Hellenic Republic (Greece)
Area: 131, 990 sq. km.
Length of State Border: 1,228 km
Border Countries: Albania (282 km), Bulgaria (494 km), Turkey (206 km), FYROM (246 km)
Climate: Temperate, mild, wet winters, hot, dry summers
Terrain: mostly Mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands
Elevation Extremes: Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m -Highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m
Strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and the southern approach to Dardanelles Straits, a peninsular country possessing an archipelago of about 3,000 major islands
Natural Resources: Lignite, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt
Legal System: Based on Roman law, judiciary divided into civil, criminal, and administrative courts
Time Zone: GMT +2
Official Language: Greek
Government Type: Parliamentary democracy
Legislative Branch: Unicameral Parliament– 300 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to four-year terms
Chief of State: President
Head of Government: Prime Minister
Membership in important international organizations: EU, NATO, EBRD, EIB, IBRD, IMF, IMO, Interpol, OECD, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO, WTO, CERN
Economic Hub of Southeast Europe
Greece is highly appealing as an investment location because it offers businesspeople a wide variety of investment opportunities that take advantage of the country’s strategic geographic location and unique competitive advantages. Greece is a natural gateway to more than 140 million consumers in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, a region with a GDP of almost 1 trillion Euro. As the hub of diverse emerging markets, Greece provides access to populations with a strong demand for consumer goods, infrastructure modernisation, technology and innovation networks, energy, tourism development, and light manufacturing.
Greek companies have a strong foothold in the region and are among the top three investors in every market. Over the last few years, more than 4,000 Greek companies have invested more than 15 billion Euro in Southeast Europe. In financial services alone, more than 3,000 branches of Greek banks are active in the region.
Investors are discovering that Greece has a combination of characteristics that are unequalled in Europe. Greece is a leading global tourism destination, an emerging regional energy hub, and possesses human capital that is outstanding.
Population by age group
Age Group Total Number Percentage of Total
0-14 1,596,530 14.3%
15-64 7,501,190 66.7%
65+ 2,074,020 19%
Economically-active population 4.95 million
Birth rate 9.62 births/1,000 population
Major Greek Cities
Living In Greece
Greece is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and has a well-spring of superb natural resources. Greece’s extraordinary topography, with dramatic mountains, lush valleys and groves, and a coastline that extends more than 16,000 kilometres, provides residents and visitors with a wealth of leisure and recreation options that are unequalled in the Mediterranean. Combining a modern infrastructure and the stark beauty of the ancient world, the birthplace of Western civilization is one of the leading tourism destinations globally that satisfies young and old, the adventurous spirit and the academic researcher, the wandering Odysseas and the urban habitué.
The period from 700BC saw the rise of the great city states of Athens, Corinth and Sparta while during the fifth century BC Athens was heralded as the cultural centre of the Mediterranean, boasting excellence in architecture, sculpture, drama and literature. Athens was the city where mankind’s most enduring and entrenched moral values were founded. Democracy, freedom, justice, free inquiry and opportunity, the core principles of Western civilisation and our society today, are ideals conceived in this great city. The historical and cultural heritage of Greece still resonates amidst its modern Western world development.
The Beginnings Of Trade
It can be said that the first efforts at global trade were conducted by the ancient Greeks, who developed a maritime tradition that continues to this day. Trade by sea to destinations near and afar characterized the commercial spirit of Greece and set the foundations for the development of regional trade that were to have far-reaching consequences on the material prosperity of Greece and the sense of adventure that was to be documented in literature that we still read today.
As the birthplace of the nine muses, Greece lies at the root of Western culture. Poetry, theatre, music, dance, art and architecture of the West all derived from the ancient Greeks. In addition, scientific inquiry—what began as philosophy—has its origins in such thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates. Poets, historians, and medical pioneers—think of Sappho, Herodotus, and Hippocrates—began their trade in Ancient Greece, as did lawyers such as Solon, architects such as Phideas, and mathematicians such as Archimedes.
