Greece

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Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. In World War II, Greece was first invaded by Italy (1940) and subsequently occupied by Germany (1941-44); fighting endured in a protracted civil war between supporters of the king and other anti-communist and communist rebels. Following the latter's defeat in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. In 1967, a group of military officers seized power, establishing a military dictatorship that suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country. In 1974 following the collapse of the dictatorship, democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy. In 1981, Greece joined the EC (now the EU); it became the 12th member of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 2001. Since 2010, the prospect of a Greek default on its euro-denominated debt has created severe strains within the EMU and raised the question of whether a member country might voluntarily leave the common currency or be removed.

Geography

Location

Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey

Geographic coordinates

39.00° N, 22.00° E

Area 97/257

total: 131,957 sq km

land: 130,647 sq km

water: 1,310 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Alabama

Land boundaries

total: 1,110 km

border countries (4): Albania 212 km, Bulgaria 472 km, Macedonia 234 km, Turkey 192 km

Coastline

13,676 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate

temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers

Terrain

mountainous with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m

highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m

Natural resources

lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential

Land use

agricultural land: 63.4%

arable land 19.7%; permanent crops 8.9%; permanent pasture 34.8%

forest: 30.5%

other: 6.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

15,550 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

74.25 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 9.47 cu km/yr (9%/2%/89%)

per capita: 841.4 cu m/yr (2007)

Natural hazards

severe earthquakes

volcanism: Santorini (elev. 367 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; although there have been very few eruptions in recent centuries, Methana and Nisyros in the Aegean are classified as historically active

Environment - current issues

air pollution; water pollution

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds

Geography - note

strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits; a peninsular country, possessing an archipelago of about 2,000 islands

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Greek(s)

adjective: Greek

Ethnic groups

population: Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7% (2001 census)

note: percents represent citizenship, since Greece does not collect data on ethnicity

Languages

Greek (official) 99%, other (includes English and French) 1%

Religions

Greek Orthodox (official) 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%

Population 83/238

10,775,643 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 14.01% (male 777,647/female 732,137)

15-24 years: 9.72% (male 534,855/female 512,183)

25-54 years: 42.97% (male 2,306,832/female 2,323,787)

55-64 years: 12.84% (male 679,033/female 704,833)

65 years and over: 20.46% (male 964,736/female 1,239,600) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 56.2%

youth dependency ratio: 22.8%

elderly dependency ratio: 33.4%

potential support ratio: 3% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 43.8 years

male: 42.8 years

female: 44.9 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 199/233

-0.01% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 214/224

8.66 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 32/225

11.09 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 44/222

2.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 78% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 0.47% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

ATHENS (capital) 3.052 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

31.2 (2010 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 183/184

3 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 178/224

total: 4.7 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 5.16 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 34/224

total population: 80.43 years

male: 77.83 years

female: 83.2 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 210/224

1.42 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 32/191

9.8% of GDP (2013)

Hospital bed density

4.8 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 99.2% of population

rural: 98.1% of population

total: 99% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0.8% of population

rural: 1.9% of population

total: 1% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 96/191

25.1% (2014)

Education expenditures 111/173

4.1% of GDP (2005)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 18 years

male: 18 years

female: 18 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 3/134

total: 64.2%

male: 53.6%

female: 58.3% (2013 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Hellenic Republic

conventional short form: Greece

local long form: Elliniki Dimokratia

local short form: Ellas or Ellada

former: Hellenic State, Kingdom of Greece

etymology: the English name derives from the Roman (Latin) designation "Graecia," meaning "Land of the Greeks"; the Greeks call their country "Hellas" or "Ellada"

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Athens

geographic coordinates: 37.59° N, 23.44° E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions

13 regions (perifereies, singular - perifereia) and 1 autonomous monastic state* (aftonomi monastiki politeia); Agion Oros* (Mount Athos), Anatoliki Makedonia kai Thraki (East Macedonia and Thrace), Attiki (Attica), Dytiki Ellada (West Greece), Dytiki Makedonia (West Macedonia), Ionia Nisia (Ionian Islands), Ipeiros (Epirus), Kentriki Makedonia (Central Macedonia), Kriti (Crete), Notio Aigaio (South Aegean), Peloponnisos (Peloponnese), Sterea Ellada (Central Greece), Thessalia (Thessaly), Voreio Aigaio (North Aegean)

