The World Factbook (1990)/Greece

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The World Factbook (1990)
United States Central Intelligence Agency

pages 118–119


World Factbook (1990) Greece.jpg

 See regional map V


Total area: 131,940 km²; land area: 130,800km²

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Alabama

Land boundaries: 1,228 km total; Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km, Yugoslavia 246 km

Coastline: 13,676 km

Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Territorial sea: 6 nm

Disputes: complex maritime and air (but not territorial) disputes with Turkey in Aegean Sea; Cyprus question; Macedonia question with Bulgaria and Yugoslavia; Northern Epirus question with Albania

Climate: temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers

Terrain: mostly mountains with ranges extending into sea as peninsulas or chains of islands

Natural resources: bauxite, lignite, magnesite, crude oil, marble

Land use: 23% arable land; 8% permanent crops; 40% meadows and pastures; 20% forest and woodland; 9% other; includes 7% irrigated

Environment: subject to severe earthquakes; air pollution; archipelago of 2,000 islands

Note: strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits


Population: 10,028,171 (July 1990), growth rate 0.2% (1990)

Birth rate: 11 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 9 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 10 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 75 years male, 80 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.5 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Greek(s); adjective—Greek

Ethnic divisions: Greek 98%, others 2%; note—the Greek Government states there are no ethnic divisions in Greece

Religion: 98% Greek Orthodox, 1.3% Muslim, 0.7% other

Language: Greek (official); English and French widely understood

Literacy: 95%

Labor force: 3,860,000; 43% services, 27% agriculture, 20% manufacturing and mining, 7% construction (1985)

Organized labor: 10-15% of total labor force, 20-25% of urban labor force


Long-form name: Hellenic Republic

Type: presidential parliamentary government; monarchy rejected by referendum 8 December 1974

Capital: Athens

Administrative divisions: 51 departments (nomoi, singular—nomós); Aitolía kai Akarnanía, Akhaïa, Argolís, Arkadhía, Arta, Attikí, Dhodhekánisos, Dráma, Evritanía, Evros, Evvoia, Fiórina, Fokís, Fthiótis, Grevená, Ilía, Imathía, Ioánnina, Iráklion, Kardhítsa, Kastoría, Kavála, Kefallinía, Kérkira, Khalkidhikí, Khaniá, Khíos, Kikládhes, Kilkís, Korinthía, Kozáni, Lakonía, Lárisa, Lasíthi, Lésvos, Levkás, Magnisía, Messinía, Pélla, Piería, Préveza, Rethímni, Rodhópi, Sámos, Sérrai, Thesprotía, Thessaloníki, Tríkala, Voiotía, Xánthi, Zákinthos

Independence: 1827 (from the Ottoman Empire)

Constitution: 11 June 1975

Legal system: NA

National holiday: Independence Day (proclamation of the war of independence), 25 March (1821)

Executive branch: president, prime minister, Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (Vouli)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—President Christos SARTZETAKIS (since 30 March 1985);

Head of Government—Prime Minister Constantin MITSOTAKIS (since 11 April 1990)

Political parties and leaders: New Democracy (ND; conservative), Constantine Mitsotakis; Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), Andreas Papandreou; Democratic Renewal (DR), Constantine Stefanopoulos; Communist Party (KKE), Grigorios Farakos; Greek Left Party (EAR), Leonidas Kyrkos; KKE and EAR have joined in the Left Alliance, Harilaos Florakis, president

Suffrage: universal and compulsory at age 18

Elections: President—last held 30 March 1985 (next to be held after 8 April 1990 parliamentary election); results—Christos Sartzetakis was elected by Parliament;

Parliament:—last held on 8 April 1990 (next to be held April 1994); results—New Democracy 46.89%, Panhellenic Socialist Movement 38.62%, Left Alliance 10.27%, PASOK-Left Alliance Cooperation 1.02%, Ecologist-Alternative 0.77%, Democratic Renewal 0.67%, Muslim 0.5%; seats—(300 total) New Democracy 150, Panhellenic Socialist Movement 123, Left Alliance 19, PASOK-Left Alliance Cooperation 4, Muslim independent 2, Democratic Renewal 1, Ecologist-Alternative 1

