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In March , Otto's administration was pressured to draft a constitution to establish a new government. Under this document, the leader would reign as a constitutional monarch and the legislature would be elected by all property-holding males over the age of Otto managed to hold onto power for another decade, until the outbreak of the Crimean War — Otto sent troops to occupy Ottoman territory with the pretense of protecting Christians in the Balkans , but the European powers sided against him.
Otto, humiliated, was forced to give up his "Christian Cause" in the Balkans. He abdicated in During and after his rule, Greece gradually added islands and neighboring territories with Greek-speaking populations, including the Ionian Islands , ceded by the British in ; Thessaly, seized from Turkey in ; Macedonia, Crete, and some Aegean islands in ; and the Dodecanese Islands and Rhodes, ceded by Italy in The first half of the 20th century for Greece was a period of wars and rivalries with Turkey; of republican rule under the Cretan patriot Eleutherios Venizelos ; of occupation by Italy and Germany during World War II in World War I , Greece had been neutral for three years and had then sided with the Allies ; and of a five-year civil war — 49 between the government and the Communist-supported National Liberation Front, in which US aid under the Truman Doctrine played a significant role in defeating the insurgency.
For much of the decade, Greece backed demands by Greek Cypriots for enosis , or the union of Cyprus with Greece, but in , the Greek, Turkish, and Cypriot governments agreed on a formula for an independent Cyprus, which became a reality in King Paul died on 6 March and was succeeded by his son Constantine.
Meanwhile, a parliamentary crisis was brewing, as rightist and leftist elements struggled for control of the army, and the government sought to purge the military of political influence.
On 21 April , a right wing military junta staged a successful coup d'etat. Leftists were rounded up, press censorship was imposed, and political liberties were suspended.
After an unsuccessful countercoup on 13 December , King Constantine and the royal family fled to exile in Italy.
George Zoetakis was named regent to act for the king, and Col. George Papadopoulos was made premier. Under the new constitution, individual rights were held to be subordinate to the interests of the state, many powers of the king and legislature were transferred to the ruling junta, and the army was granted extended powers as overseer of civil order.
The constitution outlawed membership in the Communist Party. Nixon in September Following an abortive naval mutiny in , Greece was declared a republic by the surviving junta.
Papadopoulos became president, only to be overthrown by a group of officers following the bloody repression of a student uprising. The complicity of the junta in a conspiracy by Greek army officers on Cyprus against the government of Archbishop Makarios precipitated the final fall from power of Greece's military rulers in July , when the Turkish army intervened in Cyprus and overwhelmed the island's Greek contingent.
Constantine Karamanlis , a former prime minister and moderate, returned from exile to form a civilian government that effectively ended eight years of dictatorial rule.
General elections were held on 17 November , the first since , marking the recovery of democratic rule. On 7 June , a democratic constitution was adopted by the new legislature, although 86 of the members boycotted the session.
Karamanlis became Greece's first prime minister under the new system, and on 19 June , parliament elected Konstantinos Tsatsos as president.
The new prime minister, Andreas Papandreou — the son of former prime minister George Papandreou and a man accused by rightists in of complicity in an abortive leftist military plot — had campaigned on a promise to take Greece out of the EC although his government did not do so.
In January , the government declared a general amnesty for the Communist exiles of the — 49 civil war.
In mid, in an attempt to deal with the deepening economic crisis, the government created a ministry of national economy, which embraced industrial and commercial affairs.
The proposed "radical socialization" of the economy, however, provoked widespread opposition, which limited it to the introduction of worker participation in supervisory councils; state control was imposed only on the pharmaceutical industry in Of Greece's largest enterprises, only the Heracles Cement Co.
Relations with labor were strained as the government sought to balance worker demands that wages be indexed to inflation with the growing need for austerity; in late , the government imposed a two-year wage freeze, which provoked widespread strikes and demonstrations.
In , Prime Minister Papandreou unexpectedly withdrew his support for President Karamanlis's bid for a second five-year term and announced amendments to the constitution that would transfer powers from the president to the legislature and prime minister.
Karamanlis resigned and Papandreou proceeded with his proposed changes, calling an election in June and winning a mandate to follow through with them parliament's approval was given in March Subsequently, however, the government began to lose power; the opposition made substantial gains in the local elections, and a scandal associated with Papandreou further weakened the government.
In January , Papandreou met with Turkish premier Turgut Ozal in Switzerland ; they agreed to work toward solving the problems between the two countries.
Two rounds of parliamentary elections were held in ; neither was conclusive. After the June vote, the center-conservative New Democracy ND party, with of seats, formed a government with left wing parties and concentrated on investigating scandals of the Papandreou government, including those of the former prime minister himself.
That government resigned in the fall, and new elections were held in November. That government, however, also failed. In April elections, the ND emerged victorious to lead the government.
In the balloting of 10 October , PASOK won seats to for the ND and Papandreou was again elected prime minister, despite repeated scandals of both personal and political nature.
In , parliament appointed Konstandinos Stephanopoulos president. Voters appeared dissatisfied with ND's economic reforms while PASOK won support for its hardline foreign policy demanding that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia change its name.
