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Greece
Greece
(Greek: Ελλάδα), officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία), historically also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern Europe,[10] with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens
Athens
is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece
Greece
is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania
Albania
to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
to the north, and Turkey
Turkey
to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea
Ionian Sea
to the west, the Cretan
Cretan
Sea and the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
to the south. Greece
Greece
has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin
Mediterranean Basin
and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece
Greece
is mountainous, with Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus
being the highest peak at 2,918 metres (9,573 ft). The country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands
Aegean Islands
(including the Dodecanese
Dodecanese
and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands. Greece
Greece
is considered the cradle of Western civilization,[a] being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama.[14] From the eighth century BC, the Greeks
Greeks
were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis (singular polis), which spanned the entire Mediterranean region
Mediterranean region
and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
rapidly conquering much of the ancient world, spreading Greek culture and science from the eastern Mediterranean
Mediterranean
to India. Greece
Greece
was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, wherein the Greek language
Greek language
and culture were dominant. The Greek Orthodox Church
Greek Orthodox Church
also shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World.[15] Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece
Greece
emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe
Europe
and the world.[16] Greece
Greece
is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece
Greece
was the tenth member to join the European Communities
European Communities
(precursor to the European Union) and has been part of the Eurozone
Eurozone
since 2001. It is also a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD), the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
(WTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Europe
(OSCE), and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance[b] classify it as a middle power. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Ancient and Classical periods 2.2 Hellenistic and Roman periods (323 BC – 4th century AD) 2.3 Medieval
Medieval
period (4th century – 1453) 2.4 Early modern period: Venetian possessions and Ottoman rule (15th century – 1821) 2.5 Modern period

2.5.1 Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
(1821–1832) 2.5.2 Kingdom of Greece 2.5.3 Expansion, disaster, and reconstruction 2.5.4 Dictatorship, World War II, and reconstruction 2.5.5 Military regime (1967–74) 2.5.6 Third Hellenic Republic

3 Geography and climate

3.1 Islands 3.2 Climate 3.3 Ecology

4 Politics

4.1 Political parties 4.2 Foreign relations 4.3 Law and justice 4.4 Military 4.5 Administrative divisions

5 Economy

5.1 Introduction 5.2 Debt crisis (2010–2015) 5.3 Agriculture 5.4 Energy 5.5 Maritime industry 5.6 Tourism 5.7 Transport 5.8 Telecommunications 5.9 Science and technology 5.10 Medical sector

6 Demographics

6.1 Cities 6.2 Functional urban areas 6.3 Religion 6.4 Languages 6.5 Migration 6.6 Education 6.7 Healthcare system

7 Culture

7.1 Visual arts 7.2 Architecture 7.3 Theatre 7.4 Literature 7.5 Philosophy 7.6 Music and dances 7.7 Cuisine 7.8 Cinema 7.9 Sports 7.10 Mythology 7.11 Public holidays and festivals

8 See also 9 Notes 10 References

10.1 Specific 10.2 Bibliography

11 External links

11.1 Government 11.2 General information

Etymology Main article: Name of Greece The names for the nation of Greece
Greece
and the Greek people
Greek people
differ from the names used in other languages, locations and cultures. The Greek name of the country is Hellas[26][27][28][29] (/ˈhɛləs/) or Ellada (Greek: Ελλάς or Ελλάδα; in polytonic: Ἑλλάς ([eˈlas], Ancient Greek: [heˈlas]) or Ἑλλάδα  Elláda [eˈlaða]), and its official name is the Hellenic Republic (Greek: Ελληνική Δημοκρατία Ellinikí Dimokratía [eliniˈci ðimokraˈti.a]). In English, however, the country is usually called Greece, which comes from Latin
Latin
Graecia (as used by the Romans) and literally means 'the land of the Greeks'. History Main article: History of Greece Ancient and Classical periods Main articles: Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
and Classical Greece

The entrance of the Treasury of Atreus
Treasury of Atreus
(13th BC) in Mycenae

The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia.[30] All three stages of the stone age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic) are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave.[31] Neolithic
Neolithic
settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC,[30] are the oldest in Europe
Europe
by several centuries, as Greece
Greece
lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East
Near East
to Europe.[32]

Fresco
Fresco
displaying the Minoan ritual of "bull leaping", found in Knossos

Greece
Greece
is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe
Europe
and is considered the birthplace of Western civilization,[33][34][35][36] beginning with the Cycladic civilization
Cycladic civilization
on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC,[37] the Minoan civilization
Minoan civilization
in Crete (2700–1500 BC),[36][38] and then the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland (1900–1100 BC).[38] These civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze
Bronze
Age collapse.[39] This ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent.

Greek territories and colonies during the Archaic period (750–550 BC)

The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the year of the first Olympic Games.[40] The Iliad
Iliad
and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer
Homer
in the 7th or 8th centuries BC.[41][42] With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, Southern Italy
Italy
("Magna Graecia") and Asia
Asia
Minor. These states and their colonies reached great levels of prosperity that resulted in an unprecedented cultural boom, that of classical Greece, expressed in architecture, drama, science, mathematics and philosophy. In 508 BC, Cleisthenes
Cleisthenes
instituted the world's first democratic system of government in Athens.[43][44]

The Parthenon
Parthenon
on the Acropolis of Athens, emblem of classical Greece.

By 500 BC, the Persian Empire controlled the Greek city states in Asia Minor and Macedonia.[45] Attempts by some of the Greek city-states of Asia
Asia
Minor to overthrow Persian rule failed, and Persia invaded the states of mainland Greece
Greece
in 492 BC, but was forced to withdraw after a defeat at the Battle of Marathon
Battle of Marathon
in 490 BC. A second invasion by the Persians followed in 480 BC. Following decisive Greek victories in 480 and 479 BC at Salamis, Plataea, and Mycale, the Persians were forced to withdraw for a second time, marking their eventual withdrawal from all of their European territories. Led by Athens
Athens
and Sparta, the Greek victories in the Greco-Persian Wars
Greco-Persian Wars
are considered a pivotal moment in world history,[46] as the 50 years of peace that followed are known as the Golden Age of Athens, the seminal period of ancient Greek development that laid many of the foundations of Western civilization.

Alexander the Great, on his horse Bucephalus, whose conquests led to the Hellenistic Age.

Lack of political unity within Greece
Greece
resulted in frequent conflict between Greek states. The most devastating intra-Greek war was the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
(431–404 BC), won by Sparta
Sparta
and marking the demise of the Athenian Empire
Athenian Empire
as the leading power in ancient Greece. Both Athens
Athens
and Sparta
Sparta
were later overshadowed by Thebes and eventually Macedon, with the latter uniting the Greek world in the League of Corinth
Corinth
(also known as the Hellenic League or Greek League) under the guidance of Phillip II, who was elected leader of the first unified Greek state in history.

Map of Alexander's short-lived empire (334–323 BC). After his death the lands were divided between the Diadochi

Following the assassination of Phillip II, his son Alexander III ("The Great") assumed the leadership of the League of Corinth
League of Corinth
and launched an invasion of the Persian Empire with the combined forces of all Greek states in 334 BC. Undefeated in battle, Alexander had conquered the Persian Empire in its entirety by 330 BC. By the time of his death in 323 BC, he had created one of the largest empires in history, stretching from Greece
Greece
to India. His empire split into several kingdoms upon his death, the most famous of which were the Seleucid Empire, Ptolemaic Egypt, the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, and the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Many Greeks
Greeks
migrated to Alexandria, Antioch, Seleucia, and the many other new Hellenistic cities in Asia
Asia
and Africa.[47] Although the political unity of Alexander's empire could not be maintained, it resulted in the Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization
and spread the Greek language
Greek language
and Greek culture in the territories conquered by Alexander.[48] Greek science, technology, and mathematics are generally considered to have reached their peak during the Hellenistic period.[49] Hellenistic and Roman periods (323 BC – 4th century AD) Main articles: Hellenistic Greece
Hellenistic Greece
and Roman Greece See also: Wars of Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
and Roman Empire After a period of confusion following Alexander's death, the Antigonid dynasty, descended from one of Alexander's generals, established its control over Macedon and most of the Greek city-states by 276 BC.[50] From about 200 BC the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
became increasingly involved in Greek affairs and engaged in a series of wars with Macedon.[51] Macedon's defeat at the Battle of Pydna
Battle of Pydna
in 168 BC signalled the end of Antigonid power in Greece.[52] In 146 BC, Macedonia was annexed as a province by Rome, and the rest of Greece
Greece
became a Roman protectorate.[51][53]

The Antikythera mechanism
Antikythera mechanism
(c. 100 BC) is considered to be the first known mechanical analog computer (National Archaeological Museum, Athens).

The process was completed in 27 BC when the Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
Augustus annexed the rest of Greece
Greece
and constituted it as the senatorial province of Achaea.[53] Despite their military superiority, the Romans admired and became heavily influenced by the achievements of Greek culture, hence Horace's famous statement: Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit ("Greece, although captured, took its wild conqueror captive").[54] The epics of Homer
Homer
inspired the Aeneid
Aeneid
of Virgil, and authors such as Seneca the younger
Seneca the younger
wrote using Greek styles. Roman heroes such as Scipio Africanus, tended to study philosophy and regarded Greek culture and science as an example to be followed. Similarly, most Roman emperors maintained an admiration for things Greek in nature. The Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
Nero
Nero
visited Greece
Greece
in AD 66, and performed at the Ancient Olympic Games, despite the rules against non-Greek participation. Hadrian
Hadrian
was also particularly fond of the Greeks. Before becoming emperor, he served as an eponymous archon of Athens.

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
in Athens, built in 161 AD

Greek-speaking communities of the Hellenized East were instrumental in the spread of early Christianity
Christianity
in the 2nd and 3rd centuries,[55] and Christianity's early leaders and writers (notably St Paul) were mostly Greek-speaking, though generally not from Greece
Greece
itself.[56] The New Testament was written in Greek, and some of its sections (Corinthians, Thessalonians, Philippians, Revelation of St. John of Patmos) attest to the importance of churches in Greece
Greece
in early Christianity. Nevertheless, much of Greece
Greece
clung tenaciously to paganism, and ancient Greek religious practices were still in vogue in the late 4th century AD,[57] when they were outlawed by the Roman emperor Theodosius I
Theodosius I
in 391–392.[58] The last recorded Olympic games were held in 393,[59] and many temples were destroyed or damaged in the century that followed.[60] In Athens
Athens
and rural areas, paganism is attested well into the sixth century AD[60] and even later.[61] The closure of the Neoplatonic Academy of Athens
Athens
by the emperor Justinian in 529 is considered by many to mark the end of antiquity, although there is evidence that the Academy continued its activities for some time after that.[60] Some remote areas such as the southeastern Peloponnese
Peloponnese
remained pagan until well into the 10th century AD.[62] Medieval
Medieval
period (4th century – 1453) Main articles: Byzantine Greece
Byzantine Greece
and Frankokratia See also: Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
and Fourth Crusade

The Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia, Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
(8th century), an UNESCO's World Heritage Site.

The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in the east, following the fall of the Empire in the west in the 5th century, is conventionally known as the Byzantine Empire (but was simply called "Roman Empire" in its own time) and lasted until 1453. With its capital in Constantinople, its language and literary culture was Greek and its religion was predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christian.[63]

The Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire after the death of Basil II
Basil II
in 1025

From the 4th century, the Empire's Balkan territories, including Greece, suffered from the dislocation of the Barbarian Invasions. The raids and devastation of the Goths
Goths
and Huns
Huns
in the 4th and 5th centuries and the Slavic invasion of Greece
Greece
in the 7th century resulted in a dramatic collapse in imperial authority in the Greek peninsula.[64] Following the Slavic invasion, the imperial government retained formal control of only the islands and coastal areas, particularly the densely populated walled cities such as Athens, Corinth
Corinth
and Thessalonica, while some mountainous areas in the interior held out on their own and continued to recognize imperial authority.[64] Outside of these areas, a limited amount of Slavic settlement is generally thought to have occurred, although on a much smaller scale than previously thought.[65][66] The Byzantine recovery of lost provinces began toward the end of the 8th century and most of the Greek peninsula came under imperial control again, in stages, during the 9th century.[67][68] This process was facilitated by a large influx of Greeks
Greeks
from Sicily and Asia
Asia
Minor to the Greek peninsula, while at the same time many Slavs were captured and re-settled in Asia
Asia
Minor and the few that remained were assimilated.[65] During the 11th and 12th centuries the return of stability resulted in the Greek peninsula benefiting from strong economic growth – much stronger than that of the Anatolian territories of the Empire.[67]

The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, administrative centre of the Knights Hospitaller

Following the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
and the fall of Constantinople
Constantinople
to the "Latins" in 1204 mainland Greece
Greece
was split between the Greek Despotate of Epirus
Epirus
(a Byzantine successor state) and French rule[69] (known as the Frankokratia), while some islands came under Venetian rule.[70] The re-establishment of the Byzantine imperial capital in Constantinople
Constantinople
in 1261 was accompanied by the empire's recovery of much of the Greek peninsula, although the Frankish Principality of Achaea
Achaea
in the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
and the rival Greek Despotate of Epirus
Despotate of Epirus
in the north both remained important regional powers into the 14th century, while the islands remained largely under Genoese and Venetian control.[69] In the 14th century, much of the Greek peninsula was lost by the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
at first to the Serbs
Serbs
and then to the Ottomans.[71] By the beginning of the 15th century, the Ottoman advance meant that Byzantine territory in Greece
Greece
was limited mainly to its then-largest city, Thessaloniki, and the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
(Despotate of the Morea).[71] After the fall of Constantinople
Constantinople
to the Ottomans in 1453, the Morea was the last remnant of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
to hold out against the Ottomans. However, this, too, fell to the Ottomans in 1460, completing the Ottoman conquest of mainland Greece.[72] With the Turkish conquest, many Byzantine Greek scholars, who up until then were largely responsible for preserving Classical Greek knowledge, fled to the West, taking with them a large body of literature and thereby significantly contributing to the Renaissance.[73] Early modern period: Venetian possessions and Ottoman rule (15th century – 1821) Main articles: Ottoman Greece
Ottoman Greece
and Stato da Màr Further information: Phanariotes
Phanariotes
and Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople See also: Kingdom of Candia and Ionian Islands
Ionian Islands
under Venetian rule

The Byzantine castle of Angelokastro successfully repulsed the Ottomans during the First Great Siege of Corfu
Corfu
in 1537, the siege of 1571, and the Second Great Siege of Corfu
Corfu
in 1716, causing them to abandon their plans to conquer Corfu.[74]

While most of mainland Greece
Greece
and the Aegean islands was under Ottoman control by the end of the 15th century, Cyprus
Cyprus
and Crete
Crete
remained Venetian territory and did not fall to the Ottomans until 1571 and 1670 respectively. The only part of the Greek-speaking world that escaped long-term Ottoman rule was the Ionian Islands, which remained Venetian until their capture by the First French Republic
First French Republic
in 1797, then passed to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
in 1809 until their unification with Greece
Greece
in 1864.[75] While some Greeks
Greeks
in the Ionian Islands
Ionian Islands
and Constantinople
Constantinople
lived in prosperity, and Greeks
Greeks
of Constantinople
Constantinople
(Phanariotes) achieved positions of power within the Ottoman administration,[76] much of the population of mainland Greece
Greece
suffered the economic consequences of the Ottoman conquest. Heavy taxes were enforced, and in later years the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
enacted a policy of creation of hereditary estates, effectively turning the rural Greek populations into serfs.[77] The Greek Orthodox Church
Greek Orthodox Church
and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Constantinople
were considered by the Ottoman governments as the ruling authorities of the entire Orthodox Christian population of the Ottoman Empire, whether ethnically Greek or not. Although the Ottoman state did not force non-Muslims to convert to Islam, Christians
Christians
faced several types of discrimination intended to highlight their inferior status in the Ottoman Empire. Discrimination against Christians, particularly when combined with harsh treatment by local Ottoman authorities, led to conversions to Islam, if only superficially. In the 19th century, many "crypto-Christians" returned to their old religious allegiance.[78]

The White Tower of Thessaloniki, one of the best-known Ottoman structures remaining in Greece.

