.8 years for women. The ratio of the number of men and women: the entire population - 0.95 (2020). Average life expectancy of the population of Greece as of 2021: total - 81.28 years; men - 78.73 years; women - 84 years. As of 2021, the birth rate is 7.72 newborns per 1,000 inhabitants (222nd in the world). The total fertility rate (TFR) is 1.39 births per woman. Due to the demographic aging of the population, the mortality rate is steadily increasing; as of 2021, the mortality rate is 12.05 deaths per 1,000 people (14th in the world). As of 2021, the net migration rate in Greece is relatively low at 0.97 migrants per 1,000 inhabitants (61st in the world). As of 2019, the average age of a woman at first birth in Greece is 29.9 years (compared to the Republic of Korea, the country with the lowest TFR in the world at 0.84 births per woman in 2020, the average age of a woman at first birth in 2019 year was 32.2 years). Greeks are a rapidly aging nation: according to Eurostat, the proportion of the population over the age of 75 will increase from 19% to 31% by 2050. Today, the number of employees in the country is 4 people per 1 pensioner, the number of workers is predicted to decrease to 2 people.

As of 2021, 80% of the total population lives in cities, with a projected annual growth of 0.11%. The population density is 82.3 inhabitants per km2. The most populous cities in Greece are: Athens, Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Patras, Heraklion, Larissa and Volos.

As of 2011, the majority of the population of Greece are Greeks (91.6%), although these data are disputed due to inconsistencies in data on minorities, especially linguistic ones, followed by Albanians - 4.4%, and other nationalities - 4%. It is believed that Greek statistics do not keep records of the population by nationality, but this is a false conclusion. The main officially recognized religious minority of modern Greece are the Muslims of Thrace and the Dodecanese Islands, including Turks (1% of the Greek population), Pomaks (Bulgarian-speaking Muslims, 0.3%) and Muslim gypsies (0.1%). But here Greece follows the letter of the Lausanne Accords of 1924 and demands the same from Turkey, since this part of the population remained within the borders of Greece on the same terms that they were supposed to protect the Greek minority of Constantinople and the islands of Imvros and Tenedos. The Greek minority in Istanbul is almost gone.

There are minorities that are distinguished mainly by ethnographers on linguistic grounds, but they have their own specifics: Albanians (4%; including Arvanites) are a bilingual population with Greek self-consciousness, which gave the country dozens of national heroes in the fight against Turks and Muslim Arvanites, “Slavic-speaking Greeks” or Macedonian Slavs (1.2%), who at the beginning of the 20th century called themselves Bulgarians and were recognized as such, Aromunians (1.1%, including Meglenites) are a bilingual group with Greek self-consciousness, which gave the country national heroes and good half of its patrons, Orthodox gypsies (another 0.8%).

Armenians, Serbs (0.3%), Arabs (0.3%), Jews (0.05%), etc. are officially recognized. As of 2019, according to UN estimates, 1.2 million immigrants lived in Greece and their descendants, or 11.6% of the country's population.

More than 4 million Greeks live abroad, of which over 2 million live in the USA, Canada and Australia.

 

Religion

The Constitution of Greece, which entered into force on June 11, 1975, begins with the words “in the name of the holy, consubstantial and inseparable Trinity” (Greek. Εις το όνομα της αι ομοουσίου αδιαιαιάices) and in Article 3 (Relations of the Church and “Relations 3 ") reads:
The dominant religion in Greece is the religion of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ. The Orthodox Church of Greece, recognizing our Lord Jesus Christ as its head, is inseparably doctrinally connected with the Great Church of Constantinople and with every other Church of Christ of the same faith, steadily observing, like them, the holy apostolic and catholic canons and sacred traditions. It is autocephalous and is governed by the Holy Synod of bishops who are in church service, and the Permanent Holy Synod elected by them, which is created in the manner determined by the charter of the Church, in accordance with the provisions of the Patriarchal Tomos of June 29, 1850 and the Act of the Synod of September 4, 1928.
The church regime existing in certain regions of the state does not contradict the provisions of the previous paragraph.
The text of Holy Scripture remains unchanged. Its official translation into any other form of language without prior permission from the Autocephalous Church of Greece and the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople is prohibited.

The Greek Constitution recognizes Orthodoxy as the leading religion in the country, while at the same time guaranteeing religious freedom for all citizens. The Greek government does not keep official statistics on the religious affiliation of its citizens. According to a sociological survey by Eurostat for 2010, 79% of Greeks answered that they believe in God, which is the third indicator among EU member states, behind only Malta and Cyprus.

