Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. In World War II, Greece was first invaded by Italy (1940) and subsequently occupied by Germany (1941-44); fighting endured in a protracted civil war between supporters of the king and other anti-communist and communist rebels. Following the latter's defeat in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. In 1967, a group of military officers seized power, establishing a military dictatorship that suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country. In 1974 following the collapse of the dictatorship, democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy. In 1981, Greece joined the EC (now the EU); it became the 12th member of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 2001. Greece has suffered a severe economic crisis since late 2009, due to nearly a decade of chronic overspending and structural rigidities. Since 2010, Greece has entered three bailout agreements with the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), the IMF, and with the third, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The Greek Government agreed to its current, $96 billion bailout in August 2015, which will conclude in August 2018.



Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey

Geographic coordinates

39 00 N, 22 00 E

Map references



total: 131,957 sq km
land: 130,647 sq km
water: 1,310 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Alabama

Land boundaries

total: 1,110 km
border countries (4): Albania 212 km, Bulgaria 472 km, Macedonia 234 km, Turkey 192 km


13,676 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers


mountainous with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands


mean elevation: 498 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m

Natural resources

lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential

Land use

agricultural land: 63.4%
arable land 19.7%; permanent crops 8.9%; permanent pasture 34.8%
forest: 30.5%
other: 6.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

15,550 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

severe earthquakes
volcanism: Santorini (elev. 367 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; although there have been very few eruptions in recent centuries, Methana and Nisyros in the Aegean are classified as historically active

Environment - current issues

air pollution; water pollution

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds

Geography - note

strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits; a peninsular country, possessing an archipelago of about 2,000 islands

People and Society


noun: Greek(s)
adjective: Greek


10,773,253 (July 2016 est.)

Ethnic groups

population: Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7% (2001 census)
note: data represent citizenship, since Greece does not collect data on ethnicity


Greek (official) 99%, other (includes English and French) 1%


Greek Orthodox (official) 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%

Age structure

0-14 years: 13.93% (male 772,973/female 727,720)
15-24 years: 9.68% (male 533,112/female 510,133)
25-54 years: 42.71% (male 2,291,355/female 2,309,664)
55-64 years: 13% (male 686,182/female 713,821)
65 years and over: 20.68% (male 975,819/female 1,252,474) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 56.2%
youth dependency ratio: 22.8%
elderly dependency ratio: 33.4%
potential support ratio: 3% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 44.2 years
male: 43.1 years
female: 45.3 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

-0.03% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

8.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

11.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

2.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

one-third of the population lives in and around metropolitan Athens; the remainder of the country has moderate population density mixed with sizeable pockets of urban agglomeration


urban population: 78% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.47% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

ATHENS (capital) 3.052 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

3 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 80.5 years
male: 77.9 years
female: 83.3 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.42 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Health expenditures

8.1% of GDP (2014)

Hospital bed density

4.8 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source

urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 99.2% of population
rural: 98.1% of population
total: 99% of population
urban: 0.8% of population
rural: 1.9% of population
total: 1% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.26% (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

16,200 (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

300 (2015 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

25.1% (2014)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.7%
male: 98.5%
female: 96.9% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 17 years
male: 17 years
female: 17 years (2013)

Mother's mean age at first birth

31.2 (2010 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 52.4%
male: 47.4%
female: 58.1% (2014 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Hellenic Republic
conventional short form: Greece
local long form: Elliniki Dimokratia
local short form: Ellas or Ellada
former: Hellenic State, Kingdom of Greece
etymology: the English name derives from the Roman (Latin) designation "Graecia," meaning "Land of the Greeks"; the Greeks call their country "Hellas" or "Ellada"

Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Athens
geographic coordinates: 37 59 N, 23 44 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions

13 regions (perifereies, singular - perifereia) and 1 autonomous monastic state* (aftonomi monastiki politeia); Agion Oros* (Mount Athos), Anatoliki Makedonia kai Thraki (East Macedonia and Thrace), Attiki (Attica), Dytiki Ellada (West Greece), Dytiki Makedonia (West Macedonia), Ionia Nisia (Ionian Islands), Ipeiros (Epirus), Kentriki Makedonia (Central Macedonia), Kriti (Crete), Notio Aigaio (South Aegean), Peloponnisos (Peloponnese), Sterea Ellada (Central Greece), Thessalia (Thessaly), Voreio Aigaio (North Aegean)


