Country: GREECE


Encyclopedia Britannica, (2001)



National Anthem: “Hymn to Liberty” [1]

Official Country Name: Hellenic Republic, Ελλάδα or Ελλάς

Government Type:
Chaired Parliamentary Democracy

President: Aikaterini Sakellaropoulou
Prime Minister: Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Total: 131,957 km2 (50,949 sq mi) (95th)
Water: 0.8669

Estimation of 2016: 11,183,716

Ethnic Groups:
Albanians (445,000), Romani (205,000), Aromanians (200,000), Macedonian Slavs (150,000), Arvanites (95,000), Turkish (90,000), Pomaks (35,000).

The climate of Greece is Mediterranean with summers that are usually hot and dry, and the winters that can be quiet cold and wet. The upper part of Greece can be very cold during the winter and snow is not uncommon. However, for the south of Greece and the islands, the winters will be milder. During the winter much of Greece may have snow, and much snowfall can be expected in the higher mountains of Greece.

Capital: Athens (and biggest city of the Greek region as well)

Main Cities: Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Larissa, Herakleion

Official and National Language: Greek

Other Languages: Cretan, Cappadocian, Pontic, Maniot, Tsakonian, Yeyenic, Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Russian, Romani, Bulgarian, Armenian

Main Religion: Eastern Orthodox Church

Other Religions: Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%

Education Literacy Rate:
15-24 years (2018): 93.3 (Total), 91.8 (Male), 94.91 (Female)

15 years and older (2018): 73.91 (Total), 76.67 (Male), 71.18 (Female)

65 years and older (2018): 40.12 (Total), 53.07 (Male), 26.76 (Female)

Child Mortality:
4.5 deaths per 1,000 live births

In 2018, child mortality rate for Greece was 4.5 deaths per 1,000 live births. Child mortality rate of Greece fell gradually from 33.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1969 to 4.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018.

Currency: Euro (€) (EUR)

International Telephone Area Code: +30

HDI: 0,866 very high (29th)

Driving Side: Right



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 principally 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 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.

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 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.

Greece is a country in Southern Europe, bordered to the north by Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria; to the east by Turkey, and is surrounded to the east by the Aegean Sea, to the south by the Cretan and the Libyan Seas, and to the west by the Ionian Sea which separates Greece from Italy.

The country consists of a mountainous, peninsular mainland jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea at the southernmost tip of the Balkans, and two smaller peninsulas projecting from it: the Chalkidiki and the Peloponnese, which is joined to the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth. Greece also has many islands of various sizes, the largest being Crete, Euboea, Lesvos, Rhodes, Chios, Kefalonia, and Corfu; groups of smaller islands include the Dodecanese and the Cyclades. According to the CIA World Factbook, Greece has 13,676 kilometers (8,498mi) of coastline, the largest in the Mediterranean Basin.[2]

Greece’s latitude ranges from 35°N to 42°N and its longitude from 19°E to 28°E. As a result of this and its physical geography, the country has considerable climatic variation.

Politics and Government:

Greece (Hellas), officially the Hellenic Republic is a Parliamentary Republic. The President, elected by Parliament every five years, is Head of State. The Prime Minister is Head of Government. The Ministerial Council, consisting of the Prime Minister, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Ministers without portfolio, is the collective decision-making body that constitutes the Government of Greece.


Greece is a capitalist country. Greece has the largest number of trading ships (a ‘merchant navy’) in the world. Tourism is also a major source of income for Greece. In the 20th century Greece had its own currency but now uses the Euro as most other European Community countries do.

Greece has adopted some welfare state policies, such as public healthcare and free education, like many other European countries. Greece, however, has not collected enough taxes to pay for them. The pension system is especially expensive.

This is putting Greece in a very difficult situation when the country has accumulated a debt of about €350 billion, or debt by 170 per-cent of the country’s total GDP.  Greece also has a trade deficit, meaning that it buys more things than it sells. The country is cutting costs and asking for loans in order to avoid bankruptcy.


-Nobel Prize:

Odysseas Elytis and Giorgos Seferis are the only two Greek people/ poetries who achieved to win both Nobel Prizes Awards in Literature in 1979 and 1963 respectively.

For Giorgos Seferi’s Nobel Prize the Swedish Academy announced “for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture.”