97% of Greek citizens identified themselves as "Greek Orthodox", according to US government data for 2006. The Greek Orthodox Church dominates, its head is Archbishop Jerome II, whose residence is in Athens. At the same time, the entire north of the country and the Dodecanese Islands are included in the canonical territory of the Church of Constantinople. Also, the monastic state on Mount Athos is subordinate to the Church of Constantinople, and the Cretan Orthodox Church is semi-autonomous.

A few inhabitants of several islands of the Aegean Sea, which at one time belonged to the Venetian Republic, are Catholics. In Thrace and on the island of Rhodes, in addition to the Greeks, Muslim Turks live (1.3%). Judaism has existed in Greece for over 2000 years. Sephardim once formed a large community in the city of Thessaloniki, but no more than 5,500 people were able to survive the Holocaust. The Protestant community in the country has about 3,000 people. They are Assemblies of God, Evangelicals and Baptists. There are about 30,000 Jehovah's Witnesses.

In 2017, Hellenic polytheism, or Hellenism, was legally recognized as an actively practiced religion in Greece. The number of active practitioners is 2,000 people. Hellenism refers to various religious movements that continue, revive or reconstruct ancient Greek religious practices.

 

Science and technology

The natural and technical sciences developed in Greece after independence, although separate works on medicine were published before that time, in particular “On Diet” (Greek Διαιτητική) by Konstantinos Michael, 1794, “History of the Art of Medicine” (Greek Ιστορίας Ιατρικής ) Sergio John, 1818; "Handbook of Hygiene" (Greek Υγιεινατάριον) by Spyridon Vlandis, 1820.

Founded in 1837, the University of Athens quickly became the scientific center of the country. In 1887, his departments of natural sciences were merged into a department, and later the faculty of natural sciences. The development of sciences was also facilitated by industrialization, on the path of which Greece began in the second half of the 19th century. At the end of the century, the chemist Anastasios Christomanos, the founder of a specialized laboratory, examined the Greek ores for a whole range of minerals. The general inspector of the Lavrion mines, the future first president of the Athens Academy, Fokion Negris published extensive information about the geological structure, and the physicist and mathematician Konstantinos Mitsopoulos investigated the seismicity of Greece. Biologists Theodoros Orfanidis, Theodor Heinrich Hermann von Geldreich, Spyridon Miliarakis, Ioannis H. Politis were engaged in research on the flora and fauna. The foundations of medicine in Greece were laid by Georgios Sklavunos, author of Human Anatomy (1906). At the beginning of the 20th century, the growth in the pace of economic development contributed to the rise of technical sciences, the center of which was the Athens Polytechnic Institute.

In 1837, the Greek Archaeological Society was founded to revive archaeological science, to create conditions for the proper preservation of antiquities. For half a century, this work was also promoted by foreign archaeological schools in Athens, which operate to this day: French (1846), German (1874), American (1881), British (1886), Austrian (1898). Among the Greek archaeologists proper, Konstantinos Kurunyotis, Nikolaos Platon, Kyriakos Pittakis, Valerios Stais, Aris Poulianos and the current head of the restoration work on the Acropolis of Athens, Manolis Korres, are widely known.

At the present stage, the leading scientific institution in the field of physical sciences is the Democritus Center for Nuclear Research, founded in 1961 in Aya-Paraskevi. It has a nuclear reactor, a subcritical reactor and a Van de Graaff generator. Research in astronomy, atmospheric physics, seismology and meteorology is carried out by the Athens National Observatory. Scientific research in applied mathematics is carried out by the specialized bureau and computing center of the Athens Academy of Sciences. The most important works in the field of electronics, artificial intelligence, electrochemistry, aerodynamics are carried out at the Aristotle University and the Technical University of Athens.

Ioannis Argyris is a Greek mathematician and engineer, one of the authors of the finite element method and the direct stiffness method. The mathematician Constantine Carathéodory worked in the field of real analysis, calculus of variations and measure theory at the beginning of the 20th century, his teaching helped Albert Einstein in the mathematical part of his theory of relativity. Biologist Fotis Kafatos is a pioneer in molecular cloning and genomics. Dimitris Nanopoulos is a renowned theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to the fields of particle physics and physical cosmology. Georgios Papanikolaou is a pioneer in cytology and early cancer detection, and the inventor of the Pap test. Greek car designer Alec Issigonis created the "Mini" car design, while Michalis Dertouzos was one of the pioneers of the Internet. Greek informatics Christos Papadimitriou, Diomidis Spinellis, Joseph Sifakis, Michalis Yannakakis are widely known in the world. Nicholas Negroponte founded the MIT Media Lab and the One Laptop Per Child program.