Communists: an estimated 60,000 members and sympathizers


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Christos ZACHARAKIS; Chancery at 2221 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 667-3168; there are Greek Consulates General in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and Consulates in Boston and New Orleans; US—Ambassador Michael G. SOTIRHOS; Embassy at 91 Vasilissis Sophias Boulevard, 10160 Athens (mailing address is APO New York 09253); telephone [30](1) 721-2951 or 721-8401; there is a US Consulate General in Thessaloniki

Flag: nine equal horizontal stripes of blue (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white cross; the cross symbolizes Christianity, the established religion of the country


Overview: Greece has a mixed capitalistic economy with the basic entrepreneurial system overlaid in 1981-89 by a socialist-left-government that enlarged the public sector and became the nation's largest employer. Like many other Western economies, Greece suffered severely from the global oil price hikes of the 1970s, annual GDP growth plunging from 8% to 2% in the 1980s, and inflation, unemployment, and budget deficits rising sharply. The fall of the socialist government in 1989 and the inability of the conservative opposition to muster a clear majority have led to business uncertainty and the continued prospects for lackluster economic performance. Once the political situation is sorted out, Greece will have to face the challenges posed by the steadily increasing integration of the European Community, including the progressive lowering of tariff barriers. Tourism continues as a major industry, providing a vital offset to the sizable commodity trade deficit.

GDP: $56.3 billion, per capita $5,605; real growth rate 2.3% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 14.8% (December 1989)

Unemployment rate: 7.7% (1988)

Budget: revenues $15.5 billion; expenditures $23.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.5 billion (1988)

Exports: $5.9 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—manufactured goods, food and live animals, fuels and lubricants, raw materials; partners—FRG 24%, Italy 14%, nonoil developing countries 11.8%, France 9.5%, US 7.1%, UK 6.8%

Imports: $13.5 billion (c.i.f., 1988); commodities—machinery and transport equipment, light manufactures, fuels and lubricants, foodstuffs, chemicals; partners—FRG 22%, nonoil developing countries 14%, oil exporting countries 13%, Italy 12%, France 8%, US 3.2%

External debt: $20.0 billion (December 1988)

Industrial production: growth rate 1.6% (1989 est.)

Electricity: 10,500,000 kW capacity; 36,420 million kWh produced, 3,630 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products, tourism, mining, petroleum

Agriculture: including fishing and forestry, accounts for 14% of GNP and 27% of the labor force; principal products—wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes, beef, mutton, pork, dairy products; self-sufficient in food; fish catch of 135,000 metric tons in 1987

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-81), $525 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $1.3 billion

Currency: drachma (plural—drachmas); 1 drachma (Dr) = 100 lepta

Exchange rates: drachma (Dr) per US$1—158.03 (January 1990), 162.42 (1989), 141.86 (1988), 135.43 (1987), 139.98 (1986), 138.12 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 2,479 km total; 1,565 km 1.435-meter standard gauge, of which 36 km electrified and 100 km double track, 892 km 1.000-meter gauge; 22 km 0.750-meter narrow gauge; all government owned

Highways: 38,938 km total; 16,090 km paved, 13,676 km crushed stone and gravel, 5,632 km improved earth, 3,540 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 80 km; system consists of three coastal canals and three unconnected rivers

Pipelines: crude oil, 26 km; refined products, 547 km

Ports: Piraeus, Thessaloniki

Merchant marine: 954 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 20,544,516 GRT/36,858,545 DWT; includes 15 passenger, 58 short-sea passenger, 2 passenger-cargo, 164 cargo, 18 container, 20 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 27 refrigerated cargo, 182 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 10 chemical tanker, 10 liquefied gas, 20 combination ore/oil, 6 specialized tanker, 407 bulk, 15 specialized bulk; note—ethnic Greeks also own large numbers of ships under the registry of Liberia, Panama, Cyprus, and Lebanon

Civil air: 39 major transport aircraft

Airports: 79 total, 77 usable; 60 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 20 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 22 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: adequate, modern networks reach all areas; 4,079,000 telephones; stations—30 AM, 17 (20 repeaters) FM, 39 (560 repeaters) TV; 8 submarine cables; satellite earth stations operating in INTELSAT (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), EUTELSAT, and MARISAT systems

Defense Forces

Branches: Hellenic Army, Hellenic Navy, Hellenic Air Force

Military manpower: males 15-49, 2,418,754; 1,861,141 fit for military service; about 73,809 reach military age (21) annually

Defense expenditures: 6.0% of GDP, or $3.4 billion (1989 est.)