The nature of Ottoman administration of Greece
Greece
varied, though it was invariably arbitrary and often harsh.[78] Some cities had governors appointed by the Sultan, while others (like Athens) were self-governed municipalities. Mountainous regions in the interior and many islands remained effectively autonomous from the central Ottoman state for many centuries.[79][page needed]

The Battle of Lepanto
Battle of Lepanto
in 1571 prevented the Ottomans from expanding further (near-contemporary painting by an unknown artist)

When military conflicts broke out between the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and enemies, Greeks
Greeks
usually took arms against the empire, with few exceptions. Prior to the Greek Revolution of 1821, there had been a number of wars which saw Greeks
Greeks
fight against the Ottomans, such as the Greek participation in the Battle of Lepanto
Battle of Lepanto
in 1571, the Epirus peasants' revolts of 1600–1601 (led by the Orthodox bishop Dionysios Skylosophos), the Morean War
Morean War
of 1684–1699, and the Russian-instigated Orlov Revolt
Orlov Revolt
in 1770, which aimed at breaking up the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in favor of Russian interests.[79][page needed] These uprisings were put down by the Ottomans with great bloodshed.[80][81] On the other side, many Greeks were conscripted as Ottoman citizens to serve in the Ottoman army (and especially the Ottoman navy), while also the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, responsible for the Orthodox, remained in general loyal to the empire. The 16th and 17th centuries are regarded as something of a "dark age" in Greek history, with the prospect of overthrowing Ottoman rule appearing remote with only the Ionian islands
Ionian islands
remaining free of Turkish domination. Corfu
Corfu
withstood three major sieges in 1537, 1571 and 1716 all of which resulted in the repulsion of the Ottomans. However, in the 18th century, due to their mastery of shipping and commerce, a wealthy and dispersed Greek merchant class arose. These merchants came to dominate trade within the Ottoman Empire, establishing communities throughout the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and Western Europe. Though the Ottoman conquest had cut Greece
Greece
off from significant European intellectual movements such as the Reformation
Reformation
and the Enlightenment, these ideas together with the ideals of the French Revolution
French Revolution
and romantic nationalism began to penetrate the Greek world via the mercantile diaspora.[82] In the late 18th century, Rigas Feraios, the first revolutionary to envision an independent Greek state, published a series of documents relating to Greek independence, including but not limited to a national anthem and the first detailed map of Greece, in Vienna, and was murdered by Ottoman agents in 1798.[83][84] Modern period Main article: History of modern Greece Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
(1821–1832)

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Main article: Greek War of Independence See also: Modern Greek
Modern Greek
Enlightenment, Greek Declaration of Independence, and First Hellenic Republic

The sortie (exodus) of Messolonghi, during the Greek War of Independence, painting by Theodoros Vryzakis.

In the late eighteenth century, an increase in secular learning during the Modern Greek Enlightenment
Modern Greek Enlightenment
led to the revival among Greeks
Greeks
of the diaspora of the notion of a Greek nation tracing its existence to ancient Greece, distinct from the other Orthodox peoples, and having a right to political autonomy. One of the organizations formed in this intellectual milieu was the Filiki Eteria, a secret organization formed by merchants in Odessa
Odessa
in 1814.[85] Appropriating a long-standing tradition of Orthodox messianic prophecy aspiring to the resurrection of the eastern Roman empire and creating the impression they had the backing of Tsarist Russia, they managed amidst a crisis of Ottoman trade, from 1815 onwards, to engage traditional strata of the Greek Orthodox world in their liberal nationalist cause.[86] The Filiki Eteria
Filiki Eteria
planned to launch revolution in the Peloponnese, the Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities
and Constantinople. The first of these revolts began on 6 March 1821 in the Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities
under the leadership of Alexandros Ypsilantis, but it was soon put down by the Ottomans. The events in the north spurred the Greeks
Greeks
of the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
into action and on 17 March 1821 the Maniots
Maniots
declared war on the Ottomans.[87] By the end of the month, the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
was in open revolt against the Ottomans and by October 1821 the Greeks
Greeks
under Theodoros Kolokotronis had captured Tripolitsa. The Peloponnesian revolt was quickly followed by revolts in Crete, Macedonia and Central Greece, which would soon be suppressed. Meanwhile, the makeshift Greek navy was achieving success against the Ottoman navy in the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
and prevented Ottoman reinforcements from arriving by sea. In 1822 and 1824 the Turks and Egyptians ravaged the islands, including Chios
Chios
and Psara, committing wholesale massacres of the population.[87] This had the effect of galvanizing public opinion in western Europe
Europe
in favor of the Greek rebels.[79][page needed] Tensions soon developed among different Greek factions, leading to two consecutive civil wars. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Sultan
Ottoman Sultan
negotiated with Mehmet Ali of Egypt, who agreed to send his son Ibrahim Pasha to Greece
Greece
with an army to suppress the revolt in return for territorial gain. Ibrahim landed in the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
in February 1825 and had immediate success: by the end of 1825, most of the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
was under Egyptian control, and the city of Missolonghi—put under siege by the Turks since April 1825—fell in April 1826. Although Ibrahim was defeated in Mani, he had succeeded in suppressing most of the revolt in the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
and Athens
Athens
had been retaken. After years of negotiation, three Great Powers, Russia, the United Kingdom, and France, decided to intervene in the conflict and each nation sent a navy to Greece. Following news that combined Ottoman–Egyptian fleets were going to attack the Greek island of Hydra, the allied fleet intercepted the Ottoman–Egyptian fleet at Navarino. After a week-long standoff, a battle began which resulted in the destruction of the Ottoman–Egyptian fleet. A French expeditionary force was dispatched to supervise the evacuation of the Egyptian army from the Peloponnese, while the Greeks
Greeks
proceeded to the captured part of Central Greece
Central Greece
by 1828. As a result of years of negotiation, the nascent Greek state was finally recognized under the London Protocol in 1830. Kingdom of Greece

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Main article: Kingdom of Greece

The Entry of King Otto in Athens, painted by Peter von Hess
Peter von Hess
in 1839.

In 1827, Ioannis Kapodistrias, from Corfu, was chosen by the Third National Assembly at Troezen as the first governor of the First Hellenic Republic. Kapodistrias established a series of state, economic and military institutions. Soon tensions appeared between him and local interests. Following his assassination in 1831 and the subsequent conference a year later, the Great Powers of Britain, France
France
and Russia
Russia
installed Bavarian Prince Otto von Wittelsbach as monarch.[88] One of his first actions was to transfer the capital from Nafplio
Nafplio
to Athens. In 1843 an uprising forced the king to grant a constitution and a representative assembly. Due to his authoritarian rule, he was eventually dethroned in 1862 and a year later replaced by Prince Wilhelm (William) of Denmark, who took the name George I and brought with him the Ionian Islands
Ionian Islands
as a coronation gift from Britain. In 1877 Charilaos Trikoupis, who is credited with significant improvement of the country's infrastructure, curbed the power of the monarchy to interfere in the assembly by issuing the rule of vote of confidence to any potential prime minister.

George I was King from 1863 to 1913.

Corruption and Trikoupis' increased spending to create necessary infrastructure like the Corinth Canal
Corinth Canal
overtaxed the weak Greek economy, forcing the declaration of public insolvency in 1893 and to accept the imposition of an International Financial Control authority to pay off the country's debtors. Another political issue in 19th-century Greece
Greece
was uniquely Greek: the language question. The Greek people
Greek people
spoke a form of Greek called Demotic. Many of the educated elite saw this as a peasant dialect and were determined to restore the glories of Ancient Greek. Government documents and newspapers were consequently published in Katharevousa (purified) Greek, a form which few ordinary Greeks
Greeks
could read. Liberals favoured recognising Demotic as the national language, but conservatives and the Orthodox Church resisted all such efforts, to the extent that, when the New Testament
New Testament
was translated into Demotic in 1901, riots erupted in Athens
Athens
and the government fell (the Evangeliaka). This issue would continue to plague Greek politics until the 1970s.

The territorial evolution of the Kingdom of Greece
Kingdom of Greece
from 1832 to 1947.

All Greeks
Greeks
were united, however, in their determination to liberate the Greek-speaking provinces of the Ottoman Empire, regardless of the dialect they spoke. Especially in Crete, a prolonged revolt in 1866–1869 had raised nationalist fervour. When war broke out between Russia
Russia
and the Ottomans in 1877, Greek popular sentiment rallied to Russia's side, but Greece
Greece
was too poor, and too concerned about British intervention, to officially enter the war. Nevertheless, in 1881, Thessaly
Thessaly
and small parts of Epirus
Epirus
were ceded to Greece
Greece
as part of the Treaty of Berlin, while frustrating Greek hopes of receiving Crete. Greeks
Greeks
in Crete
Crete
continued to stage regular revolts, and in 1897, the Greek government under Theodoros Deligiannis, bowing to popular pressure, declared war on the Ottomans. In the ensuing Greco-Turkish War of 1897, the badly trained and equipped Greek army
Greek army
was defeated by the Ottomans. Through the intervention of the Great Powers, however, Greece
Greece
lost only a little territory along the border to Turkey, while Crete
Crete
was established as an autonomous state under Prince George of Greece. With state coffers empty, fiscal policy came under International Financial Control. In the next decade, Greek efforts were focused on the Macedonian Struggle, a state-sponsored guerilla campaign against pro-Bulgarian rebel gangs in Ottoman-ruled Macedonia, which ended inconclusively with the Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution
in 1908. Expansion, disaster, and reconstruction See also: Balkan Wars, National Schism, Asia
Asia
Minor Campaign, and Second Hellenic Republic

Greek military formation in the World War I Victory Parade in Arc de Triomphe, Paris, July 1919.

Map of Greater Greece
Greece
after the Treaty of Sèvres, when the Megali Idea seemed close to fulfillment, featuring Eleftherios Venizelos
Eleftherios Venizelos
as its supervising genius.

Amidst general dissatisfaction with the state of the nation, a group of military officers organized a coup in August 1909 and shortly thereafter called to power Cretan
Cretan
politician Eleftherios Venizelos. After winning two elections and becoming Prime Minister, Venizelos initiated wide-ranging fiscal, social, and constitutional reforms, reorganized the military, made Greece
Greece
a member of the Balkan League, and led the country through the Balkan Wars. By 1913, Greece's territory and population had almost doubled, annexing Crete, Epirus, and Macedonia. In the following years, the struggle between King Constantine I and charismatic Venizelos over the country's foreign policy on the eve of World War I
World War I
dominated the country's political scene, and divided the country into two opposing groups. During parts of World War I, Greece
Greece
had two governments: A royalist pro-German one in Athens
Athens
and a Venizelist pro-Entente one in Thessaloniki. The two governments were united in 1917, when Greece
Greece
officially entered the war on the side of the Entente. In the aftermath of World War I, Greece
Greece
attempted further expansion into Asia
Asia
Minor, a region with a large native Greek population at the time, but was defeated in the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, contributing to a massive flight of Asia
Asia
Minor Greeks.[89][90] These events overlapped, with both happening during the Greek genocide (1914–1922),[91][92][93][94] a period during which, according to various sources,[95] Ottoman and Turkish officials contributed to the death of several hundred thousand Asia
Asia
Minor Greeks. The resultant Greek exodus from Asia
Asia
Minor was made permanent, and expanded, in an official Population exchange between Greece
Greece
and Turkey. The exchange was part of the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
which ended the war.[96] The following era was marked by instability, as over 1.5 million propertyless Greek refugees from Turkey
Turkey
had to be integrated into Greek society. Cappadocian Greeks, Pontian Greeks, and non-Greek followers of Greek Orthodoxy were all subject to the exchange as well. Some of the refugees could not speak the language, and were from what had been unfamiliar environments to mainland Greeks, such as in the case of the Cappadocians and non-Greeks. The refugees also made a dramatic post-war population boost, as the number of refugees was more than a quarter of Greece's prior population.[97] Following the catastrophic events in Asia
Asia
Minor, the monarchy was abolished via a referendum in 1924 and the Second Hellenic Republic was declared. In 1935, a royalist general-turned-politician Georgios Kondylis took power after a coup d'état and abolished the republic, holding a rigged referendum, after which King George II returned to Greece
Greece
and was restored to the throne. Dictatorship, World War II, and reconstruction See also: 4th of August Regime, Greco-Italian War, Battle of Greece, Axis occupation of Greece, Greek Civil War, and Greek military junta of 1967–74 An agreement between Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas
Ioannis Metaxas
and the head of state George II followed in 1936, which installed Metaxas as the head of a dictatorial regime known as the 4th of August Regime, inaugurating a period of authoritarian rule that would last, with short breaks, until 1974.[98] Although a dictatorship, Greece
Greece
remained on good terms with Britain and was not allied with the Axis.

Greek troops during the Italian Spring Offensive
Italian Spring Offensive
(1941) in the Greco-Italian War. Greece's victory against Fascist Italy, gave the Allies their first victory over Axis forces on land in World War II.

On 28 October 1940, Fascist Italy
Italy
demanded the surrender of Greece, but the Greek administration refused, and, in the following Greco-Italian War, Greece
Greece
repelled Italian forces into Albania, giving the Allies their first victory over Axis forces on land. The Greek struggle and victory against the Italians received exuberant praise at the time.[99][100] Most prominent is the quote attributed to Winston Churchill: "Hence we will not say that Greeks
Greeks
fight like heroes, but we will say that heroes fight like Greeks."[99] French general Charles de Gaulle was among those who praised the fierceness of the Greek resistance. In an official notice released to coincide with the Greek national celebration of the Day of Independence, De Gaulle expressed his admiration for the Greek resistance:

In the name of the captured yet still alive French people, France wants to send her greetings to the Greek people
Greek people
who are fighting for their freedom. The 25 March 1941 finds Greece
Greece
in the peak of their heroic struggle and in the top of their glory. Since the Battle of Salamis, Greece
Greece
had not achieved the greatness and the glory which today holds.[100]

The country would eventually fall to urgently dispatched German forces during the Battle of Greece, despite the fierce Greek resistance, particularly in the Battle of the Metaxas Line. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
himself recognised the bravery and the courage of the Greek army, stating in his address to the Reichstag on 11 December 1941, that: "Historical justice obliges me to state that of the enemies who took up positions against us, the Greek soldier particularly fought with the highest courage. He capitulated only when further resistance had become impossible and useless."[101]

Guerillas of EAM-ELAS resistance organization

The Nazis proceeded to administer Athens
Athens
and Thessaloniki, while other regions of the country were given to Nazi Germany's partners, Fascist Italy
Italy
and Bulgaria. The occupation brought about terrible hardships for the Greek civilian population. Over 100,000 civilians died of starvation during the winter of 1941–1942, tens of thousands more died because of reprisals by Nazis and collaborators, the country's economy was ruined, and the great majority of Greek Jews were deported and murdered in Nazi concentration camps.[102][103] The Greek Resistance, one of the most effective resistance movements in Europe, fought vehemently against the Nazis and their collaborators. The German occupiers committed numerous atrocities, mass executions, and wholesale slaughter of civilians and destruction of towns and villages in reprisals. In the course of the concerted anti-guerilla campaign, hundreds of villages were systematically torched and almost 1,000,000 Greeks
Greeks
left homeless.[103] In total, the Germans executed some 21,000 Greeks, the Bulgarians 40,000, and the Italians 9,000.[104]

People in Athens
Athens
celebrate the liberation from the Axis powers, October 1944. Postwar Greece
Greece
would soon experience a civil war and political polarization.