 

Education

Education in Greece is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 15. It includes primary (Greek Δημοτικό Σχολείο) - 6 classes, and incomplete secondary (Greek Γυμνάσιο) - gymnasium, 3 classes, education. There are preschool institutions: kindergartens (Greek Παιδικός σταθμός) for children from 2.5 years old, working separately or as part of kindergartens (Greek Νηπιαγωγείο).
Most children start going to kindergarten two years before starting school, between the ages of 4 and 6.
The next stage is elementary school, which will last six years.
Secondary education is also divided into two stages: basic secondary (gymnasium) and upper secondary (lyceum or vocational school). Education at each stage lasts 3 years, at the evening form of study at the school - 4 years.
There are different types of secondary schools: religious, sports, music, special schools for children with disabilities, even schools for adults who failed to complete secondary education in their youth.
The grading system in high school is twenty-point, in order to move to the next course, you need to score 10 points. At the end of the gymnasium, the student receives a certificate, which allows him to continue his education in a lyceum or vocational school, where, in addition to general education, students receive vocational training. At the end of each year, exams are taken: transfer in the first two years and graduation at the end of training. After successfully passing the exams, graduates receive a certificate of completed secondary education, with which they can enter a higher educational institution: a university or a technical educational institution.
The system of higher education in Greece is divided into two sectors: university and technical. At the moment, there are 24 universities and 16 technical educational institutions (TEI) in Greece, where education is more applied.
To become a student of a Greek university, you do not need to take entrance exams: the competition is based on the average score in the certificate.

 

Culture

The culture of Greece was formed over many thousands of years, starting from the time of the Minoan civilization, the formation took place during Classical Greece and Greece during the Roman domination. Ottoman domination also influenced the culture of the Greeks. But even during the Greek Revolution, great works of literature, music, and painting were created. Orthodox Christianity had a huge impact on the entire culture of modern Greece. Some researchers, for example, Robert Kagan, believe that the modern culture of Greece is much more connected with the cultural heritage of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires than with the culture of ancient Hellas. At the same time, as the historian of Haverford College A. Kitroff notes: "The idea that modern Greeks descend directly from the ancient Greeks is one of the fundamental moments of self-awareness of the modern Greek nation."

Greece has 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

 

Greek language

Greek is one of the oldest modern languages ​​in the world. It has been used for over 4,000 years, and Greek writing has been around for over 3,000 years. Today, the Greek language is the basis of the vocabulary of any Indo-European language, most of the basic concepts of scientific vocabulary also have a partially Greek origin. The modern Greek language is Dimotika, a South Greek dialect adapted as a standard variant of the language. It differs significantly from kafarevusa, which, in fact, was artificially created on the basis of the ancient Greek koine and planted at the initiative of Adamantios Korais, a Greek writer, educator and active public figure of the era of the national liberation movement of the 19th century.

Greece has always been a relatively homogeneous country linguistically. At the beginning of the 20th century, a Greek-Turkish population exchange took place, which further intensified the process of assimilation of ethnic minorities. Today, about 99% of the population of the country uses Greek as the first or even the only language. The main dialects of the Greek language: Pontic dialect, Cappadocian dialect, Tsakonian dialect, Jewish-Greek dialect. In the last decade, the spread of Internet services and mobile communications has caused the romanization of Greek writing. This phenomenon is known as "Greeklish" (English Greeklish) - it is common throughout the Greek diaspora and even in countries with a majority of the Greek population - in Greece and Cyprus.

 

Philosophy

The Western philosophical tradition originated in ancient Greece as early as the 6th century BC. e. The first ancient Greek philosophers are usually called "pre-Socratics", most of their works have not survived even in fragments. Among the pre-Socratics, seven ancient sages occupy a separate place. One of them is Thales of Miletus, since the time of Aristotle is considered the first philosopher of Greece, who belonged to the so-called Milesian school. It was followed by the Eleatic school, which dealt with the philosophy of being.