Many Greeks believe the name of the newly independent state implies territorial designs on the northern Greek region, which once formed part of historic Macedonia.
In , Papandreou became ill and was not able to adequately perform his duties. In June of that year, Papandreou died at 77, ending the tumultuous political career of postwar Greece's most important — and controversial — politician.
In , Simitis, facing strong resistance to austerity measures from labor and farmers, called on the president to dissolve parliament and hold early elections.
Simitis had vowed not to call for a dissolution, but faced with mounting opposition to his austerity measures — taken to prepare the Greek economy for European monetary union in — felt he needed a reinforced mandate.
The election, held on 22 September , returned PASOK and Simitis to power, giving them, in fact, a commanding majority in parliament.
The next four years were highlighted by continued Greek-Turkish tension, and Simitis's push for Greek entry into the monetary union.
Relations with Turkey reached a new low in early when Turkey's most-wanted man, Kurdish terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan, was captured by the Turkish secret services in Nairobi , Kenya.
Ocalan had sought refuge in the Greek embassy and was seized while en route to the airport, apparently on the way to an asylum-granting country in Africa.
Ocalan's capture led to subsequent Turkish charges that the Greek state sponsored international terrorism. The outbreak of a war in Kosovo little over a month later also placed Greece in an awkward diplomatic position.
Although the overwhelming majority of the Greek public opposed the war, the Simitis government maintained its ties to NATO and offered logistical — although not combat — support to its allies.
Nevertheless, the widespread anti-Western backlash remained for some months. Unexpectedly, relations with Turkey began to significantly improve in August following a devastating earthquake in Turkey that killed over 20, Turkish citizens.
Greece was among the first countries to offer aid to its traditional foe. When a smaller earthquake struck Greece the following month, Turkey reciprocated the Greek gesture.
In the aftermath of the tragedies, Greece and Turkey continued a dialogue that resulted in the signing of cooperation accords in the areas of commerce and the fight against terrorism.
In addition, Greece supported the decision of the December European Union EU summit in Helsinki to place Turkey as a candidate for EU membership, which also contributed to improving relations between Greece and Turkey.
When the EU in late announced Turkey would not be one of 10 new candidate countries invited to join the body as of , Greece pressed the EU to set a date for the start of accession talks.
Greece itself entered the euro zone on 1 January Relations between the two countries also warmed due to cooperation on a project to build a natural gas pipeline connecting them; the pipeline was scheduled to be in operation by November Negotiations between the Greek and Turkish leaders in Cyprus were held in early to see if they could agree on a plan to unify the island prior to Cyprus signing an EU accession treaty on 16 April.
The talks failed, and the internationally recognized Greek government of Cyprus signed the accession treaty.
Yet he gave the coalition permission to use of Greece's airspace in launching strikes against Iraq. Greece's international standing received a boost when the country hosted the Summer Olympics.
In February , parliament elected Karolos Papoulias president by a vote of out of votes; he took office on 12 March Before the coup, executive power was vested in the crown but was exercised by a Council of Ministers appointed by the king and headed by a premier.
The constitution abolished the year-old Greek monarchy and created the office of president as head of state. If a majority in parliament fails to agree on the selection of a president, the office is filled in a general election.
The president, who is limited to two five-year terms, appoints the prime minister, who is head of government and requires the confidence of parliament to remain in power.
The constitution was amended in to reduce the power of the president, limiting his right to dissolve parliament on his own initiative and depriving him of the right to dismiss the prime minister, veto legislation, or proclaim a state of emergency; basically, these powers were transferred to parliament.
The prime minister selects a cabinet from among the members of parliament. Legislative power is vested in a parliament Vouli , a unicameral body of deputies elected by direct, universal, secret ballot for maximum four-year terms.
A proportional electoral system makes it possible for a party with a minority of the popular vote to have a parliamentary majority.
In the elections, voting was made compulsory for all persons aged 21 — 70 residing within km mi of their constituencies.
Suffrage is now universal and compulsory at age The Greek Rally, founded and led by Field Marshal Alexander Papagos, won control of the government in the elections.
When Papagos died in October , Constantine Karamanlis formed a new party called the National Radical Union, which won the elections of , , and and held power until , when Karamanlis resigned and the newly formed Center Union, comprising a coalition of liberals and progressives and led by George Papandreou, subsequently won a narrow plurality, with Papandreou becoming prime minister.
In elections held in February , the Center Union won out of seats; however, King Constantine dismissed Papandreou in July , and Stephanos Stephanopoulos formed a new government.
This government, too, was short-lived. Political conflict came to a head when Panayotis Kanellopoulos, leader of the National Radical Union, who had been appointed premier of a caretaker government, set new elections for 28 May On 21 April, however, a military coup resulted in the cancellation of elections and suppression of political parties, which lasted until On 28 September , following his return from exile, Karamanlis formed the New Democracy Party Nea Dimokratia — ND , advocating a middle course between left and right and promoting closer ties with Western Europe.
The EDHK disintegrated following the elections. In the general elections held on 17 November , the ND won an overwhelming majority in parliament, with the EKND forming the major opposition.
The ND was again the winner in , although its parliamentary majority dropped from to After parliament elected Karamanlis president in , George Rallis succeeded him as prime minister.