Following liberation and the Allied victory over the Axis, Greece annexed the Dodecanese
Dodecanese
Islands from Italy
Italy
and regained Western Thrace from Bulgaria. The country almost immediately descended into a bloody civil war between communist forces and the anti-communist Greek government, which lasted until 1949 with the latter's victory. The conflict, considered one of the earliest struggles of the Cold War,[105] resulted in further economic devastation, mass population displacement and severe political polarisation for the next thirty years.[106] Although the post-war decades were characterized by social strife and widespread marginalisation of the left in political and social spheres, Greece
Greece
nonetheless experienced rapid economic growth and recovery, propelled in part by the U.S.-administered Marshall Plan.[107] In 1952, Greece
Greece
joined NATO, reinforcing its membership in the Western Bloc
Western Bloc
of the Cold War. Military regime (1967–74) King Constantine II's dismissal of George Papandreou's centrist government in July 1965 prompted a prolonged period of political turbulence, which culminated in a coup d'état on 21 April 1967 by the Regime of the Colonels. Under the junta, civil rights were suspended, political repression was intensified, and human rights abuses, including state-sanctioned torture, were rampant. Economic growth remained rapid before plateauing in 1972. The brutal suppression of the Athens
Athens
Polytechnic uprising on 17 November 1973 is claimed to have sent shockwaves through the regime, and a counter-coup overthrew Georgios Papadopoulos
Georgios Papadopoulos
to establish brigadier Dimitrios Ioannidis as leader. On 20 July 1974, Turkey
Turkey
invaded the island of Cyprus
Cyprus
in response to a Greek-backed Cypriot coup, triggering a political crisis that led to the regime's collapse. Third Hellenic Republic

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Main article: Third Hellenic Republic The former prime minister Konstantinos Karamanlis
Konstantinos Karamanlis
was invited back from Paris where he had lived in self-exile since 1963, marking the beginning of the Metapolitefsi era. The first multiparty elections since 1964 were held on the first anniversary of the Polytechnic uprising. A democratic and republican constitution was promulgated on 11 June 1975 following a referendum which chose to not restore the monarchy.

Signing at Zappeion
Zappeion
of the documents for the accession of Greece
Greece
to the European Communities
European Communities
in 1979.

Meanwhile, Andreas Papandreou, George Papandreou's son, founded the Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Panhellenic Socialist Movement
(PASOK) in response to Karamanlis's conservative New Democracy party, with the two political formations dominating in government over the next four decades. Greece
Greece
rejoined NATO
NATO
in 1980.[c][108] Greece
Greece
became the tenth member of the European Communities (subsequently subsumed by the European Union) on 1 January 1981, ushering in a period of sustained growth. Widespread investments in industrial enterprises and heavy infrastructure, as well as funds from the European Union
European Union
and growing revenues from tourism, shipping, and a fast-growing service sector raised the country's standard of living to unprecedented levels. Traditionally strained relations with neighbouring Turkey
Turkey
improved when successive earthquakes hit both nations in 1999, leading to the lifting of the Greek veto against Turkey's bid for EU membership. The country adopted the euro in 2001 and successfully hosted the 2004 Summer Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in Athens.[109] More recently, Greece
Greece
has suffered greatly from the late-2000s recession and has been central to the related European sovereign debt crisis. Due to the adoption of the euro, when Greece
Greece
experienced financial crisis, it could no longer devalue its currency to regain competitiveness. Youth unemployment
Youth unemployment
was especially high during the 2000s.[110] The Greek government-debt crisis, and subsequent austerity policies, have resulted in protests. Geography and climate Main article: Geography of Greece

Albania

Rep. Macedonia

Bulgaria

Turkey

Greece ATHENS Thessaloniki Kavala Kozani Serres Florina Thasos Alexandroupoli Samothrace Corfu Igoumenitsa Larissa Volos Lamia Agrinio Ioannina Arta Chalcis Patras Corinth Nafplion Sparta Kalamata Piraeus Eleusina Laurium Heraklion Chania Macedonia Thrace Epirus] Thessaly] Euboea] Central Greece] Peloponnese] Mt. Olympus Lefkada Kefalonia Zakynthos Lemnos Lesbos Chios Samos Andros Tinos Mykonos Icaria Patmos Naxos Milos Santorini Kos Rhodes Karpathos Megisti Kassos Kythira Gavdos Aegean] Sea] Sea of Crete] Myrtoan] Sea] Ionian] Sea] Mediterranean] Sea] Crete] Aegean] Islands] Cyclades] Dodecanese] Ionian] Islands]

Navagio
Navagio
(shipwreck) bay, Zakynthos
Zakynthos
island

Volcanic tephra at Sarakiniko Beach, Milos
Milos
island

Located in Southern Europe,[111] Greece
Greece
is a transcontinental country that consists of a mountainous, peninsular mainland jutting out into the sea at the southern end of the Balkans, ending at the Peloponnese peninsula (separated from the mainland by the canal of the Isthmus of Corinth) and strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa.[d] Due to its highly indented coastline and numerous islands, Greece
Greece
has the 11th longest coastline in the world with 13,676 km (8,498 mi);[117] its land boundary is 1,160 km (721 mi). The country lies approximately between latitudes 34° and 42° N, and longitudes 19° and 30° E, with the extreme points being:[118]

North: Ormenio
Ormenio
village South: Gavdos
Gavdos
island East: Strongyli (Kastelorizo, Megisti) island West: Othonoi
Othonoi
island

Eighty percent of Greece
Greece
consists of mountains or hills, making the country one of the most mountainous in Europe. Mount Olympus, the mythical abode of the Greek Gods, culminates at Mytikas peak 2,918 metres (9,573 ft),[119] the highest in the country. Western Greece
Greece
contains a number of lakes and wetlands and is dominated by the Pindus
Pindus
mountain range. The Pindus, a continuation of the Dinaric Alps, reaches a maximum elevation of 2,637 m (8,652 ft) at Mt. Smolikas
Smolikas
(the second-highest in Greece) and historically has been a significant barrier to east-west travel. The Pindus
Pindus
range continues through the central Peloponnese, crosses the islands of Kythera
Kythera
and Antikythera and finds its way into southwestern Aegean, in the island of Crete
Crete
where it eventually ends. The islands of the Aegean are peaks of underwater mountains that once constituted an extension of the mainland. Pindus
Pindus
is characterized by its high, steep peaks, often dissected by numerous canyons and a variety of other karstic landscapes. The spectacular Vikos Gorge, part of the Vikos-Aoos National Park
Vikos-Aoos National Park
in the Pindus
Pindus
range, is listed by the Guinness book of World Records as the deepest gorge in the world.[120] Another notable formation are the Meteora
Meteora
rock pillars, atop which have been built medieval Greek Orthodox monasteries. Northeastern Greece
Greece
features another high-altitude mountain range, the Rhodope range, spreading across the region of East Macedonia and Thrace; this area is covered with vast, thick, ancient forests, including the famous Dadia forest in the Evros regional unit, in the far northeast of the country. Extensive plains are primarily located in the regions of Thessaly, Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia
and Thrace. They constitute key economic regions as they are among the few arable places in the country. Rare marine species such as the pinniped seals and the loggerhead sea turtle live in the seas surrounding mainland Greece, while its dense forests are home to the endangered brown bear, the Eurasian lynx, the roe deer and the wild goat. Islands Main article: List of islands of Greece Greece
Greece
features a vast number of islands, between 1,200 and 6,000, depending on the definition,[121] 227 of which are inhabited. Crete
Crete
is the largest and most populous island; Euboea, separated from the mainland by the 60m-wide Euripus Strait, is the second largest, followed by Lesbos
Lesbos
and Rhodes. The Greek islands are traditionally grouped into the following clusters: the Argo-Saronic Islands
Argo-Saronic Islands
in the Saronic gulf near Athens, the Cyclades, a large but dense collection occupying the central part of the Aegean Sea, the North Aegean
North Aegean
islands, a loose grouping off the west coast of Turkey, the Dodecanese, another loose collection in the southeast between Crete
Crete
and Turkey, the Sporades, a small tight group off the coast of northeast Euboea, and the Ionian Islands, located to the west of the mainland in the Ionian Sea. Climate

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Further information: Climate of Greece

A view of Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece
Greece
and mythical abode of the Gods of Olympus

The climate of Greece
Greece
is primarily Mediterranean, featuring mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. This climate occurs at all coastal locations, including Athens, the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, Crete, the Peloponnese, the Ionian Islands
Ionian Islands
and parts of the Central Continental Greece
Greece
region. The Pindus
Pindus
mountain range strongly affects the climate of the country, as areas to the west of the range are considerably wetter on average (due to greater exposure to south-westerly systems bringing in moisture) than the areas lying to the east of the range (due to a rain shadow effect). The mountainous areas of Northwestern Greece
Greece
(parts of Epirus, Central Greece, Thessaly, Western Macedonia) as well as in the mountainous central parts of Peloponnese – including parts of the regional units of Achaea, Arcadia
Arcadia
and Laconia – feature an Alpine climate with heavy snowfalls. The inland parts of northern Greece, in Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia
and East Macedonia and Thrace
East Macedonia and Thrace
feature a temperate climate with cold, damp winters and hot, dry summers with frequent thunderstorms. Snowfalls occur every year in the mountains and northern areas, and brief snowfalls are not unknown even in low-lying southern areas, such as Athens. Ecology Phytogeographically, Greece
Greece
belongs to the Boreal Kingdom
Boreal Kingdom
and is shared between the East Mediterranean
Mediterranean
province of the Mediterranean Region and the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature
World Wide Fund for Nature
and the European Environment Agency, the territory of Greece
Greece
can be subdivided into six ecoregions: the Illyrian deciduous forests, Pindus
Pindus
Mountains mixed forests, Balkan mixed forests, Rhodope montane mixed forests, Aegean and Western Turkey
Turkey
sclerophyllous and mixed forests and Crete
Crete
Mediterranean forests. Politics Main article: Politics of Greece

The building of the Hellenic Parliament
Hellenic Parliament
in central Athens.

Count Ioannis Kapodistrias, first governor and founder of the modern Greek State

Greece
Greece
is a unitary parliamentary republic.[122] The nominal head of state is the President of the Republic, who is elected by the Parliament for a five-year term.[122] The current Constitution was drawn up and adopted by the Fifth Revisionary Parliament of the Hellenes and entered into force in 1975 after the fall of the military junta of 1967–1974. It has been revised three times since, in 1986, 2001 and 2008. The Constitution, which consists of 120 articles, provides for a separation of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and grants extensive specific guarantees (further reinforced in 2001) of civil liberties and social rights.[123][124] Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage
was guaranteed with an amendment to the 1952 Constitution. According to the Constitution, executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government.[122] From the Constitutional amendment of 1986 the President's duties were curtailed to a significant extent, and they are now largely ceremonial; most political power thus lies in the hands of the Prime Minister.[125] The position of Prime Minister, Greece's head of government, belongs to the current leader of the political party that can obtain a vote of confidence by the Parliament. The President of the Republic formally appoints the Prime Minister and, on his recommendation, appoints and dismisses the other members of the Cabinet.[122] Legislative powers are exercised by a 300-member elective unicameral Parliament.[122] Statutes passed by the Parliament are promulgated by the President of the Republic.[122] Parliamentary elections are held every four years, but the President of the Republic is obliged to dissolve the Parliament earlier on the proposal of the Cabinet, in view of dealing with a national issue of exceptional importance.[122] The President is also obliged to dissolve the Parliament earlier, if the opposition manages to pass a motion of no confidence.[122] According to a 2016 report by the OECD, Greeks
Greeks
display a moderate level of civic participation compared to most other developed countries; voter turnout was 64 percent during recent elections, lower than the OECD
OECD
average of 69 percent.[126] Political parties

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Main article: Political parties of Greece

Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Head of State since 2015

Since the restoration of democracy, the Greek party system has been dominated by the liberal-conservative New Democracy (ND) and the social-democratic Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Panhellenic Socialist Movement
(PASOK).[e] Other significant parties include the Communist Party of Greece
Communist Party of Greece
(KKE), the Coalition of the Radical Left
Coalition of the Radical Left
(SYRIZA) the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) and the Popular Association – Golden Dawn. PASOK
PASOK
and ND largely alternated in power until the outbreak of the government-debt crisis in 2009. Since then, the two major parties, New Democracy and PASOK, have seen a sharp decline in popularity.[127][128][129][130][131] In November 2011, the two major parties joined the smaller Popular Orthodox Rally
Popular Orthodox Rally
in a grand coalition, pledging their parliamentary support for a government of national unity headed by former European Central Bank
European Central Bank
vice-president Lucas Papademos.[132] Panos Kammenos
Panos Kammenos
voted against this government and he split off from ND forming the right-wing populist Independent Greeks. The coalition government led the country to the parliamentary elections of May 2012. The power of the traditional Greek political parties, PASOK
PASOK
and New Democracy, declined from 43% to 13% and from 33% to 18%, respectively, due to their support for austerity measures. The leftist party SYRIZA became the second major party, with an increase from 4% to 16%. No party could form a sustainable government, which led to the parliamentary elections of June 2012. The result of the second elections was the formation of a coalition government composed of New Democracy (29%), PASOK
PASOK
(12%) and Democratic Left (6%) parties. Alexis Tsipras
Alexis Tsipras
led Syriza to victory in the general election held on 25 January 2015, falling short of an outright majority in Parliament by just two seats. The following morning, Tsipras reached an agreement with Independent Greeks
Independent Greeks
party to form a coalition, and he was sworn in as Prime Minister of Greece. Tsipras called snap elections in August 2015, resigning from his post, which led to a month-long caretaker administration headed by judge Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou, Greece's first female prime minister. In the September 2015 general election, Tsipras led Syriza to another victory, winning 145 out of 300 seats and re-forming the coalition with the Independent Greeks. Foreign relations Main article: Foreign relations of Greece

Representation through:[133]      embassy –      embassy in another country      general consulate –      liaison office –      no representation –      Greece

Greece's foreign policy is conducted through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its head, the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The current minister is Nikos Kotzias. According to the official website, the main aims of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are to represent Greece before other states and international organizations;[134] safeguarding the interests of the Greek state and of its citizens abroad;[134] the promotion of Greek culture;[134] the fostering of closer relations with the Greek diaspora;[134] and the promotion of international cooperation.[134] Additionally, due to its political and geographical proximity to Europe, Asia, the Middle East
Middle East
and Africa, Greece
Greece
is a country of significant geostrategic importance and is considered to be a middle power[135] and has developed a regional policy to help promote peace and stability in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.[136] The Ministry identifies three issues of particular importance to the Greek state: Turkish challenges to Greek sovereignty rights in the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
and corresponding airspace;[137] the Cyprus
Cyprus
dispute;[137] and the Macedonia naming dispute[137] with the small Balkan country which shares a name with Greece's largest and second-most-populous region, also called Macedonia. Greece
Greece
is a member of numerous international organizations, including the Council of Europe, the European Union, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
Organization, the Organisation internationale de la francophonie
Organisation internationale de la francophonie
and the United Nations, of which it is a founding member. Law and justice Main articles: Judicial system of Greece
Judicial system of Greece
and Law enforcement in Greece