The classical period of Greek philosophy is traditionally associated with Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. In this era, Ancient Athens becomes the center of Greek philosophy. Socrates was the first to think about the human personality, Plato founded the Academy and created philosophy as a logical and ethical system, and Aristotle - the science of philosophy as a doctrine of a really existing world. Among other prominent philosophical schools that later arose in Greece, it should be noted: Stoicism, Epicureanism, Skepticism and Neoplatonism.

Outstanding representatives of the Greek Renaissance (XV-XVIII centuries) are the cleric Theophilos Koridalleus, Nikolai Mavrokordat, Vikentios Damodos, Methodios Anthrakitis. The modern Greek Enlightenment is characterized by a return to the ancient Greek heritage, its leaders are Evgeny Bulgaris, Josipos Misiodakas, Benjamin of Lesbos, and the revolutionary Rigas Fereos. In the first years of independence from the Ottoman Empire, religious philosophy (Philippos Ioannou, Petros Brailas-Armenis) and Hegelianism became widespread.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the main motive of philosophical works was an attempt to substantiate the Great Idea (Yannis Kambisis, Ioannis Zervos, Ion Dragoumis), the political conductor of which was Eleftherios Venizelos, and the ideas of positivism spread in philosophy (Theophilos Voreas and Panagiotis Agiosophitis). In the post-war period, neo-Kantianism (Ioannis Theodorakopoulos, Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Konstantinos Tsatsos), phenomenology (Konstantinos Georgoulis and Leandros Vranousis), as well as irrationalism and intuitionism became influential philosophical trends. Existentialism is represented by Yorgos Sarandaris, Dimitrios Kapetanakis, Christos Yannaras.

 

Literature

Greek literature is divided into three periods: Ancient Greek, Byzantine and Modern Greek. In ancient Greece, literature flourished before classical science, education, and art. Around the 8th century BC Homer wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey, poems related to the heroic epic dedicated to the Trojan War. Hesiod continued the tradition of Homer in Theogony. Fragmentarily, the verses of Sappho and Anacreon have come down to us, whose names gave the name to the Sapphic stanza and Anacreontics. Ancient Greek drama developed as an independent genre, among its bright representatives Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes.

The period of Byzantine literature covers the 4th-15th centuries, it is written in the Middle Greek language. Until now, literature has been preserved, created mainly by the church, which played an important economic and political role in Byzantium. At the same time, the latter inherited the traditions of Hellenistic prose. The well-known story "Alexandria" of the 11th-12th centuries is full of fabulous episodes from the life of Alexander the Great, Christianized in various editions. The poetry of Roman the Melodist stands out especially, out of more than a thousand hymns written by him, about 80 have survived. The chronicles of George Amartol are of great historiographical significance.

The birth of modern Greek literature was marked by the Cretan Renaissance poem "Erotokritos", written by Vitsendzos Kornaros in the vernacular. The poem consists of ten thousand verses and sings of the valor, patience and love of the hero Erotokritos. However, the Greek Revolution gave a real impetus to the development of modern Greek literature. The Athenian school of purists appeared, the ideological leader of which was Adamantios Korais, the creator of the kafarevusa, and the Ionian school, headed by Dionysios Solomos, the author of the “Hymn to Freedom” (became the anthem of Greece), which promoted the living folk language - Dimotika.

The literature of the 20th century is represented by the talents of many writers and poets, including Andreas Kalvos, Yiannis Psycharis, Alexandros Pallis, Angelos Sikelianos, Kostis Palamas, storyteller Penelope Delta, Yiannis Ritsos, Alexandros Papadiamandis, Kostas Kariotakis, Kostas Varnalis, Konstantinos Cavafy, Demetrius Vikelas, Nikos Kazantzakis, as well as Nobel laureates Yorgos Seferis and Odyseas Elitis.

 

Architecture

In the conditions of democracy of Ancient Greece, for the first time, an integral environment of city-states - policies was created. A system of regular city planning was developed with a rectangular grid of streets and the main square - the agora - the center of trade and social life. A type of residential building was developed with rooms facing the inner spatial core - the peristyle.

The cult and architectural and compositional center of the ancient Greek city was the acropolis with a temple dedicated to the deity - the patron of the city. The peripter became the classically completed type of temple. The most striking example of it is the main temple of the Acropolis of Athens - the Parthenon. Based on the aesthetic understanding of the stable-beam structure in ancient Greece, an order system of architectural composition was created, which harmoniously combines the high artistry of architectural forms with the perfection of design and material. The rapid development of the social life of the ancient Greek polis gave rise to such types of structures as the theater, stadium, palestra, and so on. Thus, the Theater of Dionysus appeared in Ancient Athens, and later the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the unique marble stadium of Panathinaikos.

