greece

Greece, facts and information related to Greece and the Greeks

Facts and interesting information about Greece includes, its finacial development and industry,  Greek shipping facts , transport etc. Greece,  a state of southern Europe, located on the southern Balkan Peninsula and its official name is Hellenic Republic. It is a presidential parliamentary republic and its capital is the city of Athens.

The peninsular stretch borders to the north with Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey and is bathed on the other sides by the Aegean Sea, the Ionian Sea and the Cretan Sea.

The Republic has its roots in the Greek war of independence fought in the 19th century against the Ottoman Empire, which gave birth to the First Hellenic Republic. With the London Convention of 1832 the birth of the Kingdom of Greece was established, overthrown for the first time in 1924 with the birth of the Second Hellenic Republic, and a second time in 1967 with the coup d’état who gave birth to the Dictatorship of the Colonels. The modern Republic was born with the end of the military regime in 24th of July 1974.

Despite a strong recession caused by the economic crisis of the 2010s, Greece is considered a developed state, at thirty-second place on the world scale for human development index and with a per capita income of € 17,953.36 (2019). It is one of the 51 states that joined the United Nations Organization in 1945 and since 1981 is part of the European Economic Community and then of the European Union and adopted the Euro with most of the other countries in 2002.

It is also a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 1952, of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 1961, and a founding member of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation Organization (BSEC) and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Major cities include the capital, Athens,Thessaloniki, Patras, and Heraklion.

Greece in the European Union

After World War II, the effort to unite Europe began. Greece is one of the countries that played a leading role in these developments. In 1981, Greece became the 10th member of the EU. Since the end of the military dictatorship in 1974, concerted efforts have been made to strengthen democratic institutions and to cultivate the state’s international relations. Despite their individual differences, all governments after 1974 have worked to modernize and improve the quality of life of Greek citizens. Thus, the standard of living of the Greeks improved dramatically.

The Greek actress and politician Melina Mercury pioneered the completion of the European union,  she was inspired by passion in everything she did, from her appearances in the theatre and on the big screen in the first stage of her life, to her struggle against the fascist junta who came to power in Greece in 1967 and her campaign, as a politician, for the protection and promotion of culture.

Below are the most accurate facts about Greece and the Greek islands, the Greeks and their culture, for kids students and tourists. Among them are interesting information about today’s life in Greece and the Greek islands, , religion, finacial development and industry Greek shipping , transport etc.. Introducing many other topics such as Greek education, dowry and marriage. Quality of life and economic development, issues concerning foreigners who want to move to Greece.

Greek state facts

OFFICIAL NAME: Hellenic Republic
LOCATION: South East Europe
AREA: 131,957 sq.km.
POPULATION : 10,349,848 (2021)
DENSITY: 79.9 cat. per sq.km.
LIFE EXPECTANCY 81.94 years (2019)
CAPITAL: Athens
STATE: Presiding parliamentary democracy
NATIONAL COMPOSITION: Greeks 99%, Gypsies, Albanians and others 1%
LANGUAGES: Greek
RELIGION: Greek Orthodox Christians 99%, Roman Catholics, Jews, etc.
NATIONAL HOLIDAYS: March 25 (anniversary of the revolution of 1821), October 28 (anniversary of “NO”)
CURRENCY: Euro
INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE CALL NUMBER: 0030
PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: UN , Council of Europe, OECD , European Union,, NATO
INFLATION 4.8% 2021

Electricity: 91,24% hydro, 8,26% fossil fuel, 0,5% other
Ports and harbors: Alexandroupolis, Eleusis, Irakleion, Kavala, Kerkyra (Corfu), Chalkis, Igoumenitsa, Lavrion, Patras, Pireus, Thessaloniki, Volos

International organizations: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EU, FAO, G- 6, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG,
OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNOMIG, UPU, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Trade partners: Germany, Italy, UK, France, Netherlands, US.
Military branches: Hellenic Army, Hellenic Navy, Hellenic Air Force

Greece Finance, Exports and Industry facts

Facts: Greece has the largest merchant fleet in the world

Greece has twice the value of its fleet from Japan, China and the USA that follow. Greece is the second largest bulk carrier behind Japan and the fifth largest behind China, Germany, Japan and Denmark in terms of container vessels.