Independence

3 February 1830 (from the Ottoman Empire); note - 25 March 1821, outbreak of the national revolt against the Ottomans; 3 February 1830, signing of the London Protocol recognizing Greek independence by Great Britain, France, and Russia

National holiday

Independence Day, 25 March (1821)

Constitution

many previous; latest entered into force 11 June 1975; amended 1986, 2001, 2008 (2015)

Legal system

civil legal system based on Roman law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Greece

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Karolos PAPOULIAS (since 12 March 2005)

head of government: Prime Minister Alexis TSIPRAS (since 21 September 2015); note - Vassiliki THANOU-CHRISTOFILOU served as Interim Prime Minister beginning on 27 August 2015 after the resignation of Alexis TSIPRAS on 20 August 2015; she was Greece's first female prime minister

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister

elections/appointments: president elected by Hellenic Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 18 February 2015 (next to be held by February 2020); president appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party or coalition in the Hellenic Parliament

election results: Prokopios PAVLOPOULOS (ND) elected president by Parliament - 233 of 300 votes

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Hellenic Parliament or Vouli ton Ellinon (300 seats; 288 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 12 seats are filled from nationwide party lists; 50 seats allocated to the party with the highest total valid vote count and remaining seats are apportioned according to each party's or coalition's vote pecentage; members serve up to 4 years)

elections: last held on 20 September 2015 (next to be held by 2019); note - snap elections were called because of upheaval in the governing SYRIZA party over a new bailout deal with international creditors

election results: percent of vote by party - SYRIZA 35.5%, ND 28.1%, Golden Dawn 7.0%, PASOK-DIMAR 6.3%, KKE 5.6%, To Potami 4.1%, ANEL 3.7%, EK 3.4%, other 6.3%; seats by party - SYRIZA 145, ND 75, Golden Dawn 18, PASOK-DIMAR 17, KKE 15, To Potami 11, ANEL 10, EK 9; note - only parties surpassing a 3% threshold are entitled to parliamentary seats; parties need 10 seats to become formal parliamentary groups but can retain that status if the party participated in the last election and received the minimum 3% threshold

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Hellenic Supreme Court of Civil and Penal Law (consists of 56 judges)

judge selection and term of office: judges selected by the Supreme Judicial Council which includes the president of the Supreme Court, other judges, and the prosecutor of the Supreme Court; judges appointed for life following a 2-year probationary period

subordinate courts: Supreme Administrative Court; Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; Court of Auditors

Political parties and leaders

Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow or ANTARSYA [collective leadership]

Coalition of the Radical Left or SYRIZA [Alexios (Alexis) TSIPRAS]

Communist Party of Greece or KKE [Dimitrios KOUTSOUMBAS]

Democratic Left or DIMAR [Athanasios (Thanassis) THEOCHAROPOULOS]

Golden Dawn [Nikolaos MICHALOLIAKOS]

Independent Greeks or ANEL [Panagiotis (Panos) KAMMENOS]

Movement of Democratic Socialists or KIDISO [Georgiose PAPANDREOU]

New Democracy or ND [Vasileios (Vassilis) MEIMARAKIS]

Panhellenic Socialist Movement or PASOK [Fofi GENIMMATA]

Popular Unity [Panagiotis LAFAZANIS]

To Potami (The River) [Stavros THEODORAKIS]

Union of Centrists or EK [Vassilis LEVENTIS]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Supreme Administration of Civil Servants Unions or ADEDY [Spyros PAPASPYROS]

Federation of Greek Industries or SEV [Dimitris DASKALOPOULOS]

General Confederation of Greek Workers or GSEE [Ioannis PANAGOPOULOS]

