•The Capital is Athens
•The official language of Greece is Greek with 99% of the residents speaking it. The other 1% consist of French and English.
•The average age is about 43.5 years (42.4 for males, 44.6 for females)
•Out of 1,000 people, approximately 8.8 live births will occur as of 2014 (birth rate).
•For every 1,000 people, approximately 11 people will die in one year as of 2014 (death rate).
Politics and Government
•Parliamentary Republic- When the members of the executive branch (the cabinet, the Prime Minister, and the President) are nominated by the legislators or by Parliament.
•The current President is President Karolos Papoulias, and he has rule since March 12, 2005.
•The presidents can serve a maximum five years per term, and if elected, may serve a second term. The next elections are to take place in February of 2015.
•The current Prime Minister is Prime Minister Antonis Samaras
•Has been apart of the European Union since 1981
•Greece gained independence in 1829
•Before Greece became independent, it was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire
•In 1951 they joined NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
•The summer Olympics were held in Athens, Greece in 2004; nearly 2,000 years after the first Olympics were held in Greece.
•The Greeks are faced with a major debt in 2010 and had to borrow approximately $61 million from the European Union
•The GDP per capita is currently about $23,600 (in U.S. currency)
•The Euro, (€), is the type of currency that is used in Greece.
• The current unemployment rate is 29.7 %
•Major Exports are food and beverages, textiles, petroleum goods, and chemicals. Their biggest partners for exports are Italy, Turkey, Germany, and Bulgaria.
•Major Imports are machinery, transportation equipment, chemicals, and fuels. Their biggest partners for imports are Russia, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Netherlands, France, and China.
Environment and Landscape
• Greece's terrain is mostly mountainous with many extending into the sea as peninsulas and islands.
•The biggest natural resources are iron ore, zinc, nickel, marble, lead, petroleum, and salt.
•Most people live in urbanized areas (about 61.4 %)
•Greece's climate is temperate; with wet and cold winters, but hot and dry summers
•While Greece's vegetation varies by elevation, some of the main crops are oranges, dates, figs, olives, pomegranates, cotton, and tobacco.
•Has multiple regions including the Macedonia Region, Thessaly, the Ionian Islands, Central Greece, Euoboea (Evia), the Northeast Aegean Islands, Cyclades, Saronic Gulf Islands, Dodecanese, Attica, Peloponnese, and Crete.
•Popular Sports in Greece include:
-various water sports
•Many people still take part in ancient Olympic Sports, such as running and dispatch racing.
Major Cities of Greece:
Athens; Pop. 3,074,160. Thessaloniki; Pop. 790,824. Patras; 214,580. Heraklion; Pop. 173,450. (Hellenic Statistical Authority 2011 Census)
• There are three basic levels of education that are much like ours. There is Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary. Both primary and secondary are free if the child goes to public school, however many parents choose to send their children to private schools in hopes of a better education.
-Nursery School (Pre-K): is required and this happens for two years during the ages of 4 to 6.
-Elementary School: happens during the ages of 6 to 12 and no examinations are required. The students will continue on to the next grade as long as they have attended at least half of the classes and the teacher believes they have acquired the knowledge needed for that class.
-Gymnasium: takes place during the ages of 12-15, and there are multiple gymnasiums that students can take depending on their interest (Music, Multicultural, and Sports) and they must be taken during the day. However, once you reach the age of 14 you have the option of attending day gymnasiums or night time ones. You must take yearly exams for each subject during this level and if you do not pass it on the second try you must repeat the class.
-Is college and you must have your graduation certificate in order to enter, if you are under 23 you must take certain tests (much like our ACT and SAT). However once you reach the age of 23 these tests are not required for entry.
The Parthenon, located in Athens, Greece.
The Olympic Mountains, located in the northern region of Greece. Other major mountain ranges include the Pindus mountains, Pelion mountains, Taygetos mountains, and the Mountains of Crete.
Statue of Poseidon. Several statues of the Greek Gods are located throughout the Greek islands and many are held in museums in Greece
Holidays of Greece include:
- Apokries. A festival that consists of a two week feast, beginning from Sunday of Meat Fare and ends on the first day Lent. People wear costumes and party in streets and bars. The most famous Apokries parade is held in the city of Patra.
- Easter. Easter is the most important holiday for Greeks. People cook and go to church to celebrate Christ. Church bells are rung through the day and fireworks are set of through the night all over the islands.
- Greek Independence Day. Celebrating independence from the Ottomans on March 25th, 1821.
- Ohi Day. On October 28th, the Greeks celebrate the day when Greek dictator, Metaxes, refused to let the Italians invade the country during WW ll. Parades take place with participation from school students and the army.