3 February 1830 (from the Ottoman Empire); note - 25 March 1821, outbreak of the national revolt against the Ottomans; 3 February 1830, signing of the London Protocol recognizing Greek independence by Great Britain, France, and Russia

National holiday

Independence Day, 25 March (1821)


history: many previous; latest entered into force 11 June 1975
amendments: proposed by at least 50 members of Parliament and agreed by three-fifths majority vote in two separate ballots at least 30 days apart; passage requires absolute majority vote by the next elected Parliament; entry into force finalized through a “special parliamentary resolution”; articles on human rights and freedoms and the form of government cannot be amended; amended 1986, 2001, 2008 (2016)

Legal system

civil legal system based on Roman law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Greece
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years


18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Prokopios (Prokopis) PAVLOPOULOS (since 13 March 2015)
head of government: Prime Minister Alexios TSIPRAS (since 21 September 2015); note - Vasiliki THANOU-CHRISTOFILOU served as interim prime minister beginning on 27 August 2015 after the resignation of Alexios TSIPRAS on 20 August 2015; she was Greece's first female prime minister
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections/appointments: president elected by Hellenic Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 18 February 2015 (next to be held by February 2020); president appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party or coalition in the Hellenic Parliament
election results: Prokopios PAVLOPOULOS (ND) elected president by Parliament - 233 of 300 votes

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Hellenic Parliament or Vouli ton Ellinon (300 seats; 288 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 12 seats are filled from nationwide party lists; 50 seats allocated to the party with the highest total valid vote count and remaining seats are apportioned according to each party's or coalition's vote percentage; members serve up to 4 years)
elections: last held on 20 September 2015 (next to be held by 2019); note - snap elections were called because of upheaval in the governing SYRIZA party over a new bailout deal with international creditors
election results: percent of vote by party - SYRIZA 35.5%, ND 28.1%, Golden Dawn 7.0%, PASOK-DIMAR 6.3%, KKE 5.6%, To Potami (The River) 4.1%, ANEL 3.7%, EK 3.4%, other 6.3%; seats by party - SYRIZA 145, ND 75, Golden Dawn 18, PASOK-DIMAR 17, KKE 15, To Potami 11, ANEL 10, EK 9; note - only parties surpassing a 3% threshold are entitled to parliamentary seats; parties need 10 seats to become formal parliamentary groups but can retain that status if the party participated in the last election and received the minimum 3% threshold

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Areios Pagos, the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court (consists of 56 judges); Council of State (supreme administrative court); Court of Auditors
judge selection and term of office: judges selected by the Supreme Judicial Council, which includes the president of the Supreme Court, other judges, and the prosecutor of the Supreme Court; judges appointed for life following a 2-year probationary period
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal and Courts of First Instance(district courts)

Political parties and leaders

Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow or ANTARSYA [collective leadership]
Coalition of the Radical Left or SYRIZA [Alexios (Alexis) TSIPRAS]
Communist Party of Greece or KKE [Dimitrios KOUTSOUMBAS]
Democratic Left or DIMAR [Athanasios (Thanasis) THEOCHAROPOULOS]
Independent Greeks or ANEL [Panagiotis (Panos) KAMMENOS]
Movement of Democratic Socialists or KIDISO [Georgios PAPANDREOU]
New Democracy or ND [Kyriakos MITSOTAKIS]
Panhellenic Socialist Movement or PASOK [Foteini (Fofi) GENIMMATA]
People's Association-Golden Dawn [Nikolaos MICHALOLIAKOS]
Popular Unity [Panagiotis LAFAZANIS]
To Potami (The River) [Stavros THEODORAKIS]
Union of Centrists or EK [Vasilis LEVENTIS]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Supreme Administration of Civil Servants Unions or ADEDY [Spyros PAPASPYROS]
Federation of Greek Industries or SEV [Dimitris DASKALOPOULOS]
General Confederation of Greek Workers or GSEE [Ioannis PANAGOPOULOS]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Theocharis LALAKOS (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 2217 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-1300
FAX: [1] (202) 939-1324
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa (FL), San Francisco
consulate(s): Atlanta, Houston