International organization participation

Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Flag description

nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white; a blue square bearing a white cross appears in the upper hoist-side corner; the cross symbolizes Greek Orthodoxy, the established religion of the country; there is no agreed upon meaning for the nine stripes or for the colors; the exact shade of blue has never been set by law and has varied from a light to a dark blue over time

National symbol(s)

Greek cross (white cross on blue field, arms equal length); national colors: blue, white

National anthem

name: "Ymnos eis tin Eleftherian" (Hymn to Liberty)

lyrics/music: Dionysios SOLOMOS/Nikolaos MANTZAROS

note: adopted 1864; the anthem is based on a 158-stanza poem by the same name, which was inspired by the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottomans (only the first two stanzas are used); Cyprus also uses "Hymn to Liberty" as its anthem

Economy

Economy - overview

Greece has a capitalist economy with a public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP about two-thirds that of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 18% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, mainly in agricultural and unskilled jobs. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP.

The Greek economy averaged growth of about 4% per year between 2003 and 2007, but the economy went into recession in 2009 as a result of the world financial crisis, tightening credit conditions, and Athens' failure to address a growing budget deficit. By 2013 the economy had contracted 26%, compared with the pre-crisis level of 2007. Greece met the EU's Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criterion of no more than 3% of GDP in 2007-08, but violated it in 2009, with the deficit reaching 15% of GDP. Deteriorating public finances, inaccurate and misreported statistics, and consistent underperformance on reforms prompted major credit rating agencies to downgrade Greece's international debt rating in late 2009, and led the country into a financial crisis. Under intense pressure from the EU and international market participants, the government accepted a bailout program that called on Athens to cut government spending, decrease tax evasion, overhaul the civil-service, health-care, and pension systems, and reform the labor and product markets. Austerity measures reduced the deficit to 3% in 2015. Successive Greek governments, however, failed to push through many of the most unpopular reforms in the face of widespread political opposition, including from the country's powerful labor unions and the general public.

In April 2010, a leading credit agency assigned Greek debt its lowest possible credit rating, and in May 2010, the International Monetary Fund and euro-zone governments provided Greece emergency short- and medium-term loans worth $147 billion so that the country could make debt repayments to creditors. In exchange for the largest bailout ever assembled, the government announced combined spending cuts and tax increases totaling $40 billion over three years, on top of the tough austerity measures already taken. Greece, however, struggled to meet the targets set by the EU and the IMF, especially after Eurostat - the EU's statistical office - revised upward Greece's deficit and debt numbers for 2009 and 2010. European leaders and the IMF agreed in October 2011 to provide Athens a second bailout package of $169 billion. The second deal called for holders of Greek government bonds to write down a significant portion of their holdings to try to alleviate Greece’s government debt burden. However, Greek banks, saddled with a significant portion of sovereign debt, were adversely affected by the write down and $60 billion of the second bailout package was set aside to ensure the banking system was adequately capitalized. In exchange for the second bailout, Greece promised to step up efforts to increase tax collection, to reduce the size of government, and to rein in health spending, austerity measures aimed at generating $7.8 billion in savings during 2013-15. However, the austerity prolonged Greece's economic recession and depressed tax revenues.

In 2014, the Greek economy began to turn the corner on the recession. Greece achieved three significant milestones in 2014: balancing the budget - not including debt repayments; issuing government debt in financial markets for the first time since 2010; and generating 0.8% GDP growth—the first economic expansion since 2007. Despite the nascent recovery, widespread discontent with austerity measures helped propel the far-left Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party into government in national legislative elections in January 2015. Between January and July 2015, frustrations between the SYRIZA-led government and Greece’s EU and IMF creditors over the implementation of bailout measures and disbursement of funds led the Greek government to run up significant arrears to suppliers and Greek banks to rely on emergency lending, and also called into question Greece’s future in the euro zone. To stave off a collapse of the banking system, Greece imposed capital controls in June 2015 shortly before rattling international financial markets by becoming the first developed nation to miss a loan payment to the IMF. Unable to reach an agreement with creditors, Prime Minister Alexios TSIPRAS held a nationwide referendum on 5 July on whether to accept the terms of Greece’s bailout, campaigning for the ultimately successful “no” vote. The TSIPRAS government subsequently agreed, however, to a new $96 billion bailout in order to avert Greece’s exit from the monetary bloc. On 20 August, Greece signed its third bailout which allowed it to cover significant debt payments to its EU and IMF creditors and ensure the banking sector retained access to emergency liquidity. The TSIPRAS government—which retook office on 20 September after calling new elections in late August—successfully secured disbursal of two delayed tranches bailout funds. Despite the economic turmoil, Greek GDP fell by only 2.3% in 2015, boosted in part by a strong tourist season.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 56/230