The ND followed with seats and an offshoot party, Political Spring, had 10 seats. The Communists gained 9 places. The Political Spring lost all its seats in the election, gaining only 2.
PASOK continued its dominance of the post era with yet another victory at the polls on 9 April Following the 7 March elections, ND increased its seats in parliament to The KKK gained one seat, winning 12 5.
The constitution restored the large measure of local self-government initially provided for in the constitution of and re-emphasized the principle of decentralization, although local units must depend on the central government for funding.
Under the military regime of — 74, local units had been closely controlled by the central authorities. Greece is divided into 13 regional governments periferiarchis , which are subdivided into 51 prefectures or nomarchies nomoi , in addition to the autonomous administration of Mt.
Each prefecture is governed by a prefect nomoi who is elected. There are also municipalities or demoi cities of more than 10, inhabitants , administered by mayors; communes with to 10, inhabitants , each run by a president and a community council; and localities.
The rocky promontory of Mt. The special status of Mt. The constitution Syntagma has been revised twice, in and in The constitution provides for an independent judiciary.
The constitution designates the Supreme Court Areios Pagos as the highest court of appeal. It consists of both penal and civil sections.
A Council of State does not hear cases but decides on administrative disputes, administrative violations of laws, and revision of disciplinary procedures affecting civil servants.
The Comptrollers Council decides cases of a fiscal nature. The constitution also established a Special Supreme Tribunal as a final arbiter in disputes arising over general elections and referenda, in addition to exercising review of the constitutionality of laws.
Other elements of the judicial system include justices of the peace, magistrates' courts, courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and various administrative courts.
Judges of the Supreme Court, the courts of appeal, and the courts of first instance are appointed for life on the recommendation of the Ministry of Justice.
The president has the constitutional right, with certain exceptions, to commute and reduce sentences. In Greece's active armed forces totaled , members and were supported by some , reservists.
As of that year, there were , active personnel in the Army, 19, in the Navy, and 23, in the Air Force.
The Greek field army has a large and varied combined arms structure, with units manned at three different levels of readiness: The 1, troops serving on Cyprus include 1 mechanized brigade.
The Army operates 1, main battle tanks, reconnaissance vehicles, armored infantry fighting vehicles, 1, armored personnel carriers, and 4, artillery pieces.
The Navy had 13 tactical submarines, 18 frigates, 4 corvettes, 36 patrol and coastal combatants, and 13 mine warfare vessels, as well as various amphibious and support vessels.
The Navy's aviation arm is focused on antisubmarine warfare and search and rescue. The Air Force operated combat capable aircraft in addition to fixed and rotary wing transport aircraft.
The paramilitary consisted of 4, coast guard and customs officers. Greek military personnel provided support to UN peacekeeping missions in seven countries or regions around the world.
The United States has one major naval base on Greek soil and several smaller installations. Greece is a charter member of the United Nations UN , having joined on 25 October , and participates in ECE and several nonregional specialized agencies.
Greece was admitted to NATO in but suspended its military participation — 80 because of the Cyprus conflict. Greece is also a permanent observer at the OAS.
The country became a full member of the European Union as of 1 January The Greek government continues to be in dispute with the neighboring Republic of Macedonia over the name of the latter.
Greece and Turkey have unresolved boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea and tension between the two countries has grown in connection with the Greek-Turkish disputes in the nation of Cyprus.
Greece has supported UN operations and missions in Kosovo est. Greece has guest status in the Nonaligned Movement.
The Greek economy suffers from a paucity of exploitable natural resources and a low level of industrial development relative to the rest of Western Europe.
By , it had fallen behind Portugal to become the poorest European Community now European Union — EU member; with the entrance into the EU of 10 primarily Eastern European nations in , that was no longer the case.
Agricultural exports include tobacco, cotton, wheat, raisins, currants, fresh fruits, tomato products, olive oil , and olives.
Next to food processing, textile manufacturing used to be the most important industry, but chemicals and metals and machinery have outstripped it in recent years.
Paper products has been a fast-growing industry since Greece has stimulated foreign investments in the development of its mineral resources by constitutionally providing guarantees for capital and profits.
Greece continues to play a dominant role in the international shipping industry. During the late s and s, the government took steps to reclaim land, develop new farms, increase credits and investments for agriculture, protect agricultural prices, and improve the agricultural product and utilize it to the best advantage; however, the country still depends on many imports to meet its food needs.
Industrial output contributed substantially to the rapid increase in national income after , and manufacturing and service industries were the fastest-growing sectors in the s.
In the s, however, the economy retracted sharply because of the worldwide recession and growth in real terms was sluggish. In the best year of the decade, , GDP grew by 4.
In , GDP dropped by 0. Greece entered into the EMU in Greece is a recipient of EU aid, amounting to 3. Spending on the Olympic Games contributed to an estimated general government deficit of 6.
GDP growth was expected to slow from 4. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity PPP rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars.
The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 3. The average inflation rate in was 3. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 6. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings.
It was estimated that for the period to household consumption grew at an average annual rate of 2. In , Greece's labor force was estimated at 4.
