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Greece holidays basic Introduction
Greece has a history stretching back almost 4.000 years. The Ancient Greece period was taken to begin with the first recorded Olympic Games in 776 BC, but many current historians extend it back to 1000 BC. It ends with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. The following period is classed Hellenistic or until the Greece integration into the Roman Empire in 146 BC.
- Location: at the Southeastern tip of Europe, at the southernmost extremity of the Balkan Peninsula
- Borders: Albania, F.Y.R.O.M., Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the east
- Area: 131,957 sq. km. (51,146 sq. mi.)
- Mainland coastline: 4,000 km long. Total length: 1,228 km
- Terrain: Mountainous interior with coastal plains; 1,400-plus islands
Capital: Athens Greece
Major cities:Greater Athens (pop. 3,566,060), municipality of Athens (772,072), Greater Thessaloniki (pop. 1,057,825), Thessaloniki (824,633), Greater Pireaus (pop. 880,529), Pireaus (182,671), Patra (170,452), Iraklion (132,117), Larissa (113,090).
- Population: 10,688,058 million. Immigrants make up approximately 10% of this.
- Worth force: 4.72 million
- Growth rate: 0.18%
- Infant morality rate: 5.43/1,000
- Life expectancy: male 77 years, female 82 years
- Languages: Greek 99% (official); Turkish, others. Albanian is spoken by approximately 700,000 Albanian immigrants. English is the predominant second language.
- Religions: Greek Orthodox approximately 98%, Muslim 1.3%, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and other religious communities
- Education: 9 years compulsory – 97.5% Literacy. All levels are free.
- Type: Parliamentary Republic
- Independent: since 1830
- Constitution: June 11, 1975, amended March 1986, April 2001
- Branches: Executive--president (head of state), prime minister (head of government) Legislative--300 seat unicameral Vouli (parliament) Judicial—Supreme Court. Council of State
- Political parties: New Democracy (ND), Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Coalition of the Left (SYNASPISMOS), and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS)
- Suffrage is universal and mandatory at 18.
- Administrative subdivisions: 13 peripheries (regional districts), 51 nomi (prefectures)
- GDP: $236.8 billion.
- Per capita GDP: $22,000
- Growth rate: 3.7%
- Inflation rate: 3.5%
- Unemployment rate: 9.9%
- Main economic resources: Primary—Agriculture 12% of GDP, Secondary—Industry 30% of GDP, Tertiary—Services 58% of GDP
- Natural resources: Bauxite, lignite, magnetite, oil, marble.
Agriculture (5.4% of GDP): Products--sugar beets, wheat, maize, tomatoes, olives, olive oil, grapes, raisins, wine, oranges, peaches, tobacco, cotton, livestock, dairy products.
- Manufacturing (21