The official name is the Hellenic Republic (Elliniki Dhimokratia, Hellenic Republic). Located in the southeastern part of Europe. The area is 131.957 thousand km2, the population is 10.9 million people. (2001). The official language is Greek. The capital is the city of Athens (741 thousand people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day March 25 (since 1821). The monetary unit is the euro (until 2002 – the drachma).
Member of international organizations: UN (since 1945), Council of Europe (since 1949), NATO (since 1952), EU (since 1981).
Geography of Greece
It is located between 22° East longitude and 39° North latitude. It is washed by the seas: Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean. Greece is located on the Balkan Peninsula with a heavily indented coastline. The largest peninsula is the Peloponnese. The total length of the coastline is 13.676 km due to the large number of islands – St. 2000. The largest islands are Crete, Euboea, Rhodes, Lesbos.
It borders in the north with Albania (282 km), Macedonia (246 km) and Bulgaria (494 km), in the east with Turkey (206 km).
The landscape is predominantly mountainous (4/5 of the total area) with medium-altitude mountain ranges protruding into the sea as peninsulas or chains (archipelagos) of islands. The entire territory from the northwest to the southeast is crossed by two mountain systems. Western: the mountains of Pindus, the massif of the Peloponnese peninsula, the mountains of the islands of Crete and Rhodes. Eastern: Gramos mountains, Otris and Parnassus massifs, the islands of Euboea and the Cyclades. Medium-altitude massifs predominate (1200 – 1800 m). Mount Olympus (2917 m) is the highest point, the second peak is Smolikas (2637 m). The mountains are distinguished by sharp erosional dissection and wide development of karst. In the north-east of the country there are spurs of the Pirin and Rhodope mountains. Small plains are located along the coast of the Aegean Sea: Thessaly, Thessaloniki, etc.
Rivers: Vardar, Maritsa, Strymon, Nestos (Mesta), etc. Mountain rivers predominate. Lakes: Prespa, Trichonis, Vegoritis.
Soils in coastal and low-mountain areas under shrubs and dry forests are brown and brown-brown; above – brown mountain-forest. On the carbonate rocks of eastern Thessaly, the Peloponnese, and on the Sporades, there are mountain red soils.
The flora and fauna are very diverse. Recorded approx. 5500 plant species. The most extensive forests are in northern Greece and on the northern and eastern islands of the Aegean and Ionian Seas – mostly pine, as well as deciduous (more than 200 varieties of trees and large shrubs). Under forest and shrubbery ca. 44% of the territory. National parks: Vikos-Aoos, Mikra-Presna, Eta and others.
On the territory of Greece, there are many animals listed in the Red Book, among them: the Mediterranean sea turtle, the monk seal. The northern forests are inhabited by brown bear, marten, roe deer, less often – wolf, wild boar, fox, wild forest cat. In the south – jackal, wild goat, porcupine. Many migratory birds winter in Greece.
Among the minerals, rich deposits of bauxite stand out, reserves of St. 650 million tons. Deposits of lignite, magnesite, oil, marble, high-quality iron ores.
The climate is transitional from temperate to Mediterranean, with mild and wet winters and dry and hot summers. Average January temperatures are 4-12°C, July 25-27°C. The amount of precipitation per year is 400-700 mm in the plains, 1500 mm in the mountains.
According to Countryaah, population growth over the past 10-20 years has averaged 0.5-1% per year. The birth rate is 9.8‰, the death rate is 9.6‰. Infant mortality 6.25 pers. per 1000 newborns. Sex and age structure of the population: men – 49.49%, women – 50.51%. Under the age of 14 years – 14.12%, from 15 to 64 years old – 67.36%, 65 years and older – 18.52%. Average life expectancy is 78.74 years, incl. women – 81.48 and men – 76.17.
Urban population – 62.5% (1990). Literacy is 97% of the population: 98.5% male and 95% female. Ethnic composition: 98% – Greeks. The official language is Greek (99% of the population). Religious composition: 98% – Orthodox, 1.3% – Muslims, 0.7% – other.
History of Greece
The first states on the territory of Greece appeared in the 2nd millennium BC. In the 8th-6th centuries. BC. policies (city-states) were formed. In 338 BC Greece is subject to Macedonia. 3rd-2nd centuries – the era of military alliances of policies (Achaean Union). In 146 BC conquered by Rome. From the 4th c. – the main part of Byzantium. All R. 15th c. captured by the Ottoman Empire. It is customary to begin the history of modern Greece from this period. As a result of the Greek War of Independence (1821–30), an independent Greek state was formed, occupying only part of the territory of modern Greece. The new state included only the Peloponnese, Central Greece, the Cyclades and the Sporades.
The first leader of the country is Y. Kapodistria. Reformer, killed in 1831 by reactionaries. As a result of the intervention of the great powers to restore order, the London Agreement of 1832 established an absolute monarchy. King Otto, son of the King of Bavaria, was placed on the throne. In 1843, a conservative Constitution was adopted (in fact, it was not observed). In 1862 King Otto was forced to abdicate.
In 1864 a new Constitution was adopted, which established the system of a constitutional monarchy. The king remained head of state, subject to the work of a unicameral parliament. George I of the Danish House of Glaxburgh was enthroned. In the same year, the Ionian Islands were annexed, and in 1881 Thessaly and part of Epirus were annexed.
In 1875, the principle of parliamentarism was established: the head of the Greek state was obliged to ask the leader of a political party with a parliamentary majority to form a government. In the last decades of the 19th century the country was led by Charilaos Trikoupis, whose reign was marked by radical reforms in the administration, justice, military and educational structures. In the beginning. 20th century Prime Minister (1910–15, 1917–20, 1928–32) Eleftherios Venizelos continued the policy of modernizing institutions and reforms. As a result of the Balkan Wars (1912–13) and World War I, Macedonia, Epirus, Western Thrace, the island of Crete and the northern Aegean Islands were included in the new state. After the Greco-Turkish War (1919-22) and after the Lausanne Agreement (1923), there was a significant migration of the population between the two countries, ca. 1.4 million Greeks left Turkey, and 350 thousand
In 1924 Greece was proclaimed a republic. As a result of a rigged plebiscite (1935), the monarchy was restored in Greece, and a military dictatorship was established in 1936. In October 1940, Italian troops invaded Greece (in November 1940 they were expelled from the country). In April 1941, Greece was attacked by Germany, which soon completely occupied it. King George II fled the country. In September 1941, the Greek National Liberation Front (EAM) was created, and in December, the People’s Liberation Army (ELAS), led by the Communists. By the end of October 1944, the entire mainland of Greece was liberated. The “Government of National Unity” set up in May 1944 called British troops to Greece, which began military operations against ELAS in December 1944. In September 1946, after a plebiscite, the king returned to the throne. In April 1967, the reactionary military carried out a coup d’état and established a military dictatorship. In July 1974, the regime was overthrown and a civilian government came to power. As a result of a referendum (December 8, 1974), the monarchy was abolished in Greece.