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Geoffrey R. PYATT (since 24 October 2016)
embassy: 91 Vasillisis Sophias Avenue, 10160 Athens
mailing address: PSC 108, APO AE 09842-0108
telephone: [30] (210) 721-2951
FAX: [30] (210) 645-6282
consulate(s) general: Thessaloniki (2012)

Flag description

nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white; a blue square bearing a white cross appears in the upper hoist-side corner; the cross symbolizes Greek Orthodoxy, the established religion of the country; there is no agreed upon meaning for the nine stripes or for the colors; the exact shade of blue has never been set by law and has varied from a light to a dark blue over time

National symbol(s)

Greek cross (white cross on blue field, arms equal length); national colors: blue, white

National anthem

name: "Ymnos eis tin Eleftherian" (Hymn to Liberty)
lyrics/music: Dionysios SOLOMOS/Nikolaos MANTZAROS
note: adopted 1864; the anthem is based on a 158-stanza poem by the same name, which was inspired by the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottomans (only the first two stanzas are used); Cyprus also uses "Hymn to Liberty" as its anthem


Economy - overview

Greece has a capitalist economy with a public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP about two-thirds that of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 18% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, main

The Greek economy averaged growth of about 4% per year between 2003 and 2007, but the economy went into recession in 2009 as a result of the world financial crisis, tightening credit conditions, and Athens' failure to address a growing budget deficit. By

In April 2010, a leading credit agency assigned Greek debt its lowest possible credit rating, and in May 2010, the International Monetary Fund and euro-zone governments provided Greece emergency short- and medium-term loans worth $147 billion so that the

In 2014, the Greek economy began to turn the corner on the recession. Greece achieved three significant milestones: balancing the budget - not including debt repayments; issuing government debt in financial markets for the first time since 2010; and gener

Despite the nascent recovery, widespread discontent with austerity measures helped propel the far-left Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party into government in national legislative elections in January 2015. Between January and July 2015, frustrati

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$290.5 billion (2016 est.)
$290.3 billion (2015 est.)
$291 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$195.9 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

0.1% (2016 est.)
-0.2% (2015 est.)
0.7% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$26,800 (2016 est.)
$26,700 (2015 est.)
$26,600 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

10.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
9.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
10.1% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 71.1%
government consumption: 19.8%
investment in fixed capital: 10.7%
investment in inventories: -2.3%
exports of goods and services: 29.1%
imports of goods and services: -28.4% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 4.1%
industry: 15%
services: 80.9% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes; beef, dairy products


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

Industrial production growth rate

-1% (2016 est.)

Labor force

4.761 million (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 12.6%
industry: 15%
services: 72.4% (30 October 2015 e)

Unemployment rate

24.6% (2016 est.)
25% (2015 est.)

Population below poverty line

36% (2014 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 26.7% (2015 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

36.7 (2012 est.)
35.7 (2011)


revenues: $93.34 billion
expenditures: $102.1 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

47.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-4.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

181.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
177.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.2% (2016 est.)
-1.7% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

0.05% (31 March 2016)
0.15% (11 June 2014)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate

5.7% (31 December 2016 est.)
5.89% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$85.68 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$86.69 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of

Stock of broad money

$260.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$264.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$250 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$259.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$42.08 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$55.15 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$82.59 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Current account balance

-$70 million (2016 est.)
-$90 million (2015 est.)


