country in Southeast Europe

Greece (Greek: Ελλάδα [eˈlaða] or Ελλάς [eˈlas]), officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία [eliniˈkʲi ðimokraˈtia]),[9] (historically known as Hellas) (Ελλάς), is a country mostly located in Southeastern Europe with small island territories in Asia. Its capital city is Athens.

Hellenic Republic
Ελληνική Δημοκρατία
Ellinikí Dimokratía  (Greek)
Motto: «Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος»
Elefthería í Thánatos
"Freedom or Death"
Anthem: «Ύμνος εις την Ελευθερίαν»
Ýmnos eis tin Eleftherían
"Hymn to Liberty"
Location of  Greece  (dark green) – on the European continent  (green & dark grey) – in the European Union  (green)  —  [Legend]
Location of  Greece  (dark green)

– on the European continent  (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union  (green)  —  [Legend]

and largest city
37°58′N 23°43′E / 37.967°N 23.717°E / 37.967; 23.717
National languageGreek
Eastern Orthodoxy
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary
• President
Katerina Sakellaropoulou
Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Konstantinos Tasoulas
LegislatureHellenic Parliament
Formation of modern Greece
• Independence declared from the Ottoman Empire
Not yet (Greek War of Independence have been failed), 15 January 1822 (official declaration in the First National Assembly at Epidaurus)
3 February 1830
11 June 1975
• Total
50,949 sq mi (131,960 km2)[1] (95th)
• Water (%)
• 2021 estimate
10,445,365 Increase[2][3]
• 2011 census
10,816,286[4] (80th)
• Density
82[5]/km2 (212.4/sq mi) (125th)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
$324 billion[6] (57th)
• Per capita
$30,252[6] (47th)
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$214 billion[6] (52nd)
• Per capita
$19,974[6] (38th)
Gini (2016)Negative increase 34.3[7]
medium · 60th
HDI (2015)Increase 0.866[8]
very high · 29th
CurrencyEuro () (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+2 (Eastern European Time)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3 (Eastern European Summer Time)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (AD)
Driving sideright
Calling code+30
ISO 3166 codeGR
Internet TLD.gra
  1. The .eu domain is also used, as in other European Union member states.

It borders Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea is to the East and South of mainland Greece, the Ionian Sea is to the West. Both are part of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and have many islands. 80% of the country is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak.

Ancient Greece created democracy, philosophy, science and mathematics, drama and theater and the Olympic Games. This is why other languages use many Greek words. Greece is a parliamentary republic, in which the leader of the party with more seats in the parliament is the Prime Minister. The country has a President, but his powers are ceremonial. He is the head of state, not the head of government, much like how Kings and Queens operate in constitutional monarchies and is elected by Parliament and not the people. Its economy is the highest in the Balkans region, though facing financial difficulties due to a Greek government-debt crisis. The country was under control by the Ottoman Empire until 1821.

The official language spoken in Greece is Greek, spoken by 99% of the population, and by 90% of the population of the Republic of Cyprus. It identifies as Christian Orthodox. Many Greeks also understand English, French and German, which are taught in schools. Greece was a founding member of the United Nations, joined NATO in 1952, became a member of the European Union in 1981, and adopted the Euro in 2001. Due to the large tourism industry, powerful shipping sector, and its geostrategic importance, it is sometimes classified as a middle power.


The Parthenon in Athens.

Greece's history is one of the richest in the world. The Greeks were one of the most advanced civilizations. Greece is famous for its many philosophers, like Plato and Aristotle, and kings like Alexander the Great and Leonidas. Greece is said to be the birthplace of Democracy, because city-states like Athens, now the capital of Greece, were the first to elect their leaders and not have kings. During the years of Alexander the Great, a huge Greek Macedonian empire was created that stretched from modern-day Greece to Egypt and Iran, until the borders of India. Because of the significant role that Greek culture played during that time, it is called the Hellenistic period (or Greek-dominated period). During that time, the Greek language became the 'lingua franca' of the Middle East, which means the language that people who do not speak the same language use to communicate, like English is used today as an international language.