Unemployment was estimated at Altogether, there were over 4, trade unions. Unions were organized on a territorial rather than a plant basis: On a nationwide scale, union members of the same trade or profession form a federation; the General Confederation of Greek Workers GSEE is the central core of the private sector union movement.
Government plays an important role in labor-management relations. Collective bargaining and the right to strike are protected by law, although workers must give notice of an intent to strike 4 days for public utilities, 24 hours in the private sector.
Because of a history of compulsory arbitration as a means to resolve labor disputes, unions successfully lobbied for new legislation, passed in , which restricted the use of compulsory arbitration in favor of mediation procedures.
As of , the maximum legal workweek is 40 hours in the private sector and This amount provided a decent standard of living for a family.
Annual vacations of up to a month with pay are provided by law. In general, employment of children under the age of 15 in the industrial sector was prohibited.
The minimum age for children employed in cinemas, theaters and family businesses was Industrial health and safety standards are set by law and regularly enforced.
Agriculture in Greece suffers not only from natural limitations, such as poor soils and droughts, but also from soil erosion, lack of fertilizers, and insufficient capital investment.
The total farm labor force in was , full-time and nearly 1. In recent decades, Greek agriculture has been characterized by an increasing diversification of fruit crops for export.
Agricultural production of principal crops in was estimated as follows in thousands of tons: Progress has been made toward modernization in machinery and cultivation techniques.
Agricultural products, including processed foods, beverages, and tobacco, make up one-third of total exports. To expand agricultural production and encourage farm prosperity, the government exempts agricultural income from most taxes, extends liberal farm credits, and subsidizes agriculture.
It also operates a service by which individual growers or cooperatives may hire heavy farm equipment at low prices, encourages the development of industries that use farm products, provides educational programs, and has sought to halt the trend toward ever-smaller farm holdings.
There were , tractors, 5, harvester-threshers, and 13, milking machines in use in In there were 9,, sheep, 5,, goats, 1,, hogs, , head of cattle, 68, donkeys, 29, horses, 28, mules, and 28,, chickens.
Although production of milk, meat, and cheese has risen greatly since the end of World War II — 45 , Greece still must import substantial quantities of evaporated and condensed milk, cheese, cattle, sheep, hides, and meat.
Estimated meat production in included , tons of poultry, , tons of pork, , tons of mutton and goat meat, and 75, tons of beef and veal. Livestock products in included in thousands of tons cow's milk, ; sheep milk, ; goat milk, ; cheese, ; eggs, ; honey, 15; and butter, 4.
Recent modernization in machinery has especially helped poultry and hog operations. The fishing industry has expanded and been modernized in recent years.
In , the Greek fishing fleet consisted of 19, vessels with 97, GRT, and there were 33, people employed in small scale fisheries.
The total fish catch was , tons in Sponge fishing, formerly an important undertaking in the Dodecanese and other regions, decreased in volume from Much of the forest area was destroyed during the s, but the government's reforestation program planted more than million trees during the s and s.
Pine, fir, and oak are the most common trees, and resin and turpentine are the principal products. In , 1,, cu m 59,, cu ft of roundwood were harvested, including 1.
Sawn wood production in totaled , cu m 6,, cu ft , and wood-based panels, , cu m Production of timber is insufficient to meet the domestic demand, and many forestry products are imported.
The minerals industry, consisting of the mining, industrial minerals, and metal processing sectors, was a small but important part of the national economy.
Greece, the only Balkan country in the European Union EU , was the union's largest producer of bauxite, magnesium, nickel, and perlite, and was second to the United States in bentonite production from Milos Island.
Greek marble, produced in all parts of the country, continued to play a leading role in the international dimension stone market because of its versatility and many colors ash, black, brown, green, pink, red, and multicolored.
With the exception of bauxite, Greece's mines operated far below their productive capacity. A relatively small industrial base, lack of adequate investment, and distance from EU markets, have restricted the export potential of the country.
The emerging Balkan markets could offer opportunities for growth. Northern Greece was thought to contain a significant amount of exploitable mineral resources, and most new activities were directed toward gold.
Production in of bauxite was 2. Nickel content of ferronickel output in was estimated at 18, metric tons, while crude perlite production in that year was estimated at , metric tons, up from , metric tons in Also produced in were alumina, lead, manganese, silver, barite, cement, kaolin, feldspar, gypsum from Crete , anhydrite, nitrogen, pozzolan Santorin earth, from Milos , pumice from Yali , salt, silica, sodium compounds, dolomite, marble, flysch, quartz, sulfur, zeolite, and crude construction materials.
No asbestos was produced in Other mineral deposits of commercial importance were antimony, gold placer dredger , asbestos, emery, ceramic clay, talc, and limestone.
Industrial processing of mineral ores was very limited until the s and s, when facilities for refining nickeliferous iron ore and bauxite were developed.
Coal and oil are imported to supply power for the many small generating plants spread over the country. In , the government-organized Public Power Corp.
In , the first two units of the Kremasta hydroelectric station were opened; by , installed capacity totaled Production of electricity increased from 8, million kWh in to 50, million kWh in , of which Greece has actively explored offshore oil resources.