A courthouse in Nafplio

The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature and comprises three Supreme Courts: the Court of Cassation (Άρειος Πάγος), the Council of State (Συμβούλιο της Επικρατείας) and the Court of Auditors (Ελεγκτικό Συνέδριο). The Judiciary system is also composed of civil courts, which judge civil and penal cases and administrative courts, which judge disputes between the citizens and the Greek administrative authorities. The Hellenic Police
Hellenic Police
(Greek: Ελληνική Αστυνομία) is the national police force of Greece. It is a very large agency with its responsibilities ranging from road traffic control to counter-terrorism. It was established in 1984 under Law 1481/1-10-1984 (Government Gazette 152 A) as the result of the fusion of the Gendarmerie (Χωροφυλακή, Chorofylaki) and the Cities Police (Αστυνομία Πόλεων, Astynomia Poleon) forces.[138] Military

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Main article: Military of Greece

The Greek-made frigate Psara used by the Hellenic Navy

Boeing AH-64A Apache used by the Hellenic Army
Hellenic Army
Aviation

A F-16 Fighting Falcon, the main combat aircraft of the Hellenic Air Force, during an airshow

A Leopard 2A6 HEL of the Hellenic Army
Hellenic Army
on parade in Athens

The Hellenic Armed Forces
Hellenic Armed Forces
are overseen by the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (Greek: Γενικό Επιτελείο Εθνικής Άμυνας – ΓΕΕΘΑ), with civilian authority vested in the Ministry of National Defence. It consists of three branches:

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

Moreover, Greece
Greece
maintains the Hellenic Coast Guard
Hellenic Coast Guard
for law enforcement at sea, search and rescue, and port operations. Though it can support the navy during wartime, it resides under the authority of the Ministry of Shipping. Greek military personnel total 367,450, of whom 142,950 are active and 220,500 are reserve. Greece
Greece
ranks 15th in the world in the number of citizens serving in the armed forces, due largely to compulsory military service for males between the ages of 19 and 45 (females are exempted from conscription but may otherwise serve in the military). Mandatory military service is one year for the Army and nine months for the Navy and Air Force.[139] Additionally, Greek males between the ages of 18 and 60 who live in strategically sensitive areas may be required to serve part-time in the National Guard. However, as the military has sought to become a completely professional force, the government has promised to reduce mandatory military service or abolish it completely. As a member of NATO, the Greek military participates in exercises and deployments under the auspices of the alliance, although its involvement in NATO
NATO
missions is minimal.[140] Greece
Greece
spends over 7 billion USD annually on its military, or 2.3 percent of GDP, the 24th-highest in the world in absolute terms, the seventh-highest on a per capita basis, and the second-highest in NATO
NATO
after the United States. Moreover, Greece
Greece
is one of only five NATO
NATO
countries to meet or surpass the minimum defence spending target of 2 percent of GDP. Administrative divisions Main article: Administrative divisions of Greece Since the Kallikratis programme
Kallikratis programme
reform entered into effect on 1 January 2011, Greece
Greece
has consisted of thirteen regions subdivided into a total of 325 municipalities. The 54 old prefectures and prefecture-level administrations have been largely retained as sub-units of the regions. Seven decentralized administrations group one to three regions for administrative purposes on a regional basis. There is also one autonomous area, Mount Athos
Mount Athos
(Greek: Agio Oros, "Holy Mountain"), which borders the region of Central Macedonia.

No. Region Capital Area (km²) Area (sq. mi.) Population[141] GDP (bn)[142]

1 Attica Athens 3,808.10 1,470.32 3,828,434 €103.334

2 Central Greece Lamia 15,549.31 6,003.62 547,390 €12.530

3 Central Macedonia Thessaloniki 18,810.52 7,262.78 1,882,108 €34.458

4 Crete Heraklion 8,259 3,189 623,065 €12.854

5 East Macedonia and Thrace Komotini 14,157.76 5,466.34 608,182 €9.054

6 Epirus Ioannina 9,203.22 3,553.38 336,856 €5.827

7 Ionian Islands Corfu 2,306.94 890.71 207,855 €4.464

8 North Aegean Mytilene 3,835.91 1,481.05 199,231 €3.579

9 Peloponnese Tripoli 15,489.96 5,980.71 577,903 €11.230

10 South Aegean Ermoupoli 5,285.99 2,040.93 309,015 €7.816

11 Thessaly Larissa 14,036.64 5,419.58 732,762 €12.905

12 West Greece Patras 11,350.18 4,382.33 679,796 €12.122

13 West Macedonia Kozani 9,451 3,649 283,689 €5.564

No. Autonomous state Capital Area (km²) Area (sq. mi.) Population GDP (bn)

(14) Mount Athos Karyes 390 151 1,830 N/A

Economy Main articles: Economy of Greece
Economy of Greece
and List of Greek subdivisions by GDP Introduction

The main building of the Bank of Greece
Bank of Greece
in Athens.

Thessaloniki, the capital of Macedonia, important financial and industrial center of Northern Greece.

Graphical depiction of Greece's product exports in 2012 in 28 color-coded categories

According to World Bank
World Bank
statistics for the year 2013, the economy of Greece
Greece
is the 43rd largest by nominal gross domestic product at $242 billion[143] and 52nd largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) at $284 billion.[144] Additionally, Greece
Greece
is the 15th largest economy in the 27-member European Union.[145] In terms of per capita income, Greece is ranked 38th or 40th in the world at $21,910 and $25,705 for nominal GDP and PPP respectively. The Greek economy is classified as advanced[146][147][148][149][150] and high-income.[151][149] Greece
Greece
is a developed country with a high standard of living and a high ranking in the Human Development Index.[152][153][154] Its economy mainly comprises the service sector (85.0%) and industry (12.0%), while agriculture makes up 3.0% of the national economic output.[155] Important Greek industries include tourism (with 14.9 million[156] international tourists in 2009, it is ranked as the 7th most visited country in the European Union[156] and 16th in the world[156] by the United Nations
United Nations
World Tourism Organization) and merchant shipping (at 16.2%[157] of the world's total capacity, the Greek merchant marine is the largest in the world[157]), while the country is also a considerable agricultural producer (including fisheries) within the union. With an economy larger than all the Balkan economies combined, Greece is the largest economy in the Balkans,[158][159][160] and an important regional investor.[158][159] Greece
Greece
is the number-two foreign investor of capital in Albania, the number-three foreign investor in Bulgaria, at the top-three of foreign investors in Romania
Romania
and Serbia
Serbia
and the most important trading partner and largest foreign investor of the Republic of Macedonia. Greek banks open a new branch somewhere in the Balkans
Balkans
on an almost weekly basis.[161][162][163] The Greek telecommunications company OTE
OTE
has become a strong investor in Yugoslavia and other Balkan countries.[161] Greece
Greece
was a founding member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). In 1979 the accession of the country in the European Communities
European Communities
and the single market was signed, and the process was completed in 1982. Greece
Greece
was accepted into the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union
European Union
on 19 June 2000, and in January 2001 adopted the Euro
Euro
as its currency, replacing the Greek drachma at an exchange rate of 340.75 drachma to the Euro.[164] Greece is also a member of the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
and the World Trade Organization, and is ranked 24th on the KOF Globalization Index for 2013. Debt crisis (2010–2015) See also: Greek government-debt crisis

Greek public debt 1999–2010 compared with Eurozone
Eurozone
average

By the end of 2009, as a result of a combination of international and local factors the Greek economy faced its most-severe crisis since the restoration of democracy in 1974 as the Greek government revised its deficit from an estimated 6% to 12.7% of gross domestic product (GDP).[165][166] In early 2010, it was revealed that through the assistance of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase
and numerous other banks, financial products were developed which enabled the governments of Greece, Italy
Italy
and many other European countries to hide their borrowing.[167][168] Dozens of similar agreements were concluded across Europe
Europe
whereby banks supplied cash in advance in exchange for future payments by the governments involved; in turn, the liabilities of the involved countries were "kept off the books".[168][169][170][171][172][173] According to Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel
credits given to European governments were disguised as "swaps" and consequently did not get registered as debt. As Eurostat
Eurostat
at the time ignored statistics involving financial derivatives, a German derivatives dealer had commented to Der Spiegel that "The Maastricht rules can be circumvented quite legally through swaps," and "In previous years, Italy
Italy
used a similar trick to mask its true debt with the help of a different US bank."[173] These conditions had enabled Greek as well as many other European governments to spend beyond their means, while meeting the deficit targets of the European Union.[168][174] In May 2010, the Greek government deficit was again revised and estimated to be 13.6%[175] which was the second highest in the world relative to GDP with Iceland
Iceland
in first place at 15.7% and the United Kingdom third with 12.6%.[176] Public debt was forecast, according to some estimates, to hit 120% of GDP during 2010.[177] As a consequence, there was a crisis in international confidence in Greece's ability to repay its sovereign debt. To avert such a default, in May 2010 the other Eurozone
Eurozone
countries, and the IMF, agreed to a rescue package which involved giving Greece
Greece
an immediate €45 billion in loans, with more funds to follow, totaling €110 billion.[178][179] To secure the funding, Greece
Greece
was required to adopt harsh austerity measures to bring its deficit under control.[180] In 2011, it became apparent that the bail-out would be insufficient and a second bail-out amounting to €130 billion ($173 billion) was agreed in 2012, subject to strict conditions, including financial reforms and further austerity measures.[181] As part of the deal, there was to be a 53% reduction in the Greek debt burden to private creditors and any profits made by Eurozone
Eurozone
central banks on their holdings of Greek debt are to be repatriated back to Greece.[181] Greece
Greece
achieved a primary government budget surplus in 2013. In April 2014, Greece
Greece
returned to the global bond market as it successfully sold €3 billion worth of five-year government bonds at a yield of 4.95%. Greece
Greece
returned to growth after six years of economic decline in the second quarter of 2014,[182] and was the Eurozone's fastest-growing economy in the third quarter.[183] Agriculture Main article: Agriculture
Agriculture
in Greece

Sun-drying of Zante currant
Zante currant
on Zakynthos

In 2010, Greece
Greece
was the European Union's largest producer of cotton (183,800 tons) and pistachios (8,000 tons)[184] and ranked second in the production of rice (229,500 tons)[184] and olives (147,500 tons),[185] third in the production of figs (11,000 tons),[185] almonds (44,000 tons),[185] tomatoes (1,400,000 tons),[185] and watermelons (578,400 tons)[185] and fourth in the production of tobacco (22,000 tons).[184] Agriculture
Agriculture
contributes 3.8% of the country's GDP and employs 12.4% of the country's labor force. Greece
Greece
is a major beneficiary of the Common Agricultural Policy
Common Agricultural Policy
of the European Union. As a result of the country's entry to the European Community, much of its agricultural infrastructure has been upgraded and agricultural output increased. Between 2000 and 2007 organic farming in Greece
Greece
increased by 885%, the highest change percentage in the EU. Energy Main article: Energy in Greece

Agios Dimitrios Power Plant

Solar-power generation potential in Greece

Prinos oil field
Prinos oil field
near Kavala

Electricity production in Greece
Greece
is dominated by the state-owned Public Power Corporation (known mostly by its acronym ΔΕΗ, or in English DEI). In 2009 DEI supplied for 85.6% of all electric energy demand in Greece,[186] while the number fell to 77.3% in 2010.[186] Almost half (48%) of DEI's power output is generated using lignite, a drop from the 51.6% in 2009.[186] Twelve percent of Greece's electricity comes from hydroelectric power plants[187] and another 20% from natural gas.[187] Between 2009 and 2010, independent companies' energy production increased by 56%,[186] from 2,709 Gigawatt hour in 2009 to 4,232 GWh in 2010.[186] In 2012, renewable energy accounted for 13.8% of the country's total energy consumption,[188] a rise from the 10.6% it accounted for in 2011,[188] a figure almost equal to the EU average of 14.1% in 2012.[188] 10% of the country's renewable energy comes from solar power,[189] while most comes from biomass and waste recycling.[189] In line with the European Commission's Directive on Renewable Energy, Greece
Greece
aims to get 18% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.[190] In 2013, according to the independent power transmission operator in Greece
Greece
(ΑΔΜΗΕ) more than 20% of the electricity in Greece
Greece
has been produced from renewable energy sources and hydroelectric powerplants. This percentage in April reached 42%. Greece
Greece
currently does not have any nuclear power plants in operation; however, in 2009 the Academy of Athens
Athens
suggested that research in the possibility of Greek nuclear power plants begin.[191] Maritime industry Main articles: Greek shipping
Greek shipping
and List of ports in Greece See also: Economy of Greece » Maritime industry

Greece
Greece
controls 16.2% of the world's total merchant fleet, making it the largest in the world. Greece
Greece
is ranked in the top 5 for all kinds of ships, including first for tankers and bulk carriers.

The shipping industry has been a key element of Greek economic activity since ancient times.[192] Shipping remains one of the country's most important industries, accounting for 4.5 percent of GDP, employing about 160,000 people (4 percent of the workforce), and representing a third of the trade deficit.[193] According to a 2011 report by the United Nations
United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development, the Greek Merchant Navy
Greek Merchant Navy
is the largest in the world at 16.2 percent of total global capacity,[157] up from 15.96 percent in 2010[194] but below the peak of 18.2 percent in 2006.[195] The country's merchant fleet ranks first in total tonnage (202 million dwt),[157] fourth in total number of ships (at 3,150), first in both tankers and dry bulk carriers, fourth in the number of containers, and fifth in other ships.[196] However, today's fleet roster is smaller than an all-time high of 5,000 ships in the late 1970s.[192] Additionally, the total number of ships flying a Greek flag (includes non-Greek fleets) is 1,517, or 5.3 percent of the world's dwt (ranked fifth globally).[194] During the 1960s, the size of the Greek fleet nearly doubled, primarily through the investment undertaken by the shipping magnates, Aristotle Onassis
Aristotle Onassis
and Stavros Niarchos.[197] The basis of the modern Greek maritime industry was formed after World War II
World War II
when Greek shipping businessmen were able to amass surplus ships sold to them by the U.S. government through the Ship Sales Act of the 1940s.[197] Greece
Greece
has a significant shipbuilding and ship maintenance industry. The six shipyards around the port of Piraeus
Piraeus
are among the largest in Europe.[198] In recent years, Greece
Greece
has also become a leader in the construction and maintenance of luxury yachts.[199] Tourism Main article: Tourism in Greece

Panorama of Santorini, popular tourist destination

Tourism has been a key element of the economic activity in the country and one of the country's most important sectors, contributing 18% of the gross domestic product.[200] Greece
Greece
welcomed over 28 million visitors in 2016,[201] which is an increase from the 26.5 million tourists it welcomed in 2015 and the 19.5 million in 2009,[202] and the 17.7 million tourists in 2007,[203] making Greece
Greece
one of the most visited countries in Europe
Europe
in the recent years. The vast majority of visitors in Greece
Greece
in 2007 came from the European continent, numbering 12.7 million,[204] while the most visitors from a single nationality were those from the United Kingdom, (2.6 million), followed closely by those from Germany
Germany
(2.3 million).[204] In 2010, the most visited region of Greece
Greece
was that of Central Macedonia, with 18% of the country's total tourist flow (amounting to 3.6 million tourists), followed by Attica
Attica
with 2.6 million and the Peloponnese with 1.8 million.[202] Northern Greece
Northern Greece
is the country's most-visited geographical region, with 6.5 million tourists, while Central Greece is second with 6.3 million.[202] In 2010, Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
ranked Greece's northern and second-largest city of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
as the world's fifth-best party town worldwide, comparable to other cities such as Dubai
Dubai
and Montreal.[205] In 2011, Santorini
Santorini
was voted as "The World's Best Island" in Travel + Leisure.[206] Its neighboring island Mykonos, came in fifth in the European category.[206]

Panoramic view of the old Corfu
Corfu
City, a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site, as seen from the Old Fortress. The Bay of Garitsa is to the left and the port of Corfu
Corfu
is just visible on the top right. Spianada Square
Spianada Square
is in the foreground.