State flag of Greece from 1863-1973

Greece was then ruled by the Roman Empire, and many argue that Rome conquered Greece with its army, but Greece conquered Rome with its culture. The Roman Empire after the conquest of Greece became a civilization known as the Greco-Roman (or Greek-Roman) civilization. When the Roman Empire collapsed, the Greeks emerged as the ruling class of the Byzantine Empire, and the Greek language became the official language of the empire, which included all the territories around the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It was then occupied by the Ottoman Empire for a period of 400 years. Some areas of Greece, like the second-largest city in the country, Thessaloniki, were occupied for 500 years and became part of Greece in the early 20th century.

Greece was bigger in 1920 than it is today.

The Greek War of Independence began in 1821 and Greece was an independent country (a republic) in 1828. In 1832 Greece was made a kingdom by the United Kingdom and Russia, under the German Wittelsbach dynasty.

In 1912, Greece took part in the Balkan Wars, where it gained many of the territories that make up the country now, such as Greek Macedonia and the islands of the Aegean Sea. Greece fought in both World War I and World War II in the side of allies. During World War I, Greece was divided into two countries, the State of Thessaloniki in the north and the State of Athens in the south. Both countries claimed to be the legitimate government of Greece, but the State of Thessaloniki received support from the Allies. The country was reunited in 1917 when the King abdicated. In 1920 Greece expanded again and briefly reached its maximum size. The territories that the country had gained in Turkey were given back to Turkey in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, but Greece kept Western Thrace. The king returned in 1935, and Greece was under a fascist dictatorship from 1936 until 1941, friendly to the Allies when it was invaded by Nazi Germany.

Greece's Macedonia region is known for its rich history, The ancient kingdom of Macedonia (sometimes called Macedon) was Alexander the Great's empire.

In 1940, Greece was invaded by Italy, but defeated the invasion. This was the first victory of an Allied country against an Axis power. After this, Hitler decided to attack Greece sooner than he had planned. Germany invaded on 6 April 1940 and captured Greece's second-largest city of Thessaloniki on 9 April, while Athens was captured on 27 April. Most fighting ended with the Battle of Crete. Greece suffered major damages in the war.

Between 1946 and 1949, the Greeks fought a civil war. The fighting was between the communists and the people who supported the king, who also had support from the United Kingdom and the United States. The war left the country devastated and the people very poor.

In 1967 the military took control of the country and restricted democracy. Free elections were then held again 7 years later, and the Greeks voted to send the king away and declared a republic in 1974. Greece became a member of the European Union in 1981. Greece had seen rapid growth in the 1990s, but some of the country's economic statistics were modified to appear more correct than they were, as the government had lied with the help of banks from the United States. In 2004, Greece hosted the Olympic Games for a second time. Since 2009, Greece has been in an economic crisis, which is also becoming a political crisis.

The topography of Greece


The Greek parliament is in Athens.

It is not a federal state like the United States, but a unitary state like the United Kingdom. It is ruled by a parliament, called the Hellenic Parliament (or Greek Parliament in Simple English), which has 300 members. It is a parliamentary republic, which means that, unlike in the United States, the President has very few powers. The person in charge of the government of Greece is the Prime Minister.

Greece was a kingdom for most of its history as an independent nation. It officially became the Third Hellenic Republic (or The Third Republic of Greece in Simple English) in 1975, when the monarchy was abolished by a popular vote.

Greece was under a military dictatorship between 1966 and 1975. Demonstrations by the students of the universities across Greece took place in 1973 but were suppressed by the regime, which forcibly stopped the protests. The dictatorship collapsed after the invasion of Cyprus and handed over power to Constantine Karamanlis.