Total production, however, fell from 25, to 6, barrels per day between and In , oil production totaled an estimated 6, barrels per day, of which crude oil accounted for 2, barrels per day, from reserves estimated at 7 million barrels, as of 1 January Natural gas production in totaled an estimated 1.
Two-thirds of Greece's imports of natural gas come from Russia, with the remainder from Algeria. Greece's only substantial fossil fuel resource is brown coal , or lignite.
Its lignite reserves totaled an estimated 4, million short tons in , with production and consumption estimated at Manufacturing, which now ranks ahead of agriculture as an income earner, has increased rapidly owing to a vigorous policy of industrialization.
However, Greek industry must rely on imports for its raw materials, machinery, parts, and fuel. Greece has only a rudimentary iron and steel industry and does not manufacture basic transport equipment, such as cars and trucks.
Industry is concentrated in the Athens area. Chief industries in were food, beverages and tobacco; metals and metals manufactures; machinery and electrical goods; chemicals; textiles; and nonmetallic minerals.
Although the government controls certain basic industries, such as electric power and petroleum refining, most industry is privately owned.
The portion of government-controlled industries is declining as the state has divested itself of substantial control over key holdings such as Olympic Airways and the telecommunications company, OTE.
There is substantial room for investment in tourism infrastructure. High technology equipment is a growth sector, as are the production of electrical machinery, office machinery and computers, defense products, building products and equipment, medical equipment, environmental engineering products and services, and certain agricultural products.
The Academy of Athens, founded in , oversees the activities of research institutes in astronomy and applied mathematics and in atmospheric physics and climatology.
Greece has five other scientific research institutes. Specialized scientific learned societies include the Association of Greek Chemists, founded in , and the Greek Mathematical Society, founded in , both headquartered in Athens.
Advanced scientific and technical training is provided at nine colleges and universities. The University of Athens has maintained a zoological museum since In the early s, the government established a Ministry of Research and Technology to foster scientific and technological development.
Foreign sources accounted for Industry and trade are centered on about 20 seaports throughout the country. Athens, Piraeus, and Thessaloniki are the principal commercial cities; importers and exporters have offices in these cities and branches in other centers.
There are about , wholesale and retail trading establishments in the country. In general, small shops specialize in particular lines of merchandise, but there are a growing number of department stores.
Most people buy in the small shops and in the markets. Usual private sector business hours are from 8 or 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.
Banking hours are from 8: Stores are open from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, but some have longer evening hours.
Businesses are often closed for extended vacations throughout July and August, reopening in September after the annual trade fair.
Advertising is used widely in the towns and cities, and several advertising agencies are active in Athens and Thessaloniki.
The most common media are television, newspapers, radio, films, billboards, neon signs, and window displays.
The principal annual trade fair is the International Fair of Thessaloniki, held in September. Garments and cotton have traditionally provided Greece with the most exports, followed by petroleum products; fruit, nuts, and vegetable oils; and tobacco.
Tobacco exports from Greece are substantial on the world commodities export market. In , the major exports were machinery The major imports in were machinery Trade is the second-largest services sub-sector, after property management.
The transportation and communications sector has grown in importance following the liberalization of the telecommunications market, while the financial services sector also increased in the mids.
Greece's leading markets in were Germany Leading suppliers included Germany Because it imports more than twice the value of its exports, Greece has registered chronic annual deficits in its balance of payments.
The major contributors to Greece's foreign exchange earnings are tourism, shipping services, and remittances from Greek workers abroad.
Greece's relatively small industrial base and lack of substantial investment since the mids limited the country's export potential. Greece's productive base expanded in and , however, in part due to a thriving stock exchange , and low interest rates.
A devaluation of the drachma in and Greece's inclusion in the euro zone in restored Greek competitiveness. The current-account balance averaged The government-controlled Bank of Greece founded in is the central bank and the bank of issue; it also engages in other banking activities, although the European Central Bank is in charge of monetary policy.
There are 33 Greek commercial banks, which are dominated by two massive, state-controlled banking groups, the National Bank and the Commercial Bank.
Nineteen of the commercial banks are foreign, including three American banks. The two leading private banks are Alpha Credit and Ergo, which ranked third and fifth, respectively, in in the Greek banking industry in terms of assets.
In , as part of a general privatization program, the government began selling shares in the National Bank of Greece and Ionian Bank was sold outright and taken over by Alpha Credit.
The Currency Committee, composed of five cabinet ministers, controls the eight specialized credit institutions: The money supply in , as measured by M1, was The Athens Stock Exchange Chrimatisterion was founded by royal decree in In , significant reforms were instituted, including more stringent listing requirements, bringing about a rapid increase in the number of listed securities.
New legislation was introduced in to expand and liberalize its activities. The rule changes provided for the establishment of brokerage companies, thus breaking the traditional closed shop of individual brokers.
In there were 53 brokerage houses and just 6 private brokers. Computerized trading was implemented in and there has since been a rapid evolution of the market.
A satellite trading floor was established in Thessaloniki in In , Greek law was harmonized with the European Union financial services directive, and banks may now be directly represented on the floor of the exchange instead of having to establish subsidiary brokerage houses.
