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   Greece Country Guide

Flag of Greece 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, 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 in 2001. In 2010, the prospect of a Greek default on its euro-denominated debt created severe strains within the EMU and raised the question of whether a member country might voluntarily leave the common currency or be removed.

Map of Greece Full Name: Hellenic Republic
Area: 131,940 sq km (land: 130,800 sq km, water: 1,140 sq km)
Population: 10,773,253 (July 2016 est.)
Capital City: Athens

People: Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7% (2001 census)
note: percents represent citizenship, since Greece does not collect data on ethnicity
Language: Greek 99% (official), English, French
Religion: Greek Orthodox (official) 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%

Government Type: Parliamentary republic
Chief of State President Prokopios (Prokopis) PAVLOPOULOS (since 13 March 2015)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Alexios TSIPRAS (since 21 September 2015); note - Vasiliki THANOU-CHRISTOFILOU served as interim prime minister beginning on 27 August 2015 after the resignation of Alexios TSIPRAS on 20 August 2015; she was Greece's first female prime minister

GDP: $US 290.5 billion (2016 est.)
GDP per Capita: $US 26,800 (2016 est.)
Inflation: -0.2% (2016 est.)
Unemployment: 24.6% (2016 est.)
Industries: Tourism; food and tobacco processing, textiles; chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleum
Currency: Euro (€ - EUR)

Member of EU: Yes

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Info provided by the CIA World Factbook
Updated 2/2017
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