|Greece, official name - Hellenic Republic (Greek: Ελληνική Δημοκρατία [elinici šimokratia]); historic name – ancient Greek: Ἑλλάς [hel ː as]) – is a country in southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. In the North, Greece has borders with Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria and in the North-East - with Turkey. In the East, Greece is washed by the Aegean Sea, in the West - by the Ionian, in the South - by the Mediterranean and Cretan seas. The country is named after the ethnic people – the Greeks.
Capital – Athens City.
Greece is recognized as the cradle of western civilization, the place of the first appearance of democratic states known in history. Greece has been a member of the European Union since 1981 and NATO - since 1952 (during the 1973 - 1981 period, Greece was not a member of NATO).
The climate of Greece can be divided into three types: Mediterranean, Alpine and moderate, each of which has its effect strictly on the specific territory. The Pindus mountain range has a strong effect on the climate of the mainland: the regions, located on the west of the Pindus slopes (Epirus) receive more rainfall than other regions, located on the east side of the ridge (Thessaly).
Greece does not have significant reserves of any minerals. The most common extracted mineral is lignite or weak-coal brown lignite. It is the main source of fuel in Greece. At the end of the 20th century, insignificant oil and gas reserves were found in The Aegean Sea. The development of oil and gas reserves is underway.
Greece is relatively rich in ores. Among them are iron, manganese, nickel, chromium, copper and polymetallic ores. Silver and lead has been produced since Ancient Athens in Lavrion, Attica.
Sulfide and nickel ores are produced in Thrace.
Corundum deposits, the largest in the world, are located on the Naxos Island. Mass production of pumice is carried out on the Santorini and Nisyros islands. Since these islands are volcanic and often witness volcanic eruptions, this led to the formation of this material.
Various construction materials such as marble, granite, limestone and sandstone are produced on The Cyclades.
Significant reserves of bauxite or aluminum ore are found in Greece. According to estimates of geologists, around 650 million tons of this valuable ore lie in the subsoils of Greece, which makes Greece one of the largest producers of bauxite in Europe.
Flora and fauna:
Not many types of wild animals are left in Greece with their population being very small. This is due to thousands and thousands of years of history in this country - more than 8000 years ago, people actively exterminated the animals and the plants in Greece. Typical small animals found in Greece are: rabbits, badgers, porcupines and various species of mice.
Over 5000 species of plants are found on the territory of Greece. Small plants and shrubs are widely found in Greece: maquis and phrygana. Pine forests are common in Halkidiki. Cypresses and plane trees are widespread. The age of some plants is several thousand years old. The olive is very common and it is one of the most valuable trees in Greece and the Mediterranean.
Advantages: Greece is one of the major European tourist centers. The largest volume of exports is agricultural products. Shipping companies have the largest merchant fleet in the world.
Weak points: Greece has a large national debt. Until recently, private companies could not develop due to high bank interest rates and bureaucracy. A large percentage of the public sector is development of the shadow economy. Job loss and the moving of the job force to neighboring countries of the former Eastern Bloc with cheap labor.
Presently, the economy of Greece is in crisis (2010). At the end of March 2010, the total debt reached 300 billion euros; the budget deficit is significant at 12.7%. Measures undertaken by the government to fight the crisis include the reduction in salaries of civil servants, an increase in consumer taxes, and the suspension of a hike in pensions. Eurozone countries will provide a number of two-sided loans along with IMF loans.
Popular resorts in Greece: Kastoria, Corfu, Crete and the Rhodes Islands.
The majority of the population in Greece are Greeks (95%), although this data is challenged because of discrepancy in the data on minorities, especially with respect to language.
The culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years, starting with the Minoan civilization, the formation continued during Classical Greece and the Greek era of the Roman domination. The Ottoman yoke also had an impact on the culture of Greeks, mainly inhibiting the active development of ancient Greek culture. Great works in the fields of literature, music and painting were created even during the Greek revolution. Orthodox Christianity had a huge impact on the entire culture of modern Greece. Some researchers, for instance, Robert Kagan, consider that the modern culture of Greece is much more related to the cultural heritage of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires rather than with the culture of Ancient Hellas.|