In the Middle Ages, mainly monastic architecture developed in Greece, Greek cities fell into decay. People's housing was built of various types, depending on the shape of the relief. Full-fledged architecture begins to develop from the 1830s, when Athens became the capital. Their building plan was created by Greek architects Stamatios Kleantis and Lysandros Kavtanzoglou. At the same time, the architects Theophil von Hansen and Ernst Ziller were invited, who construct public buildings, contributing to the flowering of the Neo-Greek architectural style. Church architecture of the XIX century gravitated towards the Byzantine.

Starting from the 1920s, the port cities - Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki - began to grow rapidly, at the present time, a type of apartment building with numerous balconies and terraces, proposed by Kostas Kitsikis, is being formed, characteristic of Greece. In the future, Greek architecture perceives the influence of functionalism and neoclassicism. During the 1950s and 1960s, park suburbs grew up around Athens with districts built up with villas and mansions of rich Greeks with elements of folk architecture (architect Dimitris Pikionis). Much less cheap apartment buildings were built (architect Aris Konstantinidis), but the need for the construction of new hotels and museum premises grew (architects Charalambos Sfaellos, Prokopios Vasiliadis). Industrial and office construction was developed by Takis Zenetos.

 

Music

The folklore music of Greece is in many ways similar to the music of other Balkan countries - Bulgaria, Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania. They traced similar rhythms and emotional coloring of the songs.

Rebetika is a Greek city song. It was formed at the beginning of the 20th century, when, after the Asia Minor catastrophe, many destitute refugees poured into Greece and the music of Ionia, that is, the west of Asia Minor, merged with the tavern music of the portside Greek lumpen proletariat. The rebetika style was persecuted by the Greek authorities, so this music came out of the "underground" only in the 1950s with the support of composers such as Manos Hadzidakis and Theodorakis, who supported the rebetika as a musical trend that carries elements of ancient Byzantine music.

One of the most famous Greek singers in the world is Demis Roussos, who began his solo career in 1971.

Contemporary popular music is heavily influenced by the West. But even in it, traditional Greek melodies and the use of national instruments such as bouzouki are often traced.

In 2005, Greek singer Elena Paparizou won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Number One", a first for Greece.

Modern Greece has given the world many composers close to the New Age direction. Among them are the world famous Vangelis and Yanni and the lesser known Chris Spheeris and Stamatis Spanoudakis.

Rock is very popular among young people, the black metal scene in Greece is one of the strongest in the world along with the Scandinavian countries. Rotting Christ is a Greek dark/black/gothic metal band, formed in Athens in 1987, known far beyond the borders of the country. The second cult rock band from Greece is the occult black metal band Necromantia. The third most important rock band from Greece is the doom/death band Septic Flesh.

Opera singer Maria Callas, a contemporary and longtime lover of Aristotle Onassis, is rightfully considered a phenomenon in the music world. Of the contemporary opera singers in Greece, Marios Frangoulis stands out.

One of the best modern world guitarists is Antigoni Goni.

By right, Sakis Rouvas can be called a recognized and successful performer. Success at Eurovision 2004 in Istanbul with the song "Shake It" brought Greece third place.

The relatively young dance "Sirtaki" in the modern world acts as one of the symbols of Greece.

 

Sport

Greece, as the birthplace of the Olympic competition, has the oldest sporting tradition in the world. It hosted the modern Olympic Games three times in its new history: the first Olympics in 1896, the first Extraordinary Olympic Games in 1906 and in 2004 the next Summer Olympic Games in Athens. The Greek National Olympic Committee was established in 1894 and recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1895. The Greek businessman and poet Demetrios Vikelas became the first President of the IOC.

The most popular sports in Greece are football and basketball. Basketball gained popularity in Greece after the 1968 Cup Winners' Cup was won by the AEK club. The second wave of growth was caused by victories in the European Basketball Championship in 1987 and especially in 2005. The most successful basketball clubs in the Greek Championship are Panathinaikos (31 wins), Aris (10 wins), Olympiakos (9 wins), AEK (8 wins) and Panellinios (6 wins).