The late s witnessed a boom on the exchange. However, this expansion did not continue into the new millennium. Between and , the index lost In , the ASE rose Most of Greece's large insurance companies are partly or wholly owned by banks.
In addition, insurers are required to join several unions, trade groups, and insurance pools. Brokers in Greece also must be accepted by the Ministry of Trade.
In Greece, the social security scheme and third-party automobile liability insurance are compulsory. Insurance companies have begun to develop private pension schemes and corporate pension schemes.
However, most occupational pension funds remain under state control because they are part financed by state-enacted levies.
Insurance companies have also been responsible for the recent explosion in unit trusts mutual funds , from two in to in December , when there were more than D2 trillion 7.
The state budget includes ordinary revenues and expenditures and a special investment budget administered by the Ministry of Coordination.
Public payrolls, liberal social security benefits, and loss-generating state owned companies have all contributed to a government deficit.
Recent austerity measures implemented to meet the criteria for European Monetary Union membership significantly lowered the budget shortfall.
Public debt in amounted to A discount of 2. A surcharge is applied to gross rental income, but the surcharge is not to exceed the primary corporate tax.
Dividends paid to the corporate or individual shareholder are not taxed. Various deductions or tax credits can be applied to taxable income for medical and hospitalization expenses; social security taxes; interest payments on home loans; and donations to charitable organizations, with special deductions for families whose income is derived primarily from their own work on agricultural enterprises.
Gift and inheritance taxes, property taxes on large estates having a certain value, real estate transfer taxes, and taxes on urban property and rural property are also levied.
Excise duties are charged on tobacco, alcohol, gasoline, and automobiles. The import tariff protects domestic products and provides a source of government revenue.
Many Greek industries are not yet large enough or sufficiently modern to compete in price with foreign products, either in markets abroad or in Greece itself.
As a full member of the European Union EU since , Greece eliminated its remaining tariffs and quotas on imports from EU nations by and aligned its own tariffs on imports from other countries with those of EU members.
Greek exports to EU countries are tariff-free. Imports from non-EU countries are subject to the EU's common customs tariff. Textiles, electronics, and some food products have higher rates.
Motor vehicles, yachts, and motorcycles are subject to special duties. The government encourages foreign capital investment and protects foreign investors against compulsory appropriation of their assets in Greece.
Incentives include reduced tax rates and increased depreciation rates. From — 05, FDI inflows averaged 0. Greece's investment abroad is directed primarily to the Balkans.
Until the mids, Greek governments devoted themselves principally to expanding agricultural and industrial production, controlling prices and inflation, improving state finances, developing natural resources, and creating basic industries.
In , the Karamanlis government undertook a series of austerity measures designed to curb inflation and redress the balance-of-payments deficit.
A new energy program included plans for stepped-up exploitation of oil and lignite reserves, along with uranium exploration in northern Greece.
Increased efforts at import substitution were to be undertaken in all sectors. On 7 March , in an effort to strengthen confidence in the national currency, the government announced that the value of the drachma would no longer be quoted in terms of a fixed link with the US dollar, but would be based on daily averages taken from the currencies of Greece's main trade partners.
The Socialist government that took office in promised more equal distribution of income and wealth through "democratic planning" and measures to control inflation and increase productivity.
It imposed controls on prices and credit and began to restructure public corporations. But the government was cautious in introducing what it called "social control in certain key sectors" of the economy, and it ordered detailed studies to be made first.
Its development policies emphasized balanced regional growth and technological modernization, especially in agriculture. Twenty-eight industrial companies were to be privatized.
As a consequence, his government instituted an austerity program aimed to tackle chronically high inflation, unemployment, and a bloated public sector.
By — 99, these policies showed significant progress. Greece gained admission to the EMU in , and adopted the euro as its new currency in The Greek economy was growing at rates above European Union EU averages from — 05; however, unemployment and inflation rates were still higher than in most euro-area countries.
Greece benefits from EU aid, equal to about 3. Privatization of state-owned enterprises has moved at a relatively slow pace, especially in the telecommunications, banking, aerospace, and energy sectors.
In , preparations for the Olympics drove investment, but spending on the Olympic Games contributed to a general government deficit of 6.
With the aid of EU grants, Greece will need to update its infrastructure, especially in the northern regions and on the islands. Improvements in road, rail, harbor, and airport links financed through the EU's Community Support Framework CSF programs have contributed to economic decentralization.
The Social Insurance Foundation, the national social security system, is supported by contributions from employees, employers and the government.
It provides for old age, disability and survivorship. Work injury and unemployment benefits are also provided. Sickness and maternity benefits have been in place since Current benefits include medical care, hospitalization, medicine, maternity care, dental coverage, appliances, and transportation.
Payments also include birth and funeral grants. Although the law mandates equal pay for equal work, according to statistics in women's pay amounted to Domestic violence and rape remains underreported, and the number of prosecutions and convictions is low.
Women are beginning to enter traditionally male-oriented careers such as law and medicine, but only make up Sexual harassment is specifically prohibited by law.
Occasional human rights abuses, involving residents, illegal aliens and persons in custody, have been reported. Government measures to improve prison conditions continue.
The constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, language, religion, or political beliefs. In practice the government does not always protect these rights.
Since World War II, the government has broadened health services by building new hospitals and providing more clinics and medical personnel. Total health care expenditure was estimated at 8.
As of , there were an estimated physicians per , people. There are severe air quality problems in Athens.
Pulmonary tuberculosis, dysentery, and malaria, which were once endemic, have been controlled. The incidence of typhoid, which was formerly of epidemic proportions, dropped to only cases in following the application of US aid to improve sanitary conditions in more than villages.
In , the infant mortality rate was 5. The total fertility rate in 2. The birthrate was an estimated 9. The sharp birth rate decline since World War II has been attributed to the legalization of abortion.
In , life expectancy averaged As of , the overall mortality rate was estimated at 9. There were an estimated deaths from AIDS in Construction of new dwellings including repairs and extensions reached 88, units in and rose to , in Most new construction is in Athens or Thessaloniki, indicating the emphasis on urban development.
Considerable amounts of private investment have been spent on the construction of apartment houses in urban areas. In , the total number of dwelling units was 5,, Education is free and compulsory for nine years beginning at age six, and primary education lasts for six years.
Secondary education is comprised of two steps: At the upper secondary levels, students may choose to attend a three-year vocational school.
The central and local governments pay the cost of state schools, and private schools are state-regulated. The academic year runs from September to June.
Greek is the primary language of instruction. Nearly all students complete their primary education. The student-to-teacher ratio for primary school was at about In July , the Socialist government initiated a program to democratize the higher-education system; a law was approved that diminished the power of individual professors by establishing American-style departments with integrated faculties.
Junior faculty members and representatives of the student body were granted a role in academic decision-making.
The legislation also curbed university autonomy by establishing the National University Council to advise the government on higher-education planning, and the Academy of Letters and Sciences to set and implement university standards.
Greece has six major universities: There are several technological educational institutions, which offer nondegree programs of higher education.
Private universities are constitutionally banned. Both the National Library and the Library of Parliament 1. Public libraries are located mainly in provincial capitals, and there are regional libraries with book-mobile services for rural areas.
Besides the libraries attached to the universities and other educational institutions, there are several specialized research libraries located in Athens.
Outstanding special collections can be found at the Democritus Nuclear Research Center 91, volumes , the Center of Planning and Economic Research 30, volumes , the Athens Center of Ekistics 30, volumes , and the Gennadius Library 80, volumes , which houses a large collection on modern Greek history.
Being at the crossroads of different civilizations and an important European country, there are several libraries attached to various cultural and ethnic studies centers.
Most museums are devoted to antiquities and archaeology. One of the richest collections of Greek sculpture and antiquities is found at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, which is also home to the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Benaki Museum, and Kanellopoulos Museum.
The most impressive archaeological remains, of course, are the great temples and palaces at Athens particularly the Parthenon and the Stoa of Attalos , Corinth, Salonika, Delphi , Olympia , Mycenae, the island of Delos, and Knossos, on Crete.
There are also notable museums dedicated to the work of other cultures, including the Byzantine Museum and the Jewish Museum, both in Athens.
The Greek Telecommunications Authority operates domestic telegraph and telephone communications. In , there were an estimated mainline telephones for every 1, people; about 1, people were on a waiting list for telephone service installation.
The same year, there were approximately mobile phones in use for every 1, people. Radio Athens broadcasts are carried by provincial relay stations located in various parts of the country; other stations are operated by the Greek armed forces and by the Hellenic National Radio and Television Institute.
There are numerous independent radio and television stations. In , there were an estimated radios and television sets for every 1, people.
The same year, there were There were secure Internet servers in the country in In , there were over daily papers throughout the country.
The largest Athens dailies with estimated circulation rates are To Vima , , Eleftheros Typos , , Ta Nea , , Ethnos 84, , Apogevmatini 72, , and Avriani 51, The constitution provides for freedom of speech and press, and with a few exceptions the government is said to respect these rights.
On matters involving the politically sensitive subject of the recognition of certain ethnic minorities, it is reported that the government is restrictive.
The constitution also allows for seizure of publications that insult the president, offend religious beliefs, contain obscene articles, advocate violent overthrow of the political system, or disclose military and defense information.
However, such action is very rare. Most of the larger cities and towns have associations of commerce, industry, handicrafts, and finance.
The Federation of Greek Industries draws together many of these business and manufacturing organizations. The Academy of Athens serves to promote public interest in science and works to improve availability and effectiveness in science education programs.
Artists, writers, musicians, educators, and journalists are organized into professional associations. Scholarly societies include those devoted to archaeology, anthropology, geography, history, political science , and sociology.
Several professional associations also promote research and education in their field. There are several sports organization in Greece, including the historical societies of the Hellenic Federation of Ancient Olympic Games and the International Society of Olympic Historians.
The World Chess Federation is based in Athens. Principal tourist sites, in addition to the world-famous Parthenon and Acropolis in Athens, include Mt.
Olympus the home of the gods in ancient mythology , the site of the ancient oracle at Delphi, the Agora at Corinth, the natural spring at the rock of the Acropolis, and the Minoan ruins on Crete.