Today, Greece is a treasure trove of museums, archaeological and historical sites, theatre, dance, and musical performance, The Acropolis, perched on the Parthenon in Athens, is the crown jewel of Greece’s archaeological splendour. And museums, such as the National Archaeological Museum, the New Acropolis Museum, and scores of others throughout the country house collections that chronicle the evolution of Western civilization. Sites such as Knossos on Crete, Ancient Olympia, Delphi, and Vergina in Northern Greece are easily accessible for day trips or weekend excursions, and make living in Greece a true pleasure.
In Athens and Thessaloniki, superb concert halls present world-class performances throughout most of the year. In the summer months, visitors from around the world flock to the ancient theatres of Epidaurus and Herod Atticus and to other international and local festivals to partake in a rich offering of artistic events, Opera is also well represented and Athens is soon to be home of a spectacular new waterfront opera house and library complex designed by the renowned architect Renzo Piano.
In addition, more popular forms of culture such as rock concerts, nightclubs, jazz and pop abound throughout this land, with venues ranging from urban settings to island festivals.
Without a doubt, the climate in Greece makes living in this Mediterranean destination a year-round joy. In the south, and many of Aegean islands, the temperate weather allows residents to enjoy hiking, sailing, and sports such as golf throughout the year. Likewise, winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding are within easy reach of Athens and Thessaloniki, when snows fall on nearby mountains. Lovers of the outdoors can choose from a wide variety of activities in some of the most spectacular locations in Europe. Sailing, rafting, hiking, paragliding, biking, and spelunking are enjoyed by young and old alike in the varied landscapes of Greece. In addition, more traditional sports such as tennis, golf, basketball, volleyball, and soccer are part of everyday life in Greece.
In both Athens and Thessaloniki, a charming and vibrant lifestyle offers a large selection of leisure venues with entertainment suitable for every taste and preference. The personalities of the cities are a mixture of Eastern and Western cultures with a dynamic intertwine of modern and ancient structures. Greece offers history and sights, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, nightlife and entertainment. Exciting options vary from the hustle-and-bustle of international nightlight life to the many activities of a large expat community. A dynamic restaurant scene offers cuisines from around the world and Greece is justly famous for its “café society.” Shopping is now equal to major European cities and services, from shoe repairs to IT needs, are readily available. A huge selection of accommodation is also available with establishments ranking high among the leading in the world for business, romance or family leisure.
Quality Of Life
Weekends are easily used to escape to the islands in the summer or a variety of mountain destinations year round. The sea is never more than 80 kilometres (50 miles) from any point on the mainland. Greece has relatively little crime, even in the major cities. The wide selection of excellent Greek and international schools, teaching in numerous languages, responds to the needs of the substantial foreign community. Many foreign institutes, clubs, and associations help pave the way to integration for newcomers.
• New Year's Day: January 1st
• Epiphany: January 6th. The seas are blessed. A Cross is thrown into the sea and young men dive to retrieve it.
• Ash Monday: 41 days before Easter. Lent begins. On Ash Monday, Greeks fly kites, eat lenten food and celebrate the koulouma.
• Independence Day and the Feast of the Annunciation: March 25th , Military parade.
• Easter: Good Friday-Easter Monday. Vesper evening is on Good Friday and every church decorates an Epitaphios (bier). The Epitaphios processions, followed by people holding lit candles and chanting hymns, fill the streets of every city, town and village in the country.
• Anastasi (Resurrection): celebrated with fire-works and lit candles at midnight, on the eve of Easter Day.
• Pascha (Easter): on that Day Greeks traditionally eat lamb, spit-roasted on charcoal. The festivities include singing and dancing through the day.
• Labour Day: May 1st . Many Flower Festivals take place all over Greece.
• White Monday: 50 days after Easter.
• Dormition (Assumption) of The Virgin: August 15th .
• October 28th: rejection of the Italian ultimatum in 1940. Military parade.
• Christmas: December 25th -26th.