Geography and environment
Greece is located in the southeastern part of Europe, stretching over 132,000 square kilometers from the mainland and the Mediterranean Sea. The country is characterized by mountains and has very diverse geology. The land area has decreased so that the coastal land is partly under water.
Because of these changes have island arcs across the Aegean Sea occurred. The whole area is structurally unstable, and earthquakes are very common.
Greece has more than 2,500 islands, of which 227 are inhabited. The country has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and relatively warm and dry summers. The Mediterranean region is strongly affected by forest fires, and Greece is no exception. In the summer of 2007 resulted in extreme drought and record high temperatures that the country experienced the worst forest fire in 150 years.
The fire left a very large damages and had extensive ecological consequences. Ecosystems in many areas has been greatly reduced. This has led to soil erosion, water shortages and loss of biological diversity.
Insight into ancient history is necessary to understand contemporary Greece.Gods and goddesses played before a central role in Greek daily life, and Greeks have a close relationship with great historical personalities as the philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
The same is true for mathematicians Archimedes and Pythagoras, and famous statesmen and writers of all time. Greece was not recognized as an independent Greek state until 1830, and at times, Greece has had an unstable political situation. In 1946-49 the country was in civil war.
The war was fought between the Greek government forces, supported by Britain and the Communist Party. The war ended with the communist defeat. This led eventually to Greece was a member of NATO, and it was an ideological balance between east and west in the inner Mediterranean. In 1967 a military coup. The monarchy was abolished in 1973, and the following year broke the military junta together. Since then, the two parties ruled – Socialist PASOK and the conservative New Democracy.
Society and politics
Greece is divided into 13 regions which are divided in 54 prefectures and 1,033 municipalities. The country is a parliamentary republic and the parliament are elected for a term of four years. The government is headed by a prime minister who proceeds from and is accountable to Parliament.
The president is elected for five years. In 2009 the Georgios Papandreou and the Socialist Party PASOK parliamentary elections in Greece. Papandreou is now the country’s prime minister. He has served in the Greek parliament since 1996 and has been both an education minister and foreign minister. 80% of Greece’s population belong to middle class. The family is the basic social unit, which is also reflected in business.
There are numerous family-owned businesses and large family groups with activities in several sectors. Almost all education is public and free for all.
Economy and Trade
In 2001, Greece into the euro. Three years later it became known that the Greeks never met the criteria for membership. In December 2009, it appeared that the country had built up a huge budget deficit and a huge national debt.This has led the country into a historic financial difficulty, which has put the entire euro area to the test. The country has received enormous criticism for not having been open.
The state apparatus has been characterized by generous bonuses and services, and this has opened up a culture of corruption. Greece has in the years ahead undertaken to save and implement government reforms, but not without protests. Many Greeks oppose plans for cuts in salaries and pensions, increased retirement age and increasing taxes and fees. So far, the Greeks had a mixed economy.
Greece is heavily dependent on tourism, agriculture and shipping. Merchant vessels fleet is one of the largest in the world. Important items that are exported are food and beverages, petroleum, steel, olive oil and tobacco.