There are many political parties in Greece, but only seven are in the Greek parliament. Until 2015, only two political parties formed governments, the PASOK party (which is social democratic) and New Democracy (ND, which is conservative). The government ousted in the 2015 election was led by PASOK, DIMAR, AND ND. Other parties include the Communist party, the left-wing SYRIZA party, the nationalist party and others. SYRIZA, led by Alexis Tsipras, won the 2015 parliamentary election held on January 25 of that year, and entered into a coalition government with the small right-wing party Greek Independents.

The New Democracy Party won the 2019 election and the 2023 election.


The peripheries to Greece.

The divisions of Greece are called 'Peripheries'. As of January 2011, there are 13 peripheries in Greece.[10] Peripheries are subdivided into 'peripheral units', and previously they were known as 'prefecture', but prefectures were abolished in 2011.[10] The most populated peripheries in Greece are Attica, where the capital city of Greece, Athens, is, and Central Macedonia, where Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki, is. All the peripheries, and their capital cities, are:

1. AtticaAthens
2. Central GreeceLamia
3. Central MacedoniaThessaloniki
4. CreteHeraklion
5. East Macedonia and ThraceKomotini
6. EpirusIoannina
7. Ionian IslandsCorfu

8. North AegeanMytilene
9. PeloponneseTripoli
10. South AegeanErmoupoli
11. ThessalyLarissa
12. West GreecePatras
13. West MacedoniaKozani





Greece is a small country compared to other countries such as the United States, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and Russia. The population of Greece is estimated to be over 11 million. Most of the people in Greece are Greek people, and they form 94% of the population of the country.[11] There are also many Albanians in Greece, and they make up 4% of the population.[11] Other nationalities make up for another 2% of the country.[11]

The Greek government recognizes only the Muslim minority in the country, the Turkish one in the region of Western-Thrace. They include Pomak and Xoraxane Roma. The majority of them live in cities like Xanthi and Komotini.[12] The dispute between Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia has resulted in the refusal of Greece to acknowledge the existence of a Macedonian minority. The 2001 population census showed only 747 citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia in Greece.[11] The Republic of North Macedonia says that there are a maximum of 300,000 ethnic Macedonians in Greece, but Greece says that if there is a minority in the country, it would not be more than 30,000 people, in the northern part of the country, near the border with the Republic of North Macedonia. This is also supported by international organizations.[13]

Greek flag

The Greek flag is blue and white.

The Greek flag was officially adopted in 1828 as a civil and state ensign (a flag for use only on boats and ships) and as a national flag when flown outside of Greece, for example on embassies. A different flag (white cross on a blue field) was used as a land flag within Greece from 1828 until 1969 and from 1975 to 1978. In 1978 the current flag became national flag and the older land flag was abolished.

There are many theories about the origin of the color of the flag. One says that blue represents the color of the sea and the white represents the waves, and others include white for the waves and blue for the sky and white for purity and breaking away from tyranny, and blue for Greece. There are nine stripes on the flag, which according to the legend represent the nine syllables in the phrase "Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος" which means "freedom or death". The cross stands for Christianity.


The money used in Greece is called the euro.

Greece has a capitalist economy, like the United States and France. Greece has the largest number of trading ships (a 'merchant navy') in the world.[14] Tourism is also a major source of income for Greece.[15] Throughout the 20th century Greece had its own currency the Drachma but since 2001 it uses the Euro as most other European Union countries do.[16] From 2000 Greece saw high levels of GDP growth, peaking at 5.8% in 2003 and 5.7% in 2006.[17]

Greece has adopted some welfare state policies, such as public healthcare and free education, like many other European countries. However, the government could not collect enough taxes to fund public services due to extensive tax evasion in the 1990s and 2000s.[18] The pension system also came under immense pressure as the population was aging rapidly.