Greek shipping accounts for 53% of the European Union fleet and almost 21% of the global fleet in dwt, according to the annual report of the Hellenic Shipowners’ Association.

Specifically, the Greek merchant fleet is the largest fleet in the world, with 4,936 ships (over 1,000 gt) with a capacity of 389.69 million tons (dwt)

Fact: Magnesium exports of Greece, covers 46% of the total production of Western Europe.

Fact: Greece is the first in Europe in the production of aluminum, for thousands of applications.

Fact: Greece is the largest bauxite-producing country in the European Union.

Fact: Greece is the main producer of cotton in the European Union. Of the total 300,000 hectares cultivated in Europe, Greece cultivates 80% of the total area.

Greece is one of the largest countries producing saffron or “red gold” as it is otherwise called, with a sale price that can exceed 2,000 euros per kilo

Fact: Greece ranks third in world olive oil production with 320 thousand tons per year

Other Exports of Greece

Fish and shellfish

The value of Greek fish exports in 2017 amounted to 660 million euros, accounting for 0.63% of world exports. Italy is the main destination of Greek fish, with 38.49% of exports ending there. The countries of Northern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula are Greece’s main competitors in fish.

Fruits and fruits

The value of exports of fruits and nuts amounted to 848 million euros. Greece is an economy that traditionally relies on the primary production sector and, therefore, in this category there are many products that have good export performance.
They account for 0.80% of world exports.The main destinations of Greek exports are Germany, Romania, Italy, the United Kingdom and Bulgaria. The most important competitors are the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.

Plant resins and plant extracts

They hold 0.22% of world exports, worth 13 million euros The main destinations of the exports are the USA, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Turkey.

Animal and vegetable fats and oils

The value of exports for fats and oils was 594 million euros and covers 0.68% of world exports.
It is one of the most competitive categories for Greece.The main destination is Italy, with a big difference from the rest.

Greek Tourism facts

The most touristic places in Greece are:

Parthenon Acropolis, Meteora, Oracle of Delphi, Ancient Olympia Gorge of Samaria, Byzantine Mystras in Peloponnese, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes

There are 21 ski resorts in Greece:

Greece is the undisputed leader in the number of archeological sites and museums in the world

Greece has more than 100 archeological museums. There are 18 monuments protected by UNESCO. Of these, 16 are cultural and historical monuments: the Athenian Acropolis, the Temple of Apollo, the Medieval City of Rhodes, the Oracle of Delphi, The Palace of Mycenae, Phaestos, Knossos etc. Two more monuments, Meteora and Mount Athos, are objects of cultural and natural heritage. Greece has co-signed since 1981 the UNESCO Treaty for the Protection of Monuments and World Heritage Sites. The goal of UNESCO is to protect against all kinds of decay and destruction, so that they can be inherited by future generations.  

Historical facts of Greece

Greece is also the birthplace of the primordial democracy, philosophy, artistic and geometric principles as well as the ancient Olympic Games , whose legacy has been captured by the modern Olympics.

The first city built in the world was Greek

Ancient Lycosura in Arcadia Peloponesse Greece, is considered to be the oldest city in the world (10,000 – 8,000 BC) and as Pausanias mentions, it was the first to be built in the world on a continental land and on islands, which was a model for the creation of other cities later.

The Antikythera Mechanism of Ancient Greece It is the oldest known complex mechanism that refers to a computer

Τhe mechanism is believed to have been an ancient analog mechanical computer and instrument of astronomical observations. Ιτ was discovered in a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. Based on the form of the Greek inscriptions it bears dates between 150 BC. and of 100 BC. On May 17, 1902, Valerios Stais, an archaeologist and director of the Archaeological Museum, noticed that one of the finds had a cogwheel embedded and visible inscriptions in astronomical terms.