$281.6 billion (2015 est.)

$288.1 billion (2014 est.)

$285.9 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$193 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 208/225

-2.3% (2015 est.)

0.8% (2014 est.)

-3.9% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 72/230

$25,600 (2015 est.)

$26,200 (2014 est.)

$26,000 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 150/179

9.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

11.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

12.3% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 71.9%

government consumption: 19%

investment in fixed capital: 9.3%

investment in inventories: -1.7%

exports of goods and services: 31.8%

imports of goods and services: -30.3%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3.9%

industry: 13.3%

services: 82.8% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes; beef, dairy products

Industries

tourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate 180/202

-2.6% (2015 est.)

Labor force 87/233

4.774 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 12.5%

industry: 13.9%

services: 73.6% (2013 est.)

Unemployment rate 179/207

25.8% (2015 est.)

26.5% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

44% (2013 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.2%

highest 10%: 25.6% (2013 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 95/144

34.5 (2013 est.)

33 (2005)

Budget

revenues: $91.3 billion

expenditures: $97.18 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 21/219

47.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 113/220

-3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 3/176

182% of GDP (2015 est.)

177.1% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 4/226

-1.4% (2015 est.)

-0.9% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 151/156

0.05% (31 December 2013)

0.3% (31 December 2010)

note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate 129/184

6% (31 December 2015 est.)

6.52% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 34/192

$101.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$115.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

Stock of broad money 38/193

$260.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$264.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 38/191

$267.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$298.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 54/121

$44.58 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$33.65 billion (31 December 2011)

$72.64 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 34/197

$1.382 billion (2015 est.)

$2.202 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 66/224

$25.31 billion (2015 est.)

$35.6 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

food and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, textiles

Exports - partners

Turkey 12.2%, Italy 9.4%, Germany 6.8%, Bulgaria 5.3%, Cyprus 5% (2014)

Imports 53/223

$47.21 billion (2015 est.)

$63.76 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery, transport equipment, fuels, chemicals

Imports - partners

Russia 10.1%, Germany 10.1%, Iraq 8.2%, Italy 8.1%, China 5.2%, Kazakhstan 5.1%, Netherlands 5%, France 4.6% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 90/170

$6.433 billion (February 2015 est.)

$6.212 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 26/206

$514.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$575.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 66/120

$31.24 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$30.15 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 45/105

$40.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$40.96 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.89 (2015 est.)

0.75 (2014 est.)

0.76 (2013 est.)

0.78 (2012 est.)

0.72 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 49/220

57.55 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 45/219

57.73 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 40/218

2.602 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 43/219

4.705 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 37/214

22.3 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 107/214

70.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 103/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 113/214

11.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 19/212

15.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 90/214

1,162 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 79/214

1,863 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports 18/214

468,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 92/215

10 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 32/214

518,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 44/212

282,600 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 27/214

265,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 61/213

73,720 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production 92/216

5 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 75/215

2.924 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports 110/215

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports 42/214

2.931 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 103/212

991.1 million cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 48/212

78.8 million Mt (2013 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 29/219

total subscriptions: 5.22 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 72/217

total: 12.8 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 119 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: adequate, modern networks reach all areas; good mobile telephone and international service

domestic: microwave radio relay trunk system; extensive open-wire connections; submarine cable to offshore islands

international: country code - 30; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Europe, Middle East, and Asia; a number of smaller submarine cables provide connectivity to various parts of Europe, the Middle East, and Cyprus; tropospheric scatter; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean, 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat - Indian Ocean region)