During the financial crisis of 2007–2008, the global economy entered a recession. This created a very difficult situation for Greece as the country had accumulated a high debt over the previous years.[19] The effects of the global financial crisis triggered a debt crisis in Greece that caused a severe recession and an increase in unemployment in the early 2010s.[20] Government spending was cut and taxation was increased, but these measures worsened the recession and caused economic and social unrest.[21][22] As a result of the economic crisis, the country implemented many reformss to its economy in order to improve productivity, reduce debt and attract foreign investment. Recently, Greece's exportss reached an all time record for 2022, due to strong economic recovery.[23]



About 30 million tourists visit Greece each year. That is more than the country’s entire population. To serve the many tourists, Greece has many international airports. Tourism also makes up more than 20% of the Greek GDP.[24]



  1. "Country Comparison: Area". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 13 November 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  2. "World Population Prospects 2022". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  3. "World Population Prospects 2022: Demographic indicators by region, subregion and country, annually for 1950-2100" (XSLX). ("Total Population, as of 1 July (thousands)"). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  4. Απογραφή Πληθυσμού – Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός [Results of Population-Housing Census 2011 concerning the permanent population of the country] (PDF) (in Greek). 20 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 November 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  5. "Announcement of the results of the 2011 Population Census for the Resident Population" (PDF). Hellenic Statistical Authority. 28 December 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". World Economic Outlook Database, April 2017. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund. 12 April 2017. Archived from the original on 14 June 2021. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  7. "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income – EU-SILC survey". Luxembourg: Eurostat. 15 June 2017. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  8. "Table 1: Human Development Index and its components". Human Development Reports. Stockholm: United Nations Development Programme. 21 March 2017. Archived from the original on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  9. "World Fatbook - Greece: Government". CIA. 15 March 2007. Archived from the original on 25 August 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  10. 10.0 10.1 NOMOΣ ΥΠ'ΑΡΙΘ. 3852 Νέα Αρχιτεκτονική της Αυτοδιοίκησης και της Αποκεντρωμένης Διοίκησης − Πρόγραμμα Καλλικράτης. [Law No. 3852 New Architecture of Self Government and Decentralized Administration - Kallikratis Reform.] (PDF). Government Gazette. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 "Πίνακας 7: Αλλοδαποί κατά υπηκοότητα, φύλο και επίπεδο εκπαίδευσης - Σύνολο Ελλάδας και Νομοί" (PDF). Greek National Statistics Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 September 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. "Greece – Report about Compliance with the Principles of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (along guidelines for state reports according to Article 25.1 of the Convention)". Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) & Minority Rights Group – Greece (MRG-G). 18 September 1999. Archived from the original on 23 May 2003. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  14. "Greece Still Leading Global Shipping | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide". Archived from the original on 4 May 2023. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  15. Βασιλικός, Αλέξανδρος (5 February 2019). "Αλέξανδρος Βασιλικός: Ο τουρισμός είναι υπόθεση όλων μας". Marketing Greece. Archived from the original on 25 September 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  16. Bank, European Central (12 December 2022). "Our money". European Central Bank. Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  17. "World Development Indicators - Google Public Data Explorer". Archived from the original on 28 December 2021. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  18. "Πτώση της φοροδιαφυγής στο 41,6% από 49% το τελευταίο εξάμηνο | οικονομια |". 12 May 2013. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  19. "Greek debt to reach 120.8 pct of GDP in '10 - draft". Reuters. 10 November 2009. Archived from the original on 4 April 2023. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  20. Skartsis, Labros (1 January 2018). "2010-2018 Greek Debt Crisis and Greece's Past: Myths, Popular Notions and Implications". Archived from the original on 4 May 2023. Retrieved 4 May 2023. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. "Greek Budget Cuts Quicken Reckoning For Europe". HuffPost. 24 October 2011. Archived from the original on 4 May 2023. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  22. "Greek public sector workers hold 24-hour strike". BBC News. 8 July 2014. Archived from the original on 4 May 2023. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  23. "Greek Exports - Enterprise Greece". Archived from the original on 4 May 2023. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  24. Chloe Wynne. "Greek tourism sector growing over three times faster than wider economy says new WTTC research". WTTC. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.