Transport

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Main article: Transport in Greece

The Rio–Antirrio bridge
Rio–Antirrio bridge
(Charilaos Trikoupis) connects mainland Greece
Greece
to the Peloponnese.

Since the 1980s, the road and rail network of Greece
Greece
has been significantly modernized. Important works include the A2 (Egnatia Odos) motorway, that connects northwestern Greece
Greece
(Igoumenitsa) with northern Greece
Greece
(Thessaloniki) and northeastern Greece
Greece
(Kipoi); the Rio– Antirrio
Antirrio
bridge, the longest suspension cable bridge in Europe (2,250 m (7,382 ft) long), connecting the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
(Rio, 7 km (4 mi) from Patras) with Aetolia-Akarnania (Antirrio) in western Greece. Also completed are the A5 (Ionia Odos) motorway that connects northwestern Greece
Greece
(Ioannina) with western Greece
Greece
(Antirrio); the last sections of the A1 motorway, connecting Athens
Athens
to Thessaloniki and Evzonoi
Evzonoi
in northern Greece; as well as the A8 motorway (part of the Olympia Odos) in Peloponnese, connecting Athens
Athens
to Patras. The remaining section of Olympia Odos, connecting Patras
Patras
with Pyrgos, is under planning. Other important projects that are currently underway, include the construction of the Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Metro. The Athens
Athens
Metropolitan Area in particular is served by some of the most modern and efficient transport infrastructure in Europe, such as the Athens
Athens
International Airport, the privately run A6 (Attiki Odos) motorway network and the expanded Athens
Athens
Metro system. Most of the Greek islands and many main cities of Greece
Greece
are connected by air mainly from the two major Greek airlines, Olympic Air
Olympic Air
and Aegean Airlines. Maritime connections have been improved with modern high-speed craft, including hydrofoils and catamarans. Railway connections play a somewhat lesser role in Greece
Greece
than in many other European countries, but they too have also been expanded, with new suburban/commuter rail connections, serviced by Proastiakos
Proastiakos
around Athens, towards its airport, Kiato
Kiato
and Chalkida; around Thessaloniki, towards the cities of Larissa
Larissa
and Edessa; and around Patras. A modern intercity rail connection between Athens
Athens
and Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
has also been established, while an upgrade to double lines in many parts of the 2,500 km (1,600 mi) network is underway. International railway lines connect Greek cities with the rest of Europe, the Balkans
Balkans
and Turkey. Telecommunications Main article: Telecommunications in Greece

OTE
OTE
headquarters in Athens

Modern digital information and communication networks reach all areas. There are over 35,000 km (21,748 mi) of fiber optics and an extensive open-wire network. Broadband internet availability is widespread in Greece: there were a total of 2,252,653 broadband connections as of early 2011[update], translating to 20% broadband penetration.[207] According to 2017 data, around 82% of the general population used the internet regularly.[208] Internet cafés that provide net access, office applications and multiplayer gaming are also a common sight in the country, while mobile internet on 3G and 4G- LTE cellphone networks and Wi-Fi connections can be found almost everywhere.[209] 3G/4G mobile internet usage has been on a sharp increase in recent years. Based on 2016 data 70% of Greek internet users have access via 3G/4G mobile.[208] The United Nations
United Nations
International Telecommunication Union ranks Greece among the top 30 countries with a highly developed information and communications infrastructure.[210] Science and technology Main article: List of Greek inventions and discoveries

Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Science Center and Technology Museum

The General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Ministry of Development and Competitiveness is responsible for designing, implementing and supervising national research and technological policy. In 2003, public spending on research and development (R&D) was 456.37 million euros, a 12.6 percent increase from 2002. Total R&D spending (both public and private) as a percentage of GDP has more than doubled since 1989, from 0.38 percent to 0.83 percent as of 2014. Although R&D spending in Greece
Greece
remains lower than the EU average of 1.93 percent, between 1990 and 1998, total R&D expenditure in Greece
Greece
enjoyed the third-highest increase in Europe, after Finland
Finland
and Ireland. Because of its strategic location, qualified workforce, and political and economic stability, many multinational companies such as Ericsson, Siemens, Motorola, Coca-Cola, and Tesla[211] have their regional research and development headquarters in Greece.

Laboratory of ion accelerator, National Centre of Scientific Research "Demokritos"

Greece
Greece
has several major technology parks with incubator facilities, including the Science and Technology Park of Crete
Crete
(Heraklion), the Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Technology Park, the Lavrio Technology Park and the Patras
Patras
Science Park, the Science and Technology Park of Epirus (Ioannina). Greece
Greece
has been a member of the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2005.[212] Cooperation between ESA and the Hellenic National Space Committee began in the early 1990s. In 1994, Greece
Greece
and ESA signed their first cooperation agreement. Having formally applied for full membership in 2003, Greece
Greece
became the ESA's sixteenth member on 16 March 2005. Greece
Greece
participates in the ESA's telecommunication and technology activities, and the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Initiative. The National Centre of Scientific Research "Demokritos"
National Centre of Scientific Research "Demokritos"
was founded in 1959. The original objective of the center was the advancement of nuclear research and technology. Today, its activities cover several fields of science and engineering. Greece
Greece
has one of the highest rates of tertiary enrollment in the world,[213] while Greeks
Greeks
are well represented in academia worldwide; many leading Western universities employ a disproportionately high number of Greek faculty.[214]

Georgios Papanikolaou, a pioneer in cytopathology and early cancer detection

Notable Greek scientists of modern times include Georgios Papanikolaou (inventor of the Pap test), mathematician Constantin Carathéodory (known for the Carathéodory theorems and Carathéodory conjecture), astronomer E. M. Antoniadi, archaeologists Ioannis Svoronos, Valerios Stais, Spyridon Marinatos, Manolis Andronikos
Manolis Andronikos
(discovered the tomb of Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon
in Vergina), Indologist Dimitrios Galanos, botanist Theodoros G. Orphanides, such as Michael Dertouzos, Nicholas Negroponte, John Argyris, John Iliopoulos
John Iliopoulos
(2007 Dirac Prize for his contributions on the physics of the charm quark, a major contribution to the birth of the Standard Model, the modern theory of Elementary Particles), Joseph Sifakis (2007 Turing Award, the "Nobel Prize" of Computer Science), Christos Papadimitriou
Christos Papadimitriou
(2002 Knuth Prize, 2012 Gödel Prize), Mihalis Yannakakis
Mihalis Yannakakis
(2005 Knuth Prize) and physicist Dimitri Nanopoulos. Medical sector The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates
Hippocrates
is considered the "father of western medicine",[215][216] who laid the foundation for a rational approach to medicine. Hippocrates
Hippocrates
introduced the Hippocratic Oath
Hippocratic Oath
for physicians, which is still relevant and in use today, and was the first to categorize illnesses as acute, chronic, endemic and epidemic, and use terms such as, "exacerbation, relapse, resolution, crisis, paroxysm, peak, and convalescence".[217][218] After the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and the onset of the Early Middle Ages, the Greek tradition of medicine went into decline in Western Europe, although it continued uninterrupted in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. Today the country is a medical services centre and an evolving destination of medical tourism.[219][220] Notable modern Greek physicians include Andreas Anagnostakis, Panayotis Potagos, Constantin von Economo, Georg N. Koskinas, Grigoris Lambrakis, Amalia Fleming, Benediktos Adamantiades, Petros Kokkalis, Dimitrios Trichopoulos, while the most known worldwide is Georgios Papanikolaou, inventor also of the "Pap test". Demographics Main article: Demographics of Greece

Hermoupolis, on the island of Syros, is the capital of the Cyclades.

According to the official statistical body of Greece, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), the country's total population in 2011 was 10,816,286.[2] The birth rate in 2003 stood at 9.5 per 1,000 inhabitants, significantly lower than the rate of 14.5 per 1,000 in 1981. At the same time, the mortality rate increased slightly from 8.9 per 1,000 inhabitants in 1981 to 9.6 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2003. Estimates from 2016 show the birth rate decreasing further still to 8.5 per 1,000 and mortality climbing to 11.2 per 1,000.[221] Greek society has changed rapidly over the last several decades, coinciding with the wider European trend of declining fertility and rapid aging. The fertility rate of 1.41 is below replacement levels and is one of the lowest in the world, subsequently leading to an increase in the median age to 44.2 years, the seventh-highest in the world. In 2001, 16.71 percent of the population were 65 years old and older, 68.12 percent between the ages of 15 and 64 years old, and 15.18 percent were 14 years old and younger.[222] By 2016, the proportion of the population age 65 and older rose to 20.68 percent, while those age 14 and younger declined to slightly below 14 percent. Marriage rates began declining from almost 71 per 1,000 inhabitants in 1981 until 2002, only to increase slightly in 2003 to 61 per 1,000 and then fall again to 51 in 2004.[222] Moreover, divorce rates have seen an increase from 191.2 per 1,000 marriages in 1991 to 239.5 per 1,000 marriages in 2004.[222] As a result of these trends, the average Greek household is smaller and older than in previous generations. Cities See also: List of cities in Greece Almost two-thirds of the Greek people
Greek people
live in urban areas. Greece's largest and most influential metropolitan centres are those of Athens and Thessaloniki, which is commonly referred to in Greek as the "συμπρωτεύουσα" (lit. "co-capital"[223]), with metropolitan populations of approximately 4 million and 1 million inhabitants respectively. Other prominent cities with urban populations above 100,000 inhabitants include those of Patras, Heraklion, Larissa, Volos, Rhodes, Ioannina, Agrinio, Chania, and Chalcis.[224] The table below lists the largest cities in Greece, by population contained in their respective contiguous built up urban areas, which are either made up of many municipalities, evident in the cases of Athens
Athens
and Thessaloniki, or are contained within a larger single municipality, case evident in most of the smaller cities of the country. The results come from the preliminary figures of the population census that took place in Greece
Greece
in May 2011.

 

v t e

Largest cities or towns in Greece Hellenic Statistical Authority
Hellenic Statistical Authority
2011 census[225]

Rank Name Region Pop. Rank Name Region Pop.

Athens

Thessaloniki 1 Athens Attica 3,090,508 11 Chalcis Central Greece 102,223

Patras

Heraklion

2 Thessaloniki Central Macedonia 788,952 12 Katerini Central Macedonia 85,851

3 Patras Western Greece 213,984 13 Trikala Thessaly 81,355

4 Heraklion Crete 173,993 14 Serres Central Macedonia 76,816

5 Larissa Thessaly 162,591 15 Lamia Central Greece 75,315

6 Volos Thessaly 144,449 16 Alexandroupoli Eastern Macedonia and Thrace 72,959

7 Rhodes South Aegean 115,490 17 Kozani Western Macedonia 71,388

8 Ioannina Epirus 112,486 18 Kavala Eastern Macedonia and Thrace 70,501

9 Chania Crete 108,310 19 Kalamata Peloponnese 69,849

10 Agrinio Western Greece 106,053 20 Veria Central Macedonia 66,547

Functional urban areas

Functional urban areas[226] Population 2011

Athens
Athens
(Metro) 3,828,434

Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
(Metro) 973,997

Patras 217,555

Heraklion 211,370

Larissa 195,120

Volos 137,630

Ioannina 132,979

Religion Main articles: Religion in Greece, Greek Orthodox Church, and Church of Greece See also: Hellenismos, Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
religion, and Romaniote Jews

Our Lady of Tinos, the major Marian shrine
Marian shrine
in Greece.

Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
in Patmos, where the Book of Revelation was written

The Greek Constitution recognizes Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodoxy
as the "prevailing" faith of the country, while guaranteeing freedom of religious belief for all.[122][227] The Greek government does not keep statistics on religious groups and censuses do not ask for religious affiliation. According to the U.S. State Department, an estimated 97% of Greek citizens identify themselves as Eastern Orthodox, belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church,[228] which uses the Byzantine rite
Byzantine rite
and the Greek language, the original language of the New Testament. The administration of the Greek territory is shared between the Church of Greece
Greece
and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In a Eurostat – Eurobarometer 2010 poll, 79% of Greek citizens responded that they "believe there is a God".[229] According to other sources, 15.8% of Greeks
Greeks
describe themselves as "very religious", which is the highest among all European countries. The survey also found that just 3.5% never attend a church, compared to 4.9% in Poland and 59.1% in the Czech Republic.[230] Estimates of the recognized Greek Muslim minority, which is mostly located in Thrace, range around 100,000,[228][231] (about 1% of the population). Some of the Albanian immigrants to Greece
Greece
come from a nominally Muslim background, although most are secular in orientation.[232] Following the 1919–1922 Greco-Turkish War and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, Greece
Greece
and Turkey
Turkey
agreed to a population transfer based on cultural and religious identity. About 500,000 Muslims from Greece, predominantly those defined as Turks, but also Greek Muslims
Greek Muslims
like the Vallahades
Vallahades
of western Macedonia, were exchanged with approximately 1,500,000 Greeks
Greeks
from Turkey. However, many refugees who settled in former Ottoman Muslim villages in Central Macedonia and were defined as Christian Orthodox Caucasus Greeks arrived from the former Russian Transcaucasus
Transcaucasus
province of Kars Oblast after it had been retroceded to Turkey
Turkey
but in the few years before the official population exchange.[233]

Religiosity in Greece
Greece
(2015) [234]    Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodoxy
(90%)   Other Christians
Christians
(excluding Catholics) (3%)    Irreligion (4%)    Islam
Islam
(2%)   Other religions (including Catholics) (1%)

Judaism has been present in Greece
Greece
for more than 2,000 years. The ancient community of Greek Jews are called Romaniotes, while the Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews
were once a prominent community in the city of Thessaloniki, numbering some 80,000, or more than half of the population, by 1900.[235] However, after the German occupation of Greece
Greece
and the Holocaust during World War II, is estimated to number around 5,500 people.[228][231]

Ritual performed by Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes, an organization preserving Hellenic Paganism, the Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Religion.

The Roman Catholic community is estimated to be around 250,000[228][231] of which 50,000 are Greek citizens.[228] Their community is nominally separate from the smaller Greek Byzantine Catholic Church, which recognizes the primacy of the Pope
Pope
but maintains the liturgy of the Byzantine Rite.[236] Old Calendarists account for 500,000 followers.[231] Protestants, including the Greek Evangelical Church and Free Evangelical Churches, stand at about 30,000.[228][231] Other Christian minorities, such as Assemblies of God, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
and various Pentecostal churches of the Greek Synod of Apostolic Church total about 12,000 members.[237] The independent Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost is the biggest Protestant denomination in Greece
Greece
with 120 churches.[238] There are no official statistics about Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost, but the Orthodox Church estimates the followers as 20,000.[239] The Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
report having 28,874 active members.[240] In recent years there has been a small-scale revival of the ancient Greek religion, with estimates of 2,000 active practitioners and an additional 100,000 "sympathisers".[241][242][243] Languages

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Main articles: Greek language, Languages of Greece, and Minorities in Greece

The distribution of major contemporary Greek dialects.