The Greek Byzantine Empire was one of the longest-lived in the western world, from the 7th century AD – 15th Century AD

According to A. Heisenberg in his work “State and Society of the Byzantine Empire: Die Kutur der Gegenwart “B ‘, 4,1,1923, p. 364″ Byzantium is the” Christianized Roman State of the Greek Nation “. It was the place of the political and intellectual career of medieval Hellenism. The Byzantine Empire advocated Christianity as its only religion and accepted it as its supreme spiritual principle. It used the Greek language and accepted Greek as its only education. From the middle of the 7th century it is clearly identified with the history of the Greek Nation and tends to be the area of ​​its political and cultural activity.

Greek Mythology facts

Mythological Greece is the country that created the first riddles

The most famous is the riddle of the Sphinx
The oracles of Delphi and Dodona also gave their prophecies in riddles .

Odysseus built the first war camouflage vehicle, the Trojan horse

Hidden in it, the Greeks entered the walls of Troy and defeated the Trojans

What makes Greece a Unique Country

The main feature of Greece that sets it apart from other countries is its unimaginable diversity. Nowhere else in such a narrow geographical area is there such a wide variety of land with high mountains next to beautiful plains and dreamy islands.

There are 41.214 Greek words in the English language

Τhe words of the English language (according to the Webster International dictionary) are 166,724 – and of these, 41,214 are Greek!!
Even more impressive, of course, is the medical terminology: of its 43,716 words, 20,346 are Greek. That is, in a total of 178,903 English words, 51,807 (29.24%) come from Greek !

It should be added that the well-known American Hellenist, Professor MacDonald, claims that the total number of Greek words reaches 600,000 (ie 3.4 times more than English and 4.3 times more than French).

Even if there was no other report, even if no pre-flood monuments had been saved, the Greek language would suffice as proof of the existence in the past, of an era of great civilization. In the Greek language is implanted all the knowledge that man has acquired, up to the present moment. Every Greek word carries a heavy burden of intellect.

Facts about the Modern Greeks

Despite their complex origins, their wide geographical spread and their cosmopolitan instincts, the modern Greeks are a remarkably homogeneous people, markedly different in character from neighboring peoples, united by a common enthusiasm for their national goals.

The Greeks are great patriots

The intense patriotic zeal of the Greeks, It can sometimes degenerate into arrogance and intolerance. That feeling sometimes can blinds their judgment and engages them in reckless ventures, but nevertheless contains the best guarantee for the ultimate achievement of its national goals. Their patriotic feeling, unfortunately, is subject to the exploitation of selfish demagogues and polititians, who compete in the exaggeration of national claims and in the flattery of national vanity.

The Greeks are very resilient

Together with other southern European peoples, the Greeks are particularly resilient, their passionate character easily easily offended by small challenges and trivial arguments. They are lively, sensitive, irritable, a child of the moment; in terms of temperament, are French rather than Italian or German and different from the Anglo-Saxons.

Greece and wars in the 20th Century

During the 20th century there were two World Wars and many others large but local. Greece participated in most of these wars. As a result of its participation in the wars, Greece integrated many regions, expanding its borders and increasing its population in the Balkan wars in 1913.

The Asia Minor Catastrophe, in 1922, caused great changes within the Greek state. Dealing with the refugee issue was the biggest challenge for Greeks during the interwar period.

The Occupation of Greece in the period 1941-1944 and the Civil War in 1946-1949 are two more tragic trials for the Greek people.