Broadcast media

Broadcast media dominated by the private sector; roughly 150 private TV channels, about ten of which broadcast nation-wide; 1 government-owned terrestrial TV channel with national coverage; 3 privately owned satellite channels; multi-channel satellite and cable TV services available; upwards of 1,500 radio stations, all of them privately owned; government-owned broadcaster has 2 national radio stations (2014)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 26, FM 88, shortwave 4 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

36 (plus 1,341 repeaters); also 2 stations in the American Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (1995)

Internet country code

.gr

Internet hosts 32/232

3.201 million (2012)

Internet users 56/217

total: 6.2 million

percent of population: 57.9% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 69/236

77 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 68

over 3,047 m: 6

2,438 to 3,047 m: 15

1,524 to 2,437 m: 19

914 to 1,523 m: 18

under 914 m: 10 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 7 (2013)

Heliports

9 (2013)

Pipelines

gas 1,329 km; oil 94 km (2013)

Railways 66/136

total: 2,548 km

standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-m gauge (764 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 961 km 1.000-m gauge; 22 km 0.750-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 40/223

total: 116,960 km

paved: 41,357 km (includes 1,091 km of expressways)

unpaved: 75,603 km (2010)

Waterways 106/107

6 km (the 6-km-long Corinth Canal crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; it shortens a sea voyage by 325 km) (2012)

Merchant marine 12/156

total: 860

by type: bulk carrier 262, cargo 49, carrier 1, chemical tanker 68, container 35, liquefied gas 13, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 109, petroleum tanker 302, roll on/roll off 14

foreign-owned: 42 (Belgium 17, Bermuda 3, Cyprus 3, Italy 5, UK 6, US 8)

registered in other countries: 2,459 (Antigua and Barbuda 4, Bahamas 225, Barbados 14, Belize 2, Bermuda 8, Brazil 1, Cabo Verde 1, Cambodia 2, Cayman Islands 9, Comoros 4, Curacao 1, Cyprus 201, Dominica 4, Egypt 8, Gibraltar 8, Honduras 4, Hong Kong 27, Indonesia 1, Isle of Man 62, Italy 7, Jamaica 3, Liberia 505, Malta 469, Marshall Islands 408, Mexico 2, Moldova 1, Panama 379, Philippines 5, Portugal 2, Saint Kitts and Nevis 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 42, Sao Tome and Principe 1, Saudi Arabia 4, Singapore 22, UAE 3, Uruguay 1, Vanuatu 3, Venezuela 4, unknown 10) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Aspropyrgos, Pachi, Piraeus, Thessaloniki

oil terminal(s): Agioi Theodoroi

LNG terminal(s) (import): Revithoussa

Military and Security

Military branches

Hellenic Army (Ellinikos Stratos, ES), Hellenic Navy (Elliniko Polemiko Navtiko, EPN), Hellenic Air Force (Elliniki Polemiki Aeroporia, EPA) (2013)

Military service age and obligation

19-45 years of age for compulsory military service; during wartime the law allows for recruitment beginning January of the year of inductee's 18th birthday, thus including 17 year olds; 18 years of age for volunteers; conscript service obligation is 1 year for the Army and 9 months for the Air Force and Navy; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2014)

Military expenditures 48/132

1.72% of GDP (2012)

2.31% of GDP (2011)

2.63% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Greece and Turkey continue discussions to resolve their complex maritime, air, territorial, and boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea; Greece rejects the use of the name Macedonia or Republic of Macedonia; the mass migration of unemployed Albanians still remains a problem for developed countries, chiefly Greece and Italy

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 199 (2014)

note: 934,672 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals by sea (January 2016)

Illicit drugs

a gateway to Europe for traffickers smuggling cannabis and heroin from the Middle East and Southwest Asia to the West and precursor chemicals to the East; some South American cocaine transits or is consumed in Greece; money laundering related to drug trafficking and organized crime