Popular sports include swimming at the many beaches, sailing, water-skiing, fishing, golf, and mountain climbing. The Greek government encourages tourists and facilitates their entry and accommodation.
A passport is needed for admission; residents of the United States, Australia, Canada , and 37 other countries do not require a visa for a stay of up to 90 days.
About 14,, tourists visited Greece in There were , hotel rooms in with , beds. The average length of stay that same year was seven nights.
The origins of Western literature and of the main branches of Western learning may be traced to the era of Greek greatness that began before bc with the epics of Homer possibly born in Asia Minor , the Iliad and the Odyssey.
The poets Alcaeus ? The fables of the slave Aesop b. Three of the world's greatest dramatists were Aeschylus — bc , author of the Oresteia trilogy; Sophocles ?
Three great historians were Herodotus b. Outstanding literary figures of the Hellenistic period were Menander — ?
Noteworthy in the Roman period were Strabo b. The leading philosophers of the period preceding Greece's golden age were Thales b.
His greatest pupil, Plato ? Plato's pupil Aristotle — bc established the rules of deductive reasoning but also used observation and inductive reasoning, applying himself to the systematic study of almost every form of human endeavor.
Outstanding in the Hellenistic period were Epicurus ? The oath of Hippocrates ? The sculptor Phidias ? Another renowned sculptor was Praxiteles ?
The legal reforms of Solon ? The Athenian general Miltiades ? With the decline of Athens, first Sparta and then Thebes, under the great military tactician Epaminondas ?
It was against Philip that Demosthenes — bc , the greatest Greek orator, directed his diatribes, the Philippics. The most renowned Greek painter during the Renaissance was El Greco Domenikos Theotokopoulos, — , born in Crete, whose major works, painted in Spain, have influenced many 20th-century artists.
An outstanding modern literary figure is Nikos Kazantzakis — , a novelist and poet who composed a vast sequel to Homer's Odyssey.
Leading modern poets are Kostes Palamas — , Georgios Drosines — , and Constantine Cavafy — , as well as George Seferis Seferiades, — 72 , and Odysseus Elytis Alepoudhelis, — 96 , winners of the Nobel Prize for literature in and , respectively.
The work of social theorist Cornelius Castoriadis — 97 is known for its multidisciplinary breadth. Musicians of stature are the composers Nikos Skalkottas — 49 , Iannis Xenakis b.
Romania, — , and Mikis Theodorakis b. United States, — Actresses of note are Katina Paxinou — 73 ; Melina Mercouri — 94 , who was appointed minister of culture and science in the Socialist cabinet in ; and Irene Papas Lelekou, b.
Outstanding Greek public figures in the 20th century include Cretan-born Eleutherios Venizelos — , prominent statesman of the interwar period; Ioannis Metaxas — , dictator from until his death; Constantine Karamanlis — 98 , prime minister — 63, — 80 and president — 85 of Greece; George Papandreou — , head of the Center Union Party and prime minister — 65 ; and his son Andreas Papandreou — 96 , the PASOK leader who became prime minister in Ancient Israel and Ancient Greece: Religion, Politics, and Culture.
State University of New York Press, The Parthenon and Its Sculptures. Cambridge University Press, An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture.
Notes from the Balkans: Princeton University Press, Women Poets in Ancient Greece and Rome. University of Oklahoma Press, The Empty Cradle of Democracy: Sex, Abortion, and Nationalism in Modern Greece.
Duke University Press, Oxford University Press, New Haven , Conn.: Yale University Press, A Civilization on the Periphery.
History, Culture, and Society. Upper Saddle River, N. Pearson Prentice Hall, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. Los Angeles , Calif.: Paul Getty Museum, Encyclopedia of Greece and the Hellenic Tradition.
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Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http: Greek legend tells that Titans battling Olympian gods once hurled giant rocks at Zeus in an attempt to knock him out of the sky.
Their missiles piled up to become the mountains which blanket Greece, and stray boulders splashed into the sea to form the islands that serve as stepping stones across the Aegean.
In the past 30 years, Greece has changed from an agrarian to a semi industrial economy, but on the few fertile plains and many rocky slopes of this tip of the Balkan Peninsula , farmers herd sheep or tend olive groves, wheat fields, and vineyards, as did their ancestors for a thousand years.
Each province preserves its traditional costume, brightening the festivals held in the small, square dominated villages. Throughout the storied isles of Greece-some lie in the Aegean and Ionian Seas and account for a fifth of the nation's area-the white of house and church glints against the blue of sky, and men go down to the sea for sponges and fish.
This seafaring tradition gives Greece the world's largest merchant tonnage-more than half of it registered under foreign flags for tax reasons.
During the Bronze Age BC a maritime civilization flourished. By BC Greece was undergoing a cultural and military revival, with the evolution of city-states, the most powerful of which were Athens and Sparta.
This period was followed by an era of great prosperity known as the classical or Golden Age. During this time, a tradition of democracy was ushered in.
The classical age came to an end with the Peloponnesian Wars AD in which the militaristic Spartans defeated the Athenians. Greece became a part of the Byzantine Empire in AD.
By the 12th century, the Crusades were in full flight and Byzantine power was much reduced by invasions.