The first textual evidence of the Greek language
Greek language
dates back to 15th century BC and the Linear B
Linear B
script which is associated with the Mycenaean Civilization. Greek was a widely spoken lingua franca in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
world and beyond during Classical Antiquity, and would eventually become the official parlance of the Byzantine Empire. During the 19th and 20th centuries there was a major dispute known as the Greek language
Greek language
question, on whether the official language of Greece
Greece
should be the archaic Katharevousa, created in the 19th century and used as the state and scholarly language, or the Dimotiki, the form of the Greek language
Greek language
which evolved naturally from Byzantine Greek and was the language of the people. The dispute was finally resolved in 1976, when Dimotiki was made the only official variation of the Greek language, and Katharevousa fell to disuse. Greece
Greece
is today relatively homogeneous in linguistic terms, with a large majority of the native population using Greek as their first or only language. Among the Greek-speaking population, speakers of the distinctive Pontic dialect came to Greece
Greece
from Asia
Asia
Minor after the Greek genocide
Greek genocide
and constitute a sizable group. The Cappadocian dialect came to Greece
Greece
due to the genocide as well, but is endangered and is barely spoken now. Indigenous Greek dialects include the archaic Greek spoken by the Sarakatsani, traditionally transhument mountain shepherds of Greek Macedonia
Greek Macedonia
and other parts of Northern Greece. The Tsakonian language, a distinct Greek language
Greek language
deriving from Doric Greek instead of Koine Greek, is still spoken in some villages in the southeastern Peloponnese.

Regions with a traditional presence of languages other than Greek. Today, Greek is the dominant language throughout the country.[244][245][246][247][248][249]

The Muslim minority in Thrace, which amounts to approximately 0.95% of the total population, consists of speakers of Turkish, Bulgarian (Pomaks)[249] and Romani. Romani is also spoken by Christian Roma in other parts of the country. Further minority languages have traditionally been spoken by regional population groups in various parts of the country. Their use has decreased radically in the course of the 20th century through assimilation with the Greek-speaking majority. Today they are only maintained by the older generations and are on the verge of extinction. This goes for the Arvanites, an Albanian-speaking group mostly located in the rural areas around the capital Athens, and for the Aromanians
Aromanians
and Moglenites, also known as Vlachs, whose language is closely related to Romanian and who used to live scattered across several areas of mountainous central Greece. Members of these groups ethnically identify as Greeks[250] and are today all at least bilingual in Greek. Near the northern Greek borders there are also some Slavic–speaking groups, locally known as Slavomacedonian-speaking, most of whose members identify ethnically as Greeks. It is estimated that after the population exchanges of 1923, Macedonia had 200,000 to 400,000 Slavic speakers.[251] The Jewish community in Greece
Greece
traditionally spoke Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), today maintained only by a few thousand speakers. Other notable minority languages include Armenian, Georgian, and the Greco-Turkic dialect spoken by the Urums, a community of Caucasus Greeks
Caucasus Greeks
from the Tsalka
Tsalka
region of central Georgia and ethnic Greeks
Greeks
from southeastern Ukraine
Ukraine
who arrived in mainly Northern Greece as economic migrants in the 1990s. Migration Main articles: Greek Diaspora
Greek Diaspora
and Immigration to Greece

A map of the fifty countries with the largest Greek diaspora communities.

Throughout the 20th century, millions of Greeks
Greeks
migrated to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Germany, creating a large Greek diaspora. Net migration started to show positive numbers from the 1970s, but until the beginning of the 1990s, the main influx was that of returning Greek migrants or of Pontic Greeks
Pontic Greeks
and others from Russia, Georgia, Turkey
Turkey
the Czech Republic, and elsewhere in the former Soviet Bloc.[252] A study from the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Migration Observatory maintains that the 2001 census recorded 762,191 persons residing in Greece
Greece
without Greek citizenship, constituting around 7% of total population. Of the non-citizen residents, 48,560 were EU or European Free Trade Association nationals and 17,426 were Cypriots with privileged status. The majority come from Eastern European countries: Albania
Albania
(56%), Bulgaria
Bulgaria
(5%) and Romania
Romania
(3%), while migrants from the former Soviet Union (Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, etc.) comprise 10% of the total.[253] Some of the immigrants from Albania
Albania
are from the Greek minority in Albania
Albania
centred on the region of Northern Epirus. In addition the total Albanian national population which includes temporary migrants and undocumented persons is around 600,000.[254] The 2011 census recorded 9,903,268 Greek citizens (91,56%), 480,824 Albanian citizens (4,44%), 75,915 Bulgarian citizens (0,7%), 46,523 Romanian citizenship (0,43%), 34,177 Pakistani citizens (0,32%), 27,400 Georgian citizens (0,25%) and 247,090 people had other or unidentified citizenship (2,3%).[255] 189,000 people of the total population of Albanian citizens were reported in 2008 as ethnic Greeks from Southern Albania, in the historical region of Northern Epirus.[252] The greatest cluster of non-EU immigrant population are the larger urban centers, especially the Municipality of Athens, with 132,000 immigrants comprising 17% of the local population, and then Thessaloniki, with 27,000 immigrants reaching 7% of the local population. There is also a considerable number of co-ethnics that came from the Greek communities of Albania
Albania
and the former Soviet Union.[252] Greece, together with Italy
Italy
and Spain, is a major entry point for illegal immigrants trying to enter the EU. Illegal immigrants entering Greece
Greece
mostly do so from the border with Turkey
Turkey
at the Evros River
Evros River
and the islands of the eastern Aegean across from Turkey
Turkey
(mainly Lesbos, Chios, Kos, and Samos). In 2012, the majority of illegal immigrants entering Greece
Greece
came from Afghanistan, followed by Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.[256] In 2015, arrivals of refugees by sea had increased dramatically mainly due to the ongoing Syrian civil war. There were 856,723 arrivals by sea in Greece, an almost fivefold increase to the same period of 2014, of which the Syrians
Syrians
represent almost 45%.[257] The majority of refugees and migrants use Greece
Greece
as a transit country, while their intended destinations are northern European Nations such as Austria, Germany
Germany
and Sweden.[258][259] Education

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Main article: Education in Greece

The Academy of Athens
Athens
is Greece's national academy and the highest research establishment in the country.

The Ionian Academy
Ionian Academy
in Corfu, the first academic institution of modern Greece.

Greeks
Greeks
have a long tradition of valuing and investing in paideia (education), which was upheld as one of the highest societal values in the Greek and Hellenistic world. The first European institution described as a university was founded in fifth century Constantinople and continued operating in various incarnations until the city's fall to the Ottomans in 1453.[260] The University of Constantinople
Constantinople
was Christian Europe's first secular institution of higher learning,[261] and by some measures was the world's first university.[260] Compulsory education in Greece
Greece
comprises primary schools (Δημοτικό Σχολείο, Dimotikó Scholeio) and gymnasium (Γυμνάσιο). Nursery schools (Παιδικός σταθμός, Paidikós Stathmós) are popular but not compulsory. Kindergartens (Νηπιαγωγείο, Nipiagogeío) are now compulsory for any child above four years of age. Children start primary school aged six and remain there for six years. Attendance at gymnasia starts at age 12 and lasts for three years. Greece's post-compulsory secondary education consists of two school types: unified upper secondary schools (Γενικό Λύκειο, Genikό Lykeiό) and technical–vocational educational schools (Τεχνικά και Επαγγελματικά Εκπαιδευτήρια, "TEE"). Post-compulsory secondary education also includes vocational training institutes (Ινστιτούτα Επαγγελματικής Κατάρτισης, "IEK") which provide a formal but unclassified level of education. As they can accept both Gymnasio (lower secondary school) and Lykeio (upper secondary school) graduates, these institutes are not classified as offering a particular level of education. According to the Framework Law (3549/2007), Public higher education "Highest Educational Institutions" (Ανώτατα Εκπαιδευτικά Ιδρύματα, Anótata Ekpaideytiká Idrýmata, "ΑΕΙ") consists of two parallel sectors:the University sector (Universities, Polytechnics, Fine Arts Schools, the Open University) and the Technological sector (Technological Education Institutions (TEI) and the School of Pedagogic and Technological Education). There are also State Non-University Tertiary Institutes offering vocationally oriented courses of shorter duration (2 to 3 years) which operate under the authority of other Ministries. Students are admitted to these Institutes according to their performance at national level examinations taking place after completion of the third grade of Lykeio. Additionally, students over twenty-two years old may be admitted to the Hellenic Open University
Hellenic Open University
through a form of lottery. The Capodistrian University of Athens
Athens
is the oldest university in the eastern Mediterranean. The Greek education system also provides special kindergartens, primary, and secondary schools for people with special needs or difficulties in learning. There are also specialist gymnasia and high schools offering musical, theological, and physical education. Seventy-two percent of Greek adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, which is slightly less than the OECD
OECD
average of 74 percent. The average Greek pupil scored 458 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD's 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is lower than the OECD
OECD
average of 486. On average, girls outperformed boys by 15 points, much more than the average OECD
OECD
gap of two points.[262] Healthcare system Main article: Health care in Greece Greece
Greece
has universal health care. In a 2000 World Health Organization report, its health care system ranked 14th in overall performance of 191 countries surveyed.[263] In a 2013 Save the Children
Save the Children
report, Greece
Greece
was ranked the 19th best country (out of 176 countries surveyed) for the state of mothers and newborn babies.[264] In 2010, there were 138 hospitals with 31,000 beds in the country, but on 1 July 2011, the Ministry for Health and Social Solidarity announced its plans to decrease the number to 77 hospitals with 36,035 beds, as a necessary reform to reduce expenses and further enhance healthcare standards.[265][disputed – discuss] Greece's healthcare expenditures as a percentage of GDP were 9.6% in 2007 according to a 2011 OECD report, just above the OECD
OECD
average of 9.5%.[266] The country has the largest number of doctors-to-population ratio of any OECD country.[266] Life expectancy
Life expectancy
in Greece
Greece
is 80.3 years, above the OECD
OECD
average of 79.5,[266] and among the highest in the world. The island of Icaria has the highest percentage of 90-year-olds in the world; approximately 33% of the islanders make it to 90 (and beyond).[267] Blue Zones author Dan Buettner
Dan Buettner
wrote an article in The New York Times
The New York Times
about the longevity of Icarians under the title "The Island Where People Forget to Die".[268] The 2011 OECD
OECD
report showed that Greece
Greece
had the largest percentage of adult daily smokers of any of the 34 OECD
OECD
members.[266] The country's obesity rate is 18.1%, which is above the OECD
OECD
average of 15.1%, but considerably lower than the American rate of 27.7%.[266] In 2008, Greece
Greece
had the highest rate of perceived good health in the OECD, at 98.5%.[269] Infant mortality, with a rate of 3.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, was below the 2007 OECD
OECD
average of 4.9.[266] Culture Main articles: Culture of Greece, Greeks, and List of Greeks

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, still used for theatrical plays.

The culture of Greece
Greece
has evolved over thousands of years, beginning in Mycenaean Greece
Mycenaean Greece
and continuing most notably into Classical Greece, through the influence of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and its Greek Eastern continuation, the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. Other cultures and nations, such as the Latin
Latin
and Frankish states, the Ottoman Empire, the Venetian Republic, the Genoese Republic, and the British Empire have also left their influence on modern Greek culture, although historians credit the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
with revitalising Greece
Greece
and giving birth to a single, cohesive entity of its multi-faceted culture.

Adamantios Korais, key figure of the modern Greek Enlightenment and with significant influence on the modern Greek language

In ancient times, Greece
Greece
was the birthplace of Western culture.[270] Modern democracies owe a debt to Greek beliefs in government by the people, trial by jury, and equality under the law. The ancient Greeks pioneered in many fields that rely on systematic thought, including biology, geometry, history,[271] philosophy,[272] physics and mathematics.[273] They introduced such important literary forms as epic and lyric poetry, history, tragedy, and comedy. In their pursuit of order and proportion, the Greeks
Greeks
created an ideal of beauty that strongly influenced Western art.[274] Visual arts

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See also: Greek art, Byzantine art, and Modern Greek
Modern Greek
art Artistic production in Greece
Greece
began in the prehistoric pre-Greek Cycladic and the Minoan civilizations, both of which were influenced by local traditions and the art of ancient Egypt.[275] There were several interconnected traditions of painting in ancient Greece. Due to their technical differences, they underwent somewhat differentiated developments. Not all painting techniques are equally well represented in the archaeological record. The most respected form of art, according to authors like Pliny or Pausanias, were individual, mobile paintings on wooden boards, technically described as panel paintings. Also, the tradition of wall painting in Greece
Greece
goes back at least to the Minoan and Mycenaean Bronze
Bronze
Age, with the lavish fresco decoration of sites like Knossos, Tiryns
Tiryns
and Mycenae. Much of the figural or architectural sculpture of ancient Greece
Greece
was painted colourfully. This aspect of Greek stonework is described as polychrome. Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
sculpture was composed almost entirely of marble or bronze; with cast bronze becoming the favoured medium for major works by the early 5th century. Both marble and bronze are fortunately easy to form and very durable. Chryselephantine
Chryselephantine
sculptures, used for temple cult images and luxury works, used gold, most often in leaf form and ivory for all or parts (faces and hands) of the figure, and probably gems and other materials, but were much less common, and only fragments have survived. By the early 19th century, the systematic excavation of ancient Greek sites had brought forth a plethora of sculptures with traces of notably multicolored surfaces. It was not until published findings by German archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann
Vinzenz Brinkmann
in the late 20th century, that the painting of ancient Greek sculptures became an established fact.[276] The art production continued also during the Byzantine era. The most salient feature of this new aesthetic was its “abstract,” or anti-naturalistic character. If classical art was marked by the attempt to create representations that mimicked reality as closely as possible, Byzantine art
Byzantine art
seems to have abandoned this attempt in favor of a more symbolic approach. The Byzantine painting concentrated mainly on icons and hagiographies. The Macedonian art (Byzantine)
Macedonian art (Byzantine)
was the artistic expression of Macedonian Renaissance, a label sometimes used to describe the period of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire (867–1056), especially the 10th century, which some scholars have seen as a time of increased interest in classical scholarship and the assimilation of classical motifs into Christian artwork. Post Byzantine art
Byzantine art
schools include the Cretan School
Cretan School
and Heptanese School. The first artistic movement in the Greek Kingdom
Greek Kingdom
can be considered the Greek academic art of the 19th century
Greek academic art of the 19th century
(Munich School). Notable modern Greek painters include Nikolaos Gyzis, Georgios Jakobides, Theodoros Vryzakis, Nikiforos Lytras, Konstantinos Volanakis, Nikos Engonopoulos
Nikos Engonopoulos
and Yannis Tsarouchis, while some notable sculptors are Pavlos Prosalentis, Ioannis Kossos, Leonidas Drosis, Georgios Bonanos
Georgios Bonanos
and Yannoulis Chalepas.

Nike by Paeonius
Paeonius
at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia
Archaeological Museum of Olympia
(5th BC)

The Lion of Amphipolis, erected in 4th BC in honour of Laomedon of Mytilene, admiral of Alexander the Great

The Stag Hunt Mosaic
Stag Hunt Mosaic
at the Archaeological Museum of Pella
Archaeological Museum of Pella
(3rd BC)

Byzantine mosaics of Hosios Loukas
Hosios Loukas
(11th century), artistic example of the Macedonian Renaissance

Statue of Andreas Miaoulis
Andreas Miaoulis
in Ermoupoli
Ermoupoli
by Georgios Bonanos

Architecture

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See also: Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
architecture, Byzantine architecture, and Modern Greek
Modern Greek
architecture The architecture of ancient Greece
Greece
was produced by the ancient Greeks (Hellenes), whose culture flourished on the Greek mainland, the Aegean Islands and their colonies, for a period from about 900 BC until the 1st century AD, with the earliest remaining architectural works dating from around 600 BC. The formal vocabulary of ancient Greek architecture, in particular the division of architectural style into three defined orders: the Doric Order, the Ionic Order
Ionic Order
and the Corinthian Order, was to have profound effect on Western architecture of later periods. Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture
is the architecture promoted by the Byzantine Empire, also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, which dominated Greece and the Greek speaking world during the Middle Ages. The empire endured for more than a millennium, dramatically influencing Medieval architecture throughout Europe
Europe
and the Near East, and becoming the primary progenitor of the Renaissance
Renaissance
and Ottoman architectural traditions that followed its collapse.