For Odysseas Elyti’s Nobel prize the Swedish Academy announced the award on October 18th ,”for his poetry, which, with a background in Greek tradition, brings to life the struggle of modern man for freedom and creativity with sensational power and spiritual clarity,” in the light of the decision.


Television, magazines, and newspapers are all operated by both state-owned and for-profit corporations which depend on advertising, subscription, and other sales-related revenues. The Constitution of Greece guarantees freedom of speech.

Press freedom sharply eroded in Greece during the economic and financial crisis of 2010–2015, passing from the 35th place in 2009 in Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index to the 99th place in 2014, well below all Western Balkans countries as well as states with repressive media policies such as Gabon, Kuwait or Liberia.[1] Greece is today the EU member state “where journalism and the media face their most acute crisis”.

In 2010 there were 82 national newspapers in Greece, of which 8 morning editions, 13 evening, 22 Sunday and 16 weeklies.

There are 9 main television stations in Greece, 4 of which belong to the state and the rest belong to the private sector.


-National Holidays

Independence Day (25 March)

Ochi Day (28 October)

-Religious Holidays

Epiphany (06 January)

Orthodox Good Friday (17 April)

Orthodox Easter Monday (20 April)

Orthodox Whit Monday (08 June)

Assumption (15 August)


Cinema first appeared in Greece in 1896 but the first actual cine-theatre was opened in 1907. In 1914 the Asty Films Company was founded, and the production of long films begun. Golfo (Γκόλφω), a well-known traditional love story, is the first Greek long movie, although there were several minor productions such as newscasts before this. In 1931, Orestis Laskos directed Daphnis and Chloe (Δάφνις και Χλόη), contained the first nude scene in the history of European cinema; it was also the first Greek movie which was played abroad. In 1944 Katina Paxinou was honored with the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for “For Whom the Bell Tolls.

The 1950s and early 1960s are considered by many as the Greek Golden age of Cinema. Directors and actors of this era were recognized as important historical figures in Greece and some gained international acclaim:Mihalis Kakogiannis, Alekos Sakellarios, Melina Mercouri, Nikos Tsiforos, Iakovos Kambanelis, Katina Paxinou, Nikos Koundouros, Ellie Lambeti, Irene Papas etc. More than sixty films per year were made, with the majority having film noir elements.


Recipes:  Feta cheese, Greek traditional salad, Tsatsiki, Greek Chicken/Pork Skewers, Moussaka, Galaktompoureko


Education in Greece:

At all levels is centralized by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs(Υ.ΠΑΙ.Θ.). The Ministry exercises control over public schools, formulates and implements legislation, administers the budget, administers and coordinates national level university entrance examinations, sets up the national curriculum, appoints public schools teaching staff and coordinates other services. The supervisory role of the Ministry is exercised nation-wide through Regional Unit Public Education Offices which are named Regional Directorates of Primary and Secondary School Education. Public schools are funded by the government and are free along with public textbooks. About 25% of postgraduate programs are tuition free, while about 30% of students are eligible to attend programs tuition free based on individual criteria. Formal education in Greece comprises three educational stages. The first stage of formal education is the Primary educational stage, followed by the Secondary stage which separates into two stages: the compulsory Gymnasio and non-compulsory Lyceum (Λύκειο, three years, age 15 to 18). The Tertiary stage involves higher education. School holidays in Greece include a summer holiday for three months, Greek Independence Day, National Anniversary Day, National Public Holidays, Easter, Christmas, and local holidays which vary by region such as the local Saint’s Day. In addition to daily schooling many students attend extracurricular tutoring sessions at private which prepare students for higher education admittance, like the Pan-Hellenic Examinations, and to learn foreign languages.



Structure of the Greek School System:

Pre-primary education (Non-compulsory)

Age: 4-5 years old

Length: 1 year

Primary education (Compulsory)

Age: 6-11 years old

Length: 5 years

Secondary Education (High School & Lyceum School)

High School

Age: 12-15 years old (Compulsory)

Length: 3 years

Lyceum School (General Lyceum, Vocational Lyceum)

Age: 15-18 years old (Non-compulsory)

Length: 3 years

Tertiary Education (University, Technological Educational Institute, School of Pedagogical and Technological Education, School of Fine Arts, Hellenic Open University) (Non-compulsory)

Age: 18-22 years old

Length: 4 years