$21.93 billion (2016 est.)
$27.5 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

food and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, textiles

Exports - partners

Italy 11.2%, Germany 7.3%, Turkey 6.6%, Cyprus 5.9%, Bulgaria 5.2%, US 4.8%, UK 4.2%, Egypt 4% (2015)


$42.73 billion (2016 est.)
$46.62 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery, transport equipment, fuels, chemicals

Imports - partners

Germany 10.7%, Italy 8.4%, Russia 7.9%, Iraq 7%, China 5.9%, Netherlands 5.5%, France 4.5% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$6.026 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.212 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external

$506.6 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$468.2 billion (31 March 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$22.15 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$21.28 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$29.67 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$30.07 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.78 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Electricity - production

48 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

53 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

600 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports

9.5 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

19 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

70.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

11.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

15.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

1,077 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

1,667 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - imports

549,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

10 million bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

587,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

297,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

316,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

83,020 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas - production

5 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

2.924 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports

2.931 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

991.1 million cu m (1 January 2016 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

78 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 5,177,090
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 12.682 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 118 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: adequate, modern networks reach all areas; good mobile telephone and international service
domestic: microwave radio relay trunk system; extensive open-wire connections; submarine cable to offshore islands
international: country code - 30; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Europe, Middle East, and Asia; a number of smaller submarine cables provide connectivity to various parts of Europe, the Middle East, an (2015)

Broadcast media

Broadcast media dominated by the private sector; roughly 150 private TV channels, about ten of which broadcast nationwide; 1 government-owned terrestrial TV channel with national coverage; 3 privately owned satellite channels; multi-channel satellite and (2014)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 7.202 million
percent of population: 66.8% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 9
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 93
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 12,583,541
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 27,452,961 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

SX (2016)


77 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 68
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 15
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 18
under 914 m: 10 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 7 (2013)


9 (2013)


gas 1,329 km; oil 94 km (2013)


total: 2,548 km
standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-m gauge (764 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 961 km 1.000-m gauge; 22 km 0.750-m gauge (2014)


total: 116,960 km
paved: 41,357 km (includes 1,091 km of expressways)
unpaved: 75,603 km (2010)


6 km (the 6-km-long Corinth Canal crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; it shortens a sea voyage by 325 km) (2012)

Merchant marine

total: 860
by type: bulk carrier 262, cargo 49, carrier 1, chemical tanker 68, container 35, liquefied gas 13, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 109, petroleum tanker 302, roll on/roll off 14
foreign-owned: 42 (Belgium 17, Bermuda 3, Cyprus 3, Italy 5, UK 6, US 8)
registered in other countries: 2,459 (Antigua and Barbuda 4, Bahamas 225, Barbados 14, Belize 2, Bermuda 8, Brazil 1, Cabo Verde 1, Cambodia 2, Cayman Islands 9, Comoros 4, Curacao 1, Cyprus 201, Dominica 4, Egypt 8, Gibraltar 8, Honduras 4, Hong Kong 27, Indonesia 1, Isle of Man 62, Italy 7 (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Aspropyrgos, Pachi, Piraeus, Thessaloniki
oil terminal(s): Agioi Theodoroi
LNG terminal(s) (import): Revithoussa


Military branches

Hellenic Army (Ellinikos Stratos, ES), Hellenic Navy (Elliniko Polemiko Navtiko, EPN), Hellenic Air Force (Elliniki Polemiki Aeroporia, EPA) (2013)

Military service age and obligation

19-45 years of age for compulsory military service; during wartime the law allows for recruitment beginning January of the year of inductee's 18th birthday, thus including 17 year olds; 18 years of age for volunteers; conscript service obligation is 1 year for the Army and 9 months for the Air Force and Navy; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2014)

Military expenditures

2.46% of GDP (2015 est.)
2.2% of GDP (2014)
2.19% of GDP (2013)
2.26% of GDP (2012)
note: based on 2010 prices

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Greece and Turkey continue discussions to resolve their complex maritime, air, territorial, and boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea; Greece rejects the use of the name Macedonia or Republic of Macedonia; the mass migration of unemployed Albanians still remains a problem for developed countries, chiefly Greece and Italy

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 9,101 (Syria); 5,411 (Tanzania); 5,223 (Afghanistan) (2015)
stateless persons: 198 (2015)
note: 1,033,169 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals by sea (2015 - November 2016)

Illicit drugs

a gateway to Europe for traffickers smuggling cannabis and heroin from the Middle East and Southwest Asia to the West and precursor chemicals to the East; some South American cocaine transits or is consumed in Greece; money laundering related to drug trafficking and organized crime