Traditional styled white houses in Naxos, Cyclades

After the Greek Independence, the modern Greek architects tried to combine traditional Greek and Byzantine elements and motives with the western European movements and styles. Patras
Patras
was the first city of the modern Greek state to develop a city plan. In January 1829, Stamatis Voulgaris, a Greek engineer of the French army, presented the plan of the new city to the Governor Kapodistrias, who approved it. Voulgaris applied the orthogonal rule in the urban complex of Patras.[277] Two special genres can be considered the Cycladic architecture, featuring white-coloured houses, in the Cyclades
Cyclades
and the Epirotic architecture in the region of Epirus.[278][279] After the establishment of the Greek Kingdom, the architecture of Athens
Athens
and other cities was mostly influenced by the Neoclassical architecture. For Athens, the first King of Greece, Otto of Greece, commissioned the architects Stamatios Kleanthis
Stamatios Kleanthis
and Eduard Schaubert to design a modern city plan fit for the capital of a state. As for Thessaloniki, after the fire of 1917, the government ordered for a new city plan under the supervision of Ernest Hébrard. Other modern Greek architects include Anastasios Metaxas, Panagis Kalkos, Ernst Ziller, Dimitris Pikionis and Georges Candilis. Theatre

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See also: Theatre of ancient Greece
Theatre of ancient Greece
and Modern Greek
Modern Greek
theatre

Nobile Teatro di San Giacomo di Corfù, the first theatre and opera house of modern Greece
Greece
and the place where the first Greek opera, "The Parliamentary Candidate" of Spyridon Xyndas, based on an exclusively Greek libretto was performed.

Theatre in its western form was born in Greece.[280] The city-state of Classical Athens, which became a significant cultural, political, and military power during this period, was its centre, where it was institutionalised as part of a festival called the Dionysia, which honoured the god Dionysus. Tragedy
Tragedy
(late 6th century BC), comedy (486 BC), and the satyr play were the three dramatic genres to emerge there. During the Byzantine period, the theatrical art was heavily declined. According to Marios Ploritis, the only form survived was the folk theatre (Mimos and Pantomimos), despite the hostility of the official state.[281] Later, during the Ottoman period, the main theatrical folk art was the Karagiozis. The renaissance which led to the modern Greek theatre, took place in the Venetian Crete. Significal dramatists include Vitsentzos Kornaros
Vitsentzos Kornaros
and Georgios Chortatzis. The modern Greek theatre was born after the Greek independence, in the early 19th century, and initially was influenced by the Heptanesean theatre and melodrama, such as the Italian opera. The Nobile Teatro di San Giacomo di Corfù was the first theatre and opera house of modern Greece
Greece
and the place where the first Greek opera, Spyridon Xyndas' The Parliamentary Candidate (based on an exclusively Greek libretto) was performed. During the late 19th and early 20th century, the Athenian theatre scene was dominated by revues, musical comedies, operettas and nocturnes and notable playwrights included Spyridon Samaras, Dionysios Lavrangas, Theophrastos Sakellaridis and others.

Nikos Kazantzakis, notable novelist and playwright

The National Theatre of Greece
National Theatre of Greece
was opened in 1900 as Royal Theatre.[282] Notable playwrights of the modern Greek theatre include Gregorios Xenopoulos, Nikos Kazantzakis, Pantelis Horn, Alekos Sakellarios and Iakovos Kambanelis, while notable actors include Cybele Andrianou, Marika Kotopouli, Aimilios Veakis, Orestis Makris, Katina Paxinou, Manos Katrakis and Dimitris Horn. Significant directors include Dimitris Rontiris, Alexis Minotis and Karolos Koun. Literature

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Main articles: Greek literature, Byzantine literature, and Modern Greek literature

Bust of Homer
Homer
in Ios, deathplace of the poet.

Greek literature
Greek literature
can be divided into three main categories: Ancient, Byzantine and modern Greek literature.[283] At the beginning of Greek literature
Greek literature
stand the two monumental works of Homer: the Iliad
Iliad
and the Odyssey. Though dates of composition vary, these works were fixed around 800 BC or after. In the classical period many of the genres of western literature became more prominent. Lyrical poetry, odes, pastorals, elegies, epigrams; dramatic presentations of comedy and tragedy; historiography, rhetorical treatises, philosophical dialectics, and philosophical treatises all arose in this period. The two major lyrical poets were Sappho
Sappho
and Pindar. The Classical era also saw the dawn of drama. Of the hundreds of tragedies written and performed during the classical age, only a limited number of plays by three authors have survived: those of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. The surviving plays by Aristophanes
Aristophanes
are also a treasure trove of comic presentation, while Herodotus
Herodotus
and Thucydides
Thucydides
are two of the most influential historians in this period. The greatest prose achievement of the 4th century was in philosophy with the works of the three great philosophers. Byzantine literature
Byzantine literature
refers to literature of the Byzantine Empire written in Atticizing, Medieval
Medieval
and early Modern Greek, and it is the expression of the intellectual life of the Byzantine Greeks
Greeks
during the Christian Middle Ages. Although popular Byzantine literature
Byzantine literature
and early Modern Greek
Modern Greek
literature both began in the 11th century, the two are indistinguishable.[284]

Constantine P. Cavafy, whose work was inspired mainly by the Hellenistic past, while Odysseas Elytis
Odysseas Elytis
(centre) and Giorgos Seferis (right) were representatives of the Generation of the '30s and Nobel laureates in Literature.

Modern Greek
Modern Greek
literature refers to literature written in common Modern Greek, emerging from late Byzantine times in the 11th century. The Cretan
Cretan
Renaissance
Renaissance
poem Erotokritos
Erotokritos
is undoubtedly the masterpiece of this period of Greek literature. It is a verse romance written around 1600 by Vitsentzos Kornaros
Vitsentzos Kornaros
(1553–1613). Later, during the period of Greek enlightenment (Diafotismos), writers such as Adamantios Korais and Rigas Feraios
Rigas Feraios
prepared with their works the Greek Revolution (1821–1830). Leading figures of modern Greek literature
Greek literature
include Dionysios Solomos, Andreas Kalvos, Angelos Sikelianos, Emmanuel Rhoides, Demetrius Vikelas, Kostis Palamas, Penelope Delta, Yannis Ritsos, Alexandros Papadiamantis, Nikos Kazantzakis, Andreas Embeirikos, Kostas Karyotakis, Gregorios Xenopoulos, Constantine P. Cavafy, Nikos Kavvadias, Kostas Varnalis
Kostas Varnalis
and Kiki Dimoula. Two Greek authors have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature: George Seferis
George Seferis
in 1963 and Odysseas Elytis
Odysseas Elytis
in 1979. Philosophy Main articles: Ancient Greek philosophy
Ancient Greek philosophy
and Modern Greek
Modern Greek
Enlightenment

Statue of Plato, Athens. "The safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." (Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, 1929).

Most western philosophical traditions began in Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
in the 6th century BC. The first philosophers are called "Presocratics," which designates that they came before Socrates, whose contributions mark a turning point in western thought. The Presocratics were from the western or the eastern colonies of Greece
Greece
and only fragments of their original writings survive, in some cases merely a single sentence. A new period of philosophy started with Socrates. Like the Sophists, he rejected entirely the physical speculations in which his predecessors had indulged, and made the thoughts and opinions of people his starting-point. Aspects of Socrates
Socrates
were first united from Plato, who also combined with them many of the principles established by earlier philosophers, and developed the whole of this material into the unity of a comprehensive system. Aristotle
Aristotle
of Stagira, the most important disciple of Plato, shared with his teacher the title of the greatest philosopher of antiquity. But while Plato
Plato
had sought to elucidate and explain things from the supra-sensual standpoint of the forms, his pupil preferred to start from the facts given us by experience. Except from these three most significant Greek philosophers other known schools of Greek philosophy from other founders during ancient times were Stoicism, Epicureanism, Skepticism and Neoplatonism.[285] Byzantine philosophy refers to the distinctive philosophical ideas of the philosophers and scholars of the Byzantine Empire, especially between the 8th and 15th centuries. It was characterised by a Christian world-view, but one which could draw ideas directly from the Greek texts of Plato, Aristotle, and the Neoplatonists. On the eve of the Fall of Constantinople, Gemistus Pletho
Gemistus Pletho
tried to restore the use of the term "Hellene" and advocated the return to the Olympian Gods
Olympian Gods
of the ancient world. After 1453 a number of Greek Byzantine scholars who fled to western Europe
Europe
contributed to the Renaissance. In modern period, Diafotismos
Diafotismos
(Greek: Διαφωτισμός, "enlightenment", "illumination") was the Greek expression of the Age of Enlightenment and its philosophical and political ideas. Some notable representatives were Adamantios Korais, Rigas Feraios
Rigas Feraios
and Theophilos Kairis. Other modern era Greek philosophers or political scientists include Cornelius Castoriadis, Nicos Poulantzas
Nicos Poulantzas
and Christos Yannaras. Music and dances

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Main article: Music of Greece

Cretan
Cretan
dancers of traditional folk music

Rebetes in Karaiskaki, Piraeus
Piraeus
(1933). Left Markos Vamvakaris with bouzouki.

Greek vocal music extends far back into ancient times where mixed-gender choruses performed for entertainment, celebration and spiritual reasons. Instruments during that period included the double-reed aulos and the plucked string instrument, the lyre, especially the special kind called a kithara. Music played an important role in the education system during ancient times. Boys were taught music from the age of six. Later influences from the Roman Empire, Middle East, and the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
also had effect on Greek music. While the new technique of polyphony was developing in the West, the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
resisted any type of change. Therefore, Byzantine music
Byzantine music
remained monophonic and without any form of instrumental accompaniment. As a result, and despite certain attempts by certain Greek chanters (such as Manouel Gazis, Ioannis Plousiadinos or the Cypriot Ieronimos o Tragoudistis), Byzantine music
Byzantine music
was deprived of elements of which in the West encouraged an unimpeded development of art. However, this method which kept music away from polyphony, along with centuries of continuous culture, enabled monophonic music to develop to the greatest heights of perfection. Byzantium presented the monophonic Byzantine chant; a melodic treasury of inestimable value for its rhythmical variety and expressive power. Along with the Byzantine (Church) chant and music, the Greek people also cultivated the Greek folk song (Demotiko) which is divided into two cycles, the akritic and klephtic. The akritic was created between the 9th and 10th centuries and expressed the life and struggles of the akrites (frontier guards) of the Byzantine empire, the most well known being the stories associated with Digenes Akritas. The klephtic cycle came into being between the late Byzantine period and the start of the Greek War of Independence. The klephtic cycle, together with historical songs, paraloghes (narrative song or ballad), love songs, mantinades, wedding songs, songs of exile and dirges express the life of the Greeks. There is a unity between the Greek people's struggles for freedom, their joys and sorrow and attitudes towards love and death.

Mikis Theodorakis
Mikis Theodorakis
is one of the most popular and significant Greek songwriters

The Heptanesean kantádhes (καντάδες 'serenades'; sing.: καντάδα) became the forerunners of the Greek modern urban popular song, influencing its development to a considerable degree. For the first part of the next century, several Greek composers continued to borrow elements from the Heptanesean style. The most successful songs during the period 1870–1930 were the so-called Athenian serenades, and the songs performed on stage (επιθεωρησιακά τραγούδια 'theatrical revue songs') in revue, operettas and nocturnes that were dominating Athens' theater scene. Rebetiko, initially a music associated with the lower classes, later (and especially after the population exchange between Greece
Greece
and Turkey) reached greater general acceptance as the rough edges of its overt subcultural character were softened and polished, sometimes to the point of unrecognizability. It was the base of the later laïkó (song of the people). The leading performers of the genre include Vassilis Tsitsanis, Grigoris Bithikotsis, Stelios Kazantzidis, George Dalaras, Haris Alexiou
Haris Alexiou
and Glykeria. Regarding the classical music, it was through the Ionian islands (which were under western rule and influence) that all the major advances of the western European classical music were introduced to mainland Greeks. The region is notable for the birth of the first School of modern Greek classical music (Heptanesean or Ionian School, Greek: Επτανησιακή Σχολή), established in 1815. Prominent representatives of this genre include Nikolaos Mantzaros, Spyridon Xyndas, Spyridon Samaras
Spyridon Samaras
and Pavlos Carrer. Manolis Kalomiris is considered the founder of the Greek National School of Music. In the 20th century, Greek composers have had a significant impact on the development of avant garde and modern classical music, with figures such as Iannis Xenakis, Nikos Skalkottas, and Dimitri Mitropoulos achieving international prominence. At the same time, composers and musicians such as Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hatzidakis, Eleni Karaindrou, Vangelis
Vangelis
and Demis Roussos
Demis Roussos
garnered an international following for their music, which include famous film scores such as Zorba the Greek, Serpico, Never on Sunday, America America, Eternity and a Day, Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner, among others. Greek American composers known for their film scores include also Yanni
Yanni
and Basil
Basil
Poledouris. Notable Greek opera singers and classical musicians of the 20th and 21st century include Maria Callas, Nana Mouskouri, Mario Frangoulis, Leonidas Kavakos, Dimitris Sgouros and others. During the dictatorship of the Colonels, the music of Mikis Theodorakis was banned by the junta and the composer was jailed, internally exiled, and put in a concentration camp,[286] before finally being allowed to leave Greece
Greece
due to international reaction to his detention. Released during the junta years, Anthrope Agapa, ti Fotia Stamata (Make Love, Stop the Gunfire), by the pop group Poll is considered the first anti-war protest song in the history of Greek rock.[287] The song was echoing the hippie slogan Make love, not war and was inspired directly by the Vietnam War, becoming a "smash hit" in Greece.[288] Greece
Greece
participated in the Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest
35 times after its debut at the 1974 Contest. In 2005, Greece
Greece
won with the song "My Number One", performed by Greek-Swedish singer Elena Paparizou. The song received 230 points with 10 sets of 12 points from Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Albania, Cyprus, Serbia & Montenegro, Sweden
Sweden
and Germany
Germany
and also became a smash hit in different countries and especially in Greece. The 51st Eurovision Song Contest was held in Athens
Athens
at the Olympic Indoor Hall
Olympic Indoor Hall
of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex in Maroussi, with hosted by Maria Menounos
Maria Menounos
and Sakis Rouvas. Cuisine Main articles: Greek cuisine
Greek cuisine
and Greek wine

Classic Greek salad

Greek cuisine
Greek cuisine
is characteristic of the healthy Mediterranean
Mediterranean
diet, which is epitomized by dishes of Crete.[289] Greek cuisine incorporates fresh ingredients into a variety of local dishes such as moussaka, pastitsio, classic Greek salad, fasolada, spanakopita and souvlaki. Some dishes can be traced back to ancient Greece
Greece
like skordalia (a thick purée of walnuts, almonds, crushed garlic and olive oil), lentil soup, retsina (white or rosé wine sealed with pine resin) and pasteli (candy bar with sesame seeds baked with honey). Throughout Greece
Greece
people often enjoy eating from small dishes such as meze with various dips such as tzatziki, grilled octopus and small fish, feta cheese, dolmades (rice, currants and pine kernels wrapped in vine leaves), various pulses, olives and cheese. Olive
Olive
oil is added to almost every dish. Some sweet desserts include melomakarona, diples and galaktoboureko, and drinks such as ouzo, metaxa and a variety of wines including retsina. Greek cuisine
Greek cuisine
differs widely from different parts of the mainland and from island to island. It uses some flavorings more often than other Mediterranean
Mediterranean
cuisines: oregano, mint, garlic, onion, dill and bay laurel leaves. Other common herbs and spices include basil, thyme and fennel seed. Many Greek recipes, especially in the northern parts of the country, use "sweet" spices in combination with meat, for example cinnamon and cloves in stews.