Similarly, the rise of football took place after the victory of the Greek national team at the European Football Championship in 2004. The event has been called one of the biggest surprises in modern sports history. The most successful football clubs in the Greek Super League are Olympiakos (43 wins), Panathinaikos (19 wins) and AEK (13 wins).

In recent decades, volleyball, water polo, and athletics have also gained popularity in Greece. The national teams adequately represent Greece in international competitions in weightlifting, gymnastics, sailing, rowing and canoeing, diving, swimming, rowing, wrestling, cycling, boxing, shooting, tennis, archery, triathlon. Rugby, cricket, golf, hockey, equestrian sport have a certain fame. In 1952, the Rally of Greece was launched, which in 1973 became a stage of the World Rally Championship and is now considered one of the most difficult, oldest and most prestigious rally events in the world. Since 1972, the Athens Classic Marathon has been held annually.

In 1991, Athens, the capital of Greece, hosted the XI Mediterranean Games, the main sporting event in the Mediterranean countries. On October 28, 2007, during a vote in Pescara, Italy, Greece again won the right to host the XVII Mediterranean Games. They were supposed to take place in the cities of Volos and Larisa in 2013. However, the organizers did not build sports facilities on time, and on January 28, 2011, the International Committee of the Games deprived Greece of the right to host the Games. But on January 27, 2011, the Association of International Marathons and Runs signed an agreement with the Greek Ministry of Culture and Tourism, according to which the association moves its headquarters to Athens.

 

Mass media

A 2009 study published by the British public broadcaster BBC showed that 78% of Greeks turn to television for news, 41% to print media, 35% to electronic publications and 32% to radio. According to the Press Freedom Index, published in 2009 by the international organization Reporters Without Borders, Greece ranks 35th out of 175 countries in the world. Some international analysts define the Greek media as highly politicized, while being less politicized than in the late 1980s, and they also recognize the mutual influence of the authorities and the press.

Press
The Athens-Macedonian News Agency is considered the largest, oldest and most authoritative news agency in Greece. The main daily newspapers have a clear political affiliation: the newspapers "Katemerini" and "Acropolis" (circulations of 35,500 and 50,800 copies, respectively) are center-right publications; Eleftheros Tipos (circulation 135,500) is a publication that leans towards the more conservative right wing; the newspaper Avgi (circulation 55,000 copies) is positioned as a left-wing publication, the publications of the center-left direction include Avriani, Ta Nea and Eleftherotype (circulation 51,000, 133,000 and 108,000 copies, respectively); finally, the newspaper Rizospastis (circulation 40,000 copies) is the official print organ of the Communist Party of Greece. Athens also publishes a wide range of magazines, among them popular ones: Economics, Ependitis, Prin, Status, and To Vima. 2% of Greek newspapers and magazines are exported to Cyprus, the US, Germany and the UK. In Greece, German and English-language editions are in the greatest demand.

Broadcasting
The first broadcaster in Greece (YRE) appeared in 1938, in the same year it launched the first radio station in Greece, in 1952 radio broadcasting in Greece became two-program, in 1954 - three-program, in 1966 - the first two television channels in Greece were launched and a fourth radio station, in 1987 television in Greece became three-program. In 1989, the monopoly of public broadcasters on broadcasting[96] was abolished, the first commercial broadcasters in Greece were established and the first commercial radio stations and TV channels in Greece were launched. In 1999 the first NOVA satellite platform in Greece was launched, in 2006 the first digital platform ΕΡΤ Ψηφιακή, in 2008 the Conn-x TV IPTV platform, in 2009 the second Digea digital platform, in 2011 the second OTE satellite platform . On August 17, 2012, on-air analog television broadcasting ceased. On February 12, 2016, licensing of commercial broadcasters was introduced[97]. Depending on the form of financing, television and radio broadcasting in Greece is divided into public and commercial, and there are also elements of state television and radio broadcasting in the form of a satellite TV channel Βουλή - Τηλεόραση, radio stations of municipalities (Athena 98.4 FM, Channels 1, etc.), as well as radio stations of educational institutions ( Ράδιο Χώρος 94.2, Yellow Radio, etc.), and broadcasting of public organizations in the form of party (ΑΡΤ FM 90.6 (People's Orthodox Call), Στο Κόκκινο 105.5 (SYRIZA), 904 Αριστερά (KPG)) and church radio stations (Εκκλησία της Ελλάδος, Πειραϊκή Εκκλησία and others).

