Greece (formally known as the Hellenic Republic) is a large country in Europe on the Mediterranean Sea. Its capital is Athens. There are about 10,623,835 people in Greece (as of 2001). The flag of Greece is blue and white; it was adopted in 1978. Greece is rich in natural resources, including fertile farmlands, minerals, and seaports.
Geography: The highest point in Greece is Mount Olympus (2,917 meters high); the lowest is the Mediterranean Sea (at sea level). The total area of Greece is 131,940 square kilometers (slightly smaller than the US state of Alabama). There are 13,676 kilometers of coastline. Greece is bordered by Albania, Macedonia (The Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia), Bulgaria, and Turkey. 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 Communist rebels. Following the latter's defeat in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. A military dictatorship, which in 1967 suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country, lasted seven years. The 1974 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 euro zone in 2001.
Independence: Greece gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. Greek National Independence Day is celebrated on March 25 each year.
Location: Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey.
Climate: Temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers.
Terrain: Mostly mountains with ranges extending into the Sea as peninsulas or chains of islands.
Capital: Athens. The city was an amazing place, the largest in Greece. Athens controlled the land around it, a large region called Attika. Between the many mountains were fertile valleys, where farmers grew olives, grain, fruit and grapes. Athens became rich and powerful, helped by Attika's valuable sources of silver, lead and marble. In 510BC a new government was invented in Athens. `Demokratia' from which we get our word `democracy', means `rule by the people'. Any man
Chief Of State: President Karolos PAPOULIAS (since 12 March 2005).
Head Of Government: Prime Minister Konstandinos (Kostas) KARAMANLIS (since 7 March 2004).
Government Type: Parliamentary republic.
Greece is a much harder place to live than Egypt, because the soil is not as good and there is not always enough water to grow plants for food. So people did not move there until a lot later. The first evidence of real settlement in Greece comes from about 55,000 BC (57,000 years ago). Even then there were not very many people until around 3000 BC. Greek history is usually divided into a Stone Age, a Bronze Age, and an Iron Age. Sometimes people divide each of these periods into smaller periods as well.