Greek taverna

Spanakopita

Retsina

Assyrtiko
Assyrtiko
grapes

Cinema

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Main article: Greek cinema

Aliki Vougiouklaki
Aliki Vougiouklaki
during a visit to Israel, 1964

Cinema first appeared in Greece
Greece
in 1896, but the first actual cine-theatre was opened in 1907 in Athens. In 1914 the Asty Films Company was founded and the production of long films began. Golfo (Γκόλφω), a well known traditional love story, is considered the first Greek feature film, although there were several minor productions such as newscasts before this. In 1931 Orestis Laskos directed Daphnis and Chloe (Δάφνις και Χλόη), containing one of 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 honoured with the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Theodoros Angelopoulos, winner of the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
in 1998, notable director in the history of the European cinema

The 1950s and early 1960s are considered by many to be a "golden age" of Greek cinema. Directors and actors of this era were recognized as important figures in Greece
Greece
and some gained international acclaim: George Tzavellas, Irene Papas, Melina Mercouri, Mihalis Kakogiannis, Alekos Sakellarios, Nikos Tsiforos, Iakovos Kambanelis, Katina Paxinou, Nikos Koundouros, Ellie Lambeti
Ellie Lambeti
and others. More than sixty films per year were made, with the majority having film noir elements. Some notable films include The Drunkard (1950, directed by George Tzavellas), The Counterfeit Coin (1955, by Giorgos Tzavellas), Πικρό Ψωμί (1951, by Grigoris Grigoriou), O Drakos (1956, by Nikos Koundouros), Stella (1955, directed by Cacoyannis and written by Kampanellis), Woe to the Young (1961, by Alekos Sakellarios), Glory Sky (1962, by Takis Kanellopoulos) and The Red Lanterns (1963, by Vasilis Georgiadis) Cacoyannis also directed Zorba the Greek
Zorba the Greek
with Anthony Quinn which received Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film nominations. Finos Film
Finos Film
also contributed in this period with movies such as Λατέρνα, Φτώχεια και Φιλότιμο, Madalena, I theia ap' to Chicago, Το ξύλο βγήκε από τον Παράδεισο and many more. During the 1970s and 1980s, Theo Angelopoulos
Theo Angelopoulos
directed a series of notable and appreciated movies. His film Eternity and a Day
Eternity and a Day
won the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. There are also internationally renowned filmmakers in the Greek diaspora, such as the Greek-French Costa-Gavras
Costa-Gavras
and the Greek-Americans Elia Kazan, John Cassavetes
John Cassavetes
and Alexander Payne. Sports Main article: Sports in Greece

Spyridon Louis
Spyridon Louis
entering the Panathenaic Stadium
Panathenaic Stadium
at the end of the marathon; 1896 Summer Olympics.

Angelos Charisteas
Angelos Charisteas
scoring Greece's winning goal in the UEFA Euro
Euro
2004 Final

Greece
Greece
is the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games, first recorded in 776 BC in Olympia, and hosted the modern Olympic Games
Olympic Games
twice, the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympics
1896 Summer Olympics
and the 2004 Summer Olympics. During the parade of nations Greece
Greece
is always called first, as the founding nation of the ancient precursor of modern Olympics. The nation has competed at every Summer Olympic Games, one of only four countries to have done so. Having won a total of 110 medals (30 gold, 42 silver and 38 bronze), Greece
Greece
is ranked 32nd by gold medals in the all-time Summer Olympic medal count. Their best ever performance was in the 1896 Summer Olympics, when Greece
Greece
finished second in the medal table with 10 gold medals. The Greek national football team, ranking 12th in the world in 2014 (and having reached a high of 8th in the world in 2008 and 2011),[290] were crowned European Champions in Euro
Euro
2004 in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport.[291] The Greek Super League is the highest professional football league in the country, comprising sixteen teams. The most successful are Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, AEK Athens, PAOK, Larissa
Larissa
and Aris Thessaloniki. The Greek national basketball team
Greek national basketball team
has a decades-long tradition of excellence in the sport, being considered among the world's top basketball powers. As of 2012[update], it ranked 4th in the world and 2nd in Europe.[292] They have won the European Championship twice in 1987 and 2005,[293] and have reached the final four in two of the last four FIBA World Championships, taking the second place in the world in 2006 FIBA World Championship, after a 101–95 win against Team USA in the tournament's semifinal. The domestic top basketball league, A1 Ethniki, is composed of fourteen teams. The most successful Greek teams are Panathinaikos, Olympiacos, Aris Thessaloniki, AEK Athens
Athens
and P.A.O.K. Greek basketball teams are the most successful in European basketball the last 25 years, having won 9 Euroleagues since the establishment of the modern era Euroleague Final Four
Euroleague Final Four
format in 1988, while no other nation has won more than 4 Euroleague championships in this period. Besides the 9 Euroleagues, Greek basketball teams (Panathinaikos, Olympiacos, Aris Thessaloniki, AEK Athens, P.A.O.K, Maroussi) have won 3 Triple Crowns, 5 Saporta Cups, 2 Korać Cups and 1 FIBA Europe
Europe
Champions Cup. After the 2005 European Championship triumph of the Greek national basketball team, Greece
Greece
became the reigning European Champion in both football and basketball.

The Greek national basketball team
Greek national basketball team
in 2008. Twice European champions (1987 and 2005) and second in the world in 2006

The Greece women's national water polo team
Greece women's national water polo team
have emerged as one of the leading powers in the world, becoming World Champions after their gold medal win against the hosts China
China
at the 2011 World Championship. They also won the silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics, the gold medal at the 2005 World League and the silver medals at the 2010 and 2012 European Championships. The Greece
Greece
men's national water polo team became the third best water polo team in the world in 2005, after their win against Croatia
Croatia
in the bronze medal game at the 2005 World Aquatics Championships in Canada. The domestic top water polo leagues, Greek Men's Water Polo League and Greek Women's Water Polo League are considered amongst the top national leagues in European water polo, as its clubs have made significant success in European competitions. In men's European competitions, Olympiacos has won the Champions League,[294] the European Super Cup and the Triple Crown in 2002[295] becoming the first club in water polo history to win every title in which it has competed within a single year (National championship, National cup, Champions League and European Super Cup),[296] while NC Vouliagmeni has won the LEN Cup Winners' Cup in 1997. In women's European competitions, Greek water polo teams (NC Vouliagmeni, Glyfada NSC, Olympiacos, Ethnikos Piraeus) are amongst the most successful in European water polο, having won 4 LEN Champions Cups, 3 LEN Trophies and 2 European Supercups. The Greek men's national volleyball team has won two bronze medals, one in the European Volleyball Championship and another one in the Men's European Volleyball League, a 5th place in the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
and a 6th place in the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship. The Greek league, the A1 Ethniki, is considered one of the top volleyball leagues in Europe
Europe
and the Greek clubs have had significant success in European competitions. Olympiacos is the most successful volleyball club in the country having won the most domestic titles and being the only Greek club to have won European titles; they have won two CEV Cups, they have been CEV Champions League
CEV Champions League
runners-up twice and they have played in 12 Final Fours in the European competitions, making them one of the most traditional volleyball clubs in Europe. Iraklis have also seen significant success in European competitions, having been three times runners-up of the CEV Champions League. In handball, AC Diomidis Argous is the only Greek club to have won a European Cup. Apart from these, cricket is relatively popular in Corfu. Mythology Main article: Greek mythology

Zeus
Zeus
was the King of the ancient Greek dodekatheon.

The numerous gods of the ancient Greek religion as well as the mythical heroes and events of the ancient Greek epics (The Odyssey
Odyssey
and The Iliad) and other pieces of art and literature from the time make up what is nowadays colloquially referred to as Greek mythology. Apart from serving a religious function, the mythology of the ancient Greek world also served a cosmological role as it was meant to try to explain how the world was formed and operated. The principal gods of the ancient Greek religion were the Dodekatheon, or the Twelve Gods, who lived on the top of Mount Olympus. The most important of all ancient Greek gods was Zeus, the king of the gods, who was married to Hera, who was also Zeus's sister. The other Greek gods that made up the Twelve Olympians
Twelve Olympians
were Ares, Poseidon, Athena, Demeter, Dionysus, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hephaestus
Hephaestus
and Hermes. Apart from these twelve gods, Greeks
Greeks
also had a variety of other mystical beliefs, such as nymphs and other magical creatures. Public holidays and festivals Main article: Public holidays in Greece

Procession in honor of the Assumption of Virgin Mary (15 August)

According to Greek law, every Sunday of the year is a public holiday. Since the late '70s, Saturday also is a non school and not working day. In addition, there are four mandatory official public holidays: 25 March (Greek Independence Day), Easter Monday, 15 August (Assumption or Dormition of the Holy Virgin), and 25 December (Christmas). 1 May (Labour Day) and 28 October (Ohi Day) are regulated by law as being optional but it is customary for employees to be given the day off. There are, however, more public holidays celebrated in Greece
Greece
than are announced by the Ministry of Labour each year as either obligatory or optional. The list of these non-fixed national holidays rarely changes and has not changed in recent decades, giving a total of eleven national holidays each year. In addition to the national holidays, there are public holidays that are not celebrated nationwide, but only by a specific professional group or a local community. For example, many municipalities have a "Patron Saint" parallel to "Name Days", or a "Liberation Day". On such days it is customary for schools to take the day off. Notable festivals, beyond the religious fests, include Patras Carnival, Athens
Athens
Festival
Festival
and various local wine festivals. The city of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
is also home of a number of festivals and events. The Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
International Film Festival
Festival
is one of the most important film festivals in Southern Europe.[297] See also

Greece
Greece
portal Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
portal Europe
Europe
portal European Union
European Union
portal United Nations
United Nations
portal NATO
NATO
portal

Outline of Greece

Outline of ancient Greece

Index of Greece-related articles

Notes

^ See:[11][12][13] ^ See:[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25] ^ On 14 August 1974 Greek forces withdrew from the integrated military structure of NATO
NATO
in protest at the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus; Greece
Greece
rejoined NATO
NATO
in 1980. ^ See:[112][113][114][115][116] ^ For a diachronic analysis of the Greek party system see Pappas 2003, pp. 90–114, who distinguishes three distinct types of party system which developed in consecutive order, namely, a predominant-party system (from 1952 to 1963), a system of polarised pluralism (between 1963 and 1981), and a two-party system (since 1981).

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Icaria
had the highest percentage of 90-year-olds anywhere on the planet — nearly 1 out of 3 people make it to their 90s.  ^ DAN BUETTNER (24 October 2012). "The Island Where People Forget to Die". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 April 2013.  ^ "Perceived Health Status". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 22 July 2011.  ^ Mazlish, Bruce. Civilization And Its Contents. Stanford University Press, 2004. p. 3. Web. 25 June 2012. ^ Myres, John. Herodotus, Father of History. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953. Web. 25 June 2012. ^ Copleston, Frederick. History of Philosophy, Volume 1. ^ Thomas Heath (1981). A History of Greek Mathematics. Courier Dover Publications. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-486-24073-2. Retrieved 19 August 2013.  ^ Peter Krentz, Ph.D., W. R. Grey Professor of History, Davidson College. "Greece, Ancient." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2012. Web. 8 July 2012. ^ " Egypt
Egypt
the Birthplace of Greek Decorative Art". www.digital.library.upenn.edu.  ^ Gurewitsch, Matthew (July 2008). "True Colors". Smithsonian: 66–71.  ^ Παύλος Κυριαζής, «Σταμάτης Βούλγαρης. Ο αγωνιστής, ο πολεοδόμος, ο άνθρωπος», στο: Συλλογικό, Πρώτοι Έλληνες τεχνικοί επιστήμονες περιόδου απελευθέρωσης, εκδ. Τεχνικό Επιμελητήριο Ελλάδος, Αθήνα, 1976, σελ.158 ^ "23 Best Examples of Cycladic Architecture". 23 April 2015.  ^ " Architecture
Architecture
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- "Greek literature: Byzantine literature" ^ "The Modern Greek language
Greek language
in its relation to Ancient Greek", E. M. Geldart ^ " Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Philosophy". Internet encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved 23 March 2016.  ^ Thomas S. Hischak (16 April 2015). The Encyclopedia of Film Composers. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 664. ISBN 978-1-4422-4550-1.  ^ "Kostas Tournas". europopmusic.eu. Retrieved 10 March 2013.  ^ Kostis Kornetis (30 November 2013). Children of the Dictatorship: Student Resistance, Cultural Politics and the 'Long 1960s' in Greece. Berghahn Books. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-78238-001-6.  ^ Edelstein, Sari (22 October 2010). Food, Cuisine, and Cultural Competency for Culinary, Hospitality, and Nutrition Professionals. Jones & Bartlett. pp. 147–49. ISBN 978-0-7637-5965-0. Retrieved 27 December 2011.  ^ "World Rankings". FIFA. July 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.  ^ McNulty, Phil (4 July 2004). " Greece
Greece
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Greece
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Thessaloniki
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Bibliography Main article: Bibliography of Greece

"Minorities in Greece – Historical Issues and New Perspectives". History and Culture of South Eastern Europe. An Annual Journal. München (Slavica) 2003. The Constitution of Greece (PDF). Paparrigopoulos, Xenophon; Vassilouni, Stavroula (translators). Athens: Hellenic Parliament. 2008. ISBN 978-960-560-073-0. Retrieved 21 March 2011.  Clogg, Richard (1992). A Concise History of Greece
History of Greece
(1st ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 10–37. ISBN 0-521-37228-3. Retrieved 23 March 2016. , 257 pp. Clogg, Richard (2002) [1992]. A Concise History of Greece
History of Greece
(2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00479-4. . Dagtoglou, PD (1991). "Protection of Individual Rights". Constitutional Law – Individual Rights (in Greek). I. Athens-Komotini: Ant. N. Sakkoulas.  Fine, John Van Antwerp (1991). The Early Medieval
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Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-08149-3. Retrieved 23 March 2016. , 376 pp. Hatzopoulos, Marios (2009). "From resurrection to insurrection: 'sacred' myths, motifs, and symbols in the Greek War of Independence". In Beaton, Roderick; Ricks, David. The making of Modern Greece: Nationalism, Romanticism, and the Uses of the Past (1797–1896). Ashgate. pp. 81–93.  Kalaitzidis, Akis (2010). Europe's Greece: A Giant in the Making. Palgrave Macmillan. , 219 pp. The impact of European Union membership on Greek politics, economics, and society. Kremmydas, Vassilis (1977). "Η οικονομική κρίση στον ελλαδικό χώρο στις αρχές του 19ου αιώνα και οι επιπτώσεις της στην Επανάσταση του 1821" [The economic crisis in Greek lands in the beginning of 19th century and its effects on the Revolution of 1821]. Μνήμων (in Greek). 6: 16–33.  Kremmydas, Vassilis (2002). "Προεπαναστατικές πραγματικότητες. Η οικονομική κρίση και η πορεία προς το Εικοσιένα" [Pre-revolutionary realities. The economic crisis and the course to '21]. Μνήμων (in Greek). 24: 71–84.  Mavrias, Kostas G (2002). Constitutional Law (in Greek). Athens: Ant. N. Sakkoulas. ISBN 978-960-15-0663-0.  Pappas, Takis (April 2003). "The Transformation of the Greek Party System Since 1951". West European Politics. 26 (2): 90–114. doi:10.1080/01402380512331341121. Retrieved 8 June 2008.  Story, Louise; Thomas, Landon Jr; Schwartz, Nelson D (14 February 2010). "Wall St. Helped to Mask Debt Fueling Europe's Crisis". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2013. . Trudgill, P (2000). " Greece
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