TV
Greek television, depending on the form of signal distribution, is divided into terrestrial, satellite and IPTV. Greek public television is represented by the broadcaster ERT, broadcasting on the 1st (ERT1), 2nd (ERT2) and 3rd (ERT3) channels. Commercial TV and radio broadcasting is represented by broadcasters Mega TV (4th TV channel and radio station), ANT1 (4th TV channel, radio stations Easy 97.2 and Ρυθμός 94.9), Alpha TV (6th TV channel, radio stations Alpha 98.9 and Alpha 96 .5) and Skai TV (TV 8, Skai 100.3, Μelodia 99.2, Red FM 96.3), Star Channel (TV 7, Star FM 107.7), Epsilon TV (9 channel), as well as regional commercial broadcasters (up to 15 per region), broadcast on the basis of temporary permits. There are two digital television operators in Greece, Digea, which is jointly owned by commercial broadcasters, and ΕΡΤnet, which is owned by public broadcaster ERT. The main operator of IPTV is OTE (it is also the main operator of fixed and mobile telephony and the Internet), which has an IPTV platform OTE TV, satellite TV operators OTE and NOVA, the latter has a satellite platform NOVA Greece.

 

Broadcasting

Broadcasting in Greece, depending on the form of distribution, exists only in the form of terrestrial broadcasting, public radio stations are also included in common multiplexes with terrestrial, satellite and IPTV versions of public television channels, in addition, there are Internet radio stations. Over-the-air broadcasting in Greece is carried out in analogue VHF, VHF CCIR version, some public radio stations are also available in medium wave. Общественное радиовещание представлено вещателем ЕРТ, вещающим через радиостанции Πρώτο Πρόγραμμα, Δεύτερο Πρόγραμμα, Τρίτο Πρόγραμμα, ΕΡΑ Σπορ, ERT Περιφέρεια и Kosmos 93,6, коммерческое радиовещание представлено общенациональными радиостанциями : 261 Athens, Εν Λευκώ, Παραπολιτικά 90,1 FM, Best Radio, Kiss FM 92.9, ΣΠΟΡ FM 94.6, Ρυθμός 94.9, Athens DeeJay, Flash 96, Easy 97.2, Love Radio 97.5, REAL FM 97.8, Αθήνα 9.84 (municipal radio station of Athens), Μελωδία 99.2, Βήμα FM 99.5, ΣΚΑΪ 100.3, Sfera 102.2, Nitro Radio, MAD Radio 106.2, in addition, there may be from one to several dozen regional commercial radio stations in the regions.

 

Armed forces

The Greek Armed Forces are state structures, unified armed forces and structural organizations, which, in accordance with the Greek Constitution, are designed to protect the freedom, independence and territorial integrity of the state and include the ground forces, naval forces and air forces of the Hellenic Republic . The armed forces of Greece are completed on the basis of the law on universal conscription, their number is 177,600 people.

The supreme governing body of the Armed Forces is the Greek Ministry of Defense, the military command and control body is the General Headquarters of the Greek National Defense (Greek Γενικό Επιτελείο Εθνικής Άμυνας - ΓΕΕΘΑ). Greece is a member of NATO and participates in operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chad and Kosovo and Metohija.

During the war of independence against the Ottoman Empire in 1821, the Greek land forces and navy were created. In September 1912, the Air Force was formed as the third branch of the armed forces. In the first Balkan War, the Greek army fought together with the allies of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro against Turkey. In the second Balkan War, the Greek army fought with other Balkan countries against Bulgaria. During the First World War, the Greek armed forces took part on the side of the allies. The Asia Minor campaign of 1919-1922 ended in defeat, turned into the loss of territories and the "Asia Minor catastrophe".

During World War II, Greece, under the leadership of dictator Ioannis Metaxas, rejected the Italian surrender ultimatum on October 28, 1940 and was able to fight back against Italian forces and shifted the hostilities to Albanian territory. The Greek armed forces were only defeated by the military intervention of the German Wehrmacht and the Bulgarian armed forces in April and May 1941.

The Greek armed forces participated in the Korean War in the 1950s. In April 1967, as a result of the rebellion, the military regime led by Georgios Papadopoulos seized power in Greece. The Cyprus conflict and the subsequent invasion of Cyprus by Turkish troops in 1974 led to the fall of the military dictatorship and the return to democracy through the efforts of Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis.

Greece spends the largest percentage of gross domestic product (4.3% of GDP) on defense among NATO member states. The main reason for the cost is the perception of a threat from Turkey.