NAVIGATION AND SHITPlNa 701
Navigation and Shipping.
Tho merchant navy of Greece on January 1, 1898, had, of sea-going vessels, 1,152 sailing vessels of 238,196 tons, and 118 steamers of 87,845 tons ; total, 1,270 vessels of 326,041 tons. In 1896, 6,262 vessels of 2,937,925 tons entered, and 5,797 of 2,884,367 tons cleared at the ports of Greece ; in 1897, 4, 560 vessels of 2,491,522 tons entered, and 4,487 of 2,444,618 tons cleared. Of the vessels entered in 1897, 1,566 were Greek. More than half the trade is throTigh the port of Pineus. A considerable amount of the carrying trade of the Black Sea and the Eastern ports of the Mediterranean is under the Greek flag.
Recently the internal communication by roads has greatly improved ; there are now about 2,043 miles of roads. In October, 1893, the canal across the Isthmus of Corinth (about 4 miles) was opened for traffic. From its opening to the end ot 1897, 9,509 vessels of 1,293,885 tons have jjassed thi'ough ; in 1S97 the number was 2,404 of 329,063 tons.
Railways were open for traflSc in 1898 ^or a length of 591 miles, while 300 miles were under construction. The Athens-Larissa railway, the main line in Greece, is intended to bring that country into communication with the rest of Europe at Salonica.
The telegraphic lines, land and submarine, were of a total length of 5, 087 English miles, at the end of 1896 ; length of wire, 6,023 miles. The number of offices was 209. They despatched 981,989 inland telegrams, and 413,602 international, in the year 1896. Receipts, 2,514,623 drachmai.
Of post offices there existed 354 at the end of 1896, and there passed through the post in that year in the internal service, 4,337,000 letters and post-cards, and 5,666,000 printed papers and samples; in the international service, 5,107,000 letters and post-cards, and 2,867,000 printed papers and samples. The receipts were 2,110,877 drachmai; expenses, 1,983,860 drachmai.
Money and Credit.
The nominal value of the Greek coinage (minted in Paris) put in circula- tion since 1866 has been: gold, in 1876, 1,000,000 drachmai; in 1884, 11,000,000 drachmai ; total gold, 12,000,000 drachmai; silver, up to 1883, 26,262.865 drachmai; bronze, up to 1883, 6,816,065 drachmai; nickel, 1893-95, 2,999,000 drachmai. Since 1884 there has been no issue of coin except the nickel money. In accordance with the Convention of the Latin Union, 1885, the Greek Government may issue fractional silver to the nomi- nal value of 15,000,000 francs. In fact, gold and silver money have disap- peared, and their i)lace has been taken by a forced paper currency.
The forced currency was begun in July 1877, was withdrawn December, 1884, again circulated'September, 1885, and, from 1900, will be redeemed by annual payments. The small note circulation was begun in June, 1886.
Tho National, the Ionian, and the Epiro-Thessalian Banks are authorised to issue notes for forced currency to the amount of 88,000,000 drachmai, including 14,000,000 drachn^ai in iiotes under 5 drachmai.