Major national anniversaries of Greece

The main national celebration in Greece is the day of Greek Independence March 25
The ΟΗΙ (no) day  on October 28,

It celebrates w Greece’s refusal to Mussolini’s demands and the subsequent victorious war against Italy in 1940

Facts: Greece resisted the Axis invasion for 6 months, more than any other European country from October 1940 to April 1941

GOLDEN MEDALS OF GREECE IN THE MODERN OLYMPICS

SportGold medals
TrackSpyridon Louis, Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, Voula Patoulidou, Costas Kenteris, Athanasia Tsoumeleka, Fani Chalkia, Katerina Stefanidi, Miltos Tentoglou
Lifting weightsPeriklis Kakousis, Pyrros Dimas (3), Kahi Kahiashvili (2)
GymnasticsIoannis Mitropoulos, Nikolaos Andriakopoulos, Ioannis Melissanidis, Demosthenes Tabakos, Eleftherios Petrounias
ShootingPantelis Karasevdas, Ioannis Fragoudis, Georgios Orfanidis, Anna Korakaki
SailingRoyal Successor Konstantinos – Odysseas Eskitzoglou – George Zaimis, Nikos Kaklamanakis, 470, Sofia Bekatorou – Emilia Tsoulfa
FencingLeonidas Pyrgos, Ioannis Georgiadis
SwimmingIoannis Malokinis
FightStelios Mygiakis
CyclingAristidis Konstantinidis
Tae Kwon doMichalis Mouroutsos
RowingStefanos Douskos
JudoElias Iliadis
DivingThomas Bimis – Nikos Syranidis Synchronized diving

Facts: Greece has about 3000 islands and islets

Greece has about 3000 islands and islets but of those only 170 are inhabited. Many Greek islands have been among the top favorites of Americans lately, as Greek destinations are experiencing increasing dynamics in the United States market. This fact is also reflected in the arrivals of Americans in Greece this year, which exceeded 55% of those of 2019 in the first eight months of this year.
As the best island in the world and in Europe for 2021 “Top Island in the World – Top Island in Europe” with an almost excellent score of 95.50, Milos was named by the readers of the leading American travel magazine “Travel & Leisure”, who participated in the voting for the World’s Best Awards 2021. Among them on the top places are the islands of Folegandros, Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes.

Why Greeks are called in English “Greeks” and not called Hellenes?

The modern English word Greek comes from the Latin Graecus, which in turn comes from the Greek Graikos, the name of a Boeotian tribe that emmigrated to Italy in the 8th century BC.

The national foods of Greece

The local cuisine of Greece is Mediterranean and consists mainly of  vegetables, fish, meat and olive oil. The Greeks eat usually at home and what is eaten depends on the season. The summer menu is different from the winter one.

During the summer Greeks eat fried or grilled fish with greens , courgettes and French fries, lettuce and tomato salads and generally casseroles with green beans, okras and aubergines with a lot of olive oil and tomato sauce.

During the winter the Greeks usually eat pulses like lentils, beans, and chickpeas. Among other foods the Greeks love bean soup, spaghetti dishes, grilled sausages and lamb chops.

The most popular island in Greece

The question of what are the most popular islands in Greece is a matter of worldwide advertisment but perhaps a matter of taste. There are over 200 hundred inhabitent islands in Greece, each one of them has its own charm and beauty. But there are many differences among several Greek islands, for example, the Ionian islands are much different from the Aegean islands in matters of Architecture and culture. The Cyclades are different from the Sporades and the Dodecanese and so on.

The Greek island’s culture was effected by the occupants they had through the ages. The Ionian islands where never occupied by the Ottomans therefore they kept a more western European style since they were occupied by the Venetians and later by the British. The Dodecanese were affected by the Italians who occupied them from 1913 – 1943 leaving behind them wonderful mansions, roads and other infrastructure that still exists today especially in the islands of Rhodes, Kos and Leros.

Greece religious facts

At a baptism the whole child, who usually is around a year old, is put under water and Greek parents do not call their child by its name until it has been christened.

Each day of the year is also a saints day, and therefore all orthodox people prefer to celebrate their name days since most of them have saints names. like, Maria, Iohannis, George, Anna, Nikolaos etc..

The most important days of the year are Easter and  15 August, the day of the Assumption of the Virgin. Many miracles are believed to happen that day, and pilgrims travel to monasteries and churches on that day especially. The most famous place is the island of Tinos, which can be compared to the Catholics Lourdes.

Though the Greek Ortodox religion played a huge role in  Byzantine Greece and during the Ottoman occupation and the war of independence, from the late 70’s modern Greeks are not so “religious” like other nations. Greeks who were born during the 60’s and onwards will go to the church only for marriages, funerals, baptisms, Easter Fiday and Easter Saturday. You might see hundreds of small churches in the Greek islands , but most of them are closed or they function as museums.  In other words the majority of modern Greeks are not depending by the religion and the church like their grand parents use to.

Why are the trunks of some trees in Greece are painted white ?

Painting the trunk of the tree with white paint with a solution of lime with water or with a latex solution of white colour is to protect the bark of the trees from insects, hares, and various rodents during the winter.
Painting of tree trunks is still practiced in many parts of the world, as a practice inherited from growing fruit in cold areas, where it can thus help newly planted, grafted or pruned trees to protect them from sudden temperature changes in late autumn and winter. Because temperature changes can cause damage to parts of the trunk and specifically to the layer between the wood and the bark.

What is the most popular coffe in Greece?

Most Greeks like the traditional Greek coffee, but in the last 30 years that fashion has changed. Among the top ten kind of coffees that the modern Greek prefer,  is the so called “Cafe Frappe” (shaken instant coffee with ice ) , followed by Cappuccino, Latte and the good old “Gallikos me gala”  ( filter coffee with milk ) and Espresso.

How far are the Greek cities from the coasts

No major city in Greece is more than 137 kilometers from the sea.

Is Greece a mountainous country?

Greece is almost entirely mountainous, with 80% of the surface made up of hills or mountains

How old is the Greek Drachma ?

Before the euro became the national currency of Greece, the drachma was the oldest currency in Europe, with over 2600 years of history.

Why Greeks believe in the evil eye ?

The so-called “evil eye” is a superstition that many believe that someone with metaphysical powers is able to cast a bad spell on you. It’s roots are ancient and is now part of traditional Greek culture.

Why the chefs wear a white hat?

The white chef’s hat owes its birth to the cooks of the Greek monasteries, who used it to distinguish themselves from the monks who wore a high black hat.

Is the Greek education free?

The Greek schools are free until the completion of university studies. Books and school supplies are entirely paid for by the state, which distributes them to all students.

What is the meaning of the 9 blue and white stripes of the Greek flag?

greek-flag-stripes The nine blue and white stripes on the Greek flag, symbolize the Greek motto of the independence revolution of 1821 “freedom or death” consisting of the 9 syllables of the Greek phrase “,  (E-le-ftηe-ri-a-i-τha-na-tos)

 

Where do most of the Greek population live ?

Almost 50% of the Greek population lives in the greater area of Athens (almost 5 millions).
Out of a total of 11 million people, two thirds of the Greek population live in the urban areas of Thessaloniki, Patras and Heraklion in Crete.

Did the Ancient Spartans throw their weak babies in the cave of Kaiadas ?

The myth that the Spartans threw the weak babies in the Kaiadas cave near Sparta is false. The bones found at the famous cave were not of newborn children but of different people, slaves or outcasts, and above all they were not children.

Why does the Greek parliament has 300 parliamentarians ?

To honor the 300 Spartans who defended the country from the Persian invaders in Thermopylae.

Did you know that the word OK is Greek ?

The word OK that is used all over the world to indicate affirmative opinion is said to derive from the  first  letters of the two word’s Greek phrase, Ola Kala, which means “all right”.

What is the meaning of the word Barbarian ?

The word “barbarian” comes from the way the ancient Greeks used to call anyone who did not speak their language. This was because foreign languages to the Greek ear was like   “bar, bar, bar”  – hence the word ‘barbarian’. Something like – in modern english – “bla bla bla”.

How old is the city of Athens ?

Athens the capital of Greece has been continuously inhabited for over 6,000 years, but it was only during the 1950s that it experienced a demographic explosion that led it to become one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe.