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.
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
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.
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
Legendary home of Odysseus, Ithaca
still impresses anyone who visits this Mediterranean island.
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.
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.
January 25, 2015, early parliamentary elections were held. The
victory was won by the Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA), for which
36.34% of voters voted. Of the 300 seats in parliament, the
Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA) received 149 seats.