Basic information

Government: Parliamentary Republic
Official language: Greek
Alphabet: Greek
Religion: Eastern Orthodox
Time zone: UTC +2
Currency: EUR
Capital: Athens
Area: 131 940 m2
Population: 11 244 118
Phone code: +30
Internet domain: .gr

Useful information:
Greece (Greek: Ελλàδα) or Hellenic Republic (official occasions) is located in the southern part of Eastern Europe, in the south part of the Balkans and borders Turkey to the east, Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia and Albania to the north. Greece stands on a strategic crossroad between East and West. The country is surrounded by Ionian sea to the west and Aegean sea to the east, which are parts from the Mediterranean sea and includes many big and small islands. Greece consists of three distinct geographical areas: continental Greece, Peloponnese peninsula and the multiple islands (1400 - 227 of them inhabited), consisting one fifth part of the countrys territory.

Ancient Greece is considered as the cradle of western civilization. In the cities on its territory democracy, philosophy and theater were born. The Olympic Games also originate from Greece.

First traces from human presence here date from Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. The history of ancient Greece is divided on three principal periods: Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic. Under the name Archaic époque are the Cycladic civilization of the Aegean Sea, the Minoan civilization in Crete and then the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland (2700-1200 B.C.).

The classical Greece represents Athens from 5th century B.C. with the work of Pericles, of Greek drama from 4th century B.C. with Plato and Aristotle. Classical period is in fact the time when basic institutions and values of the ancient world reached full development and maturity.

The Hellenistic era is the period which starts with the conquest of bigger part of the Mediterranean and Asia from Alexander the Great and ends with the Roman subjugation of the Greek world. In that period magnificent cities like Alexandria, Antioch and Pergamum were build-up. During the Roman period the Greek peninsula becomes Roman province and the most significant cities assume Roman appearance. After the decline of the Roman Empire, Greece becomes springboard for aggression and domination, Byzantine Empire or Eastern Roman Empire is created, later conquered by Ottoman Empire. Greek state becomes an independent monarchy in 1830 after eight years long war for independence from Ottoman rule after intervention on the part of Europe. France, Russia and United Kingdom subsequently keep strong influence over the young kingdom. Political life and economy of the country fell quickly under the control of the states that proclaimed themselves as the Great Powers. Until WW II Greek history is characterized with many periods of tension with Turkey. In 1924 Greece became a Republic.

After the WW II constitutional problem and the beginning of Cold War hurled Greece into the Civil War which continued until 1949. The Regime of the Colonels is the name of the period between 1967 1974 which provoked the exile of King Constantine II, who ascended the throne in 1964. This dictatorship was a result of the seizure of power by junta of army officers.

After the dictatorship Greece experienced great economic growth and living standard of levels it had never reached before, of which great contribution gave the constant growth of foreign visitors flow. Greece became part of the European Community (subsequently subsumed by the European Union) in 1981 and accepted the common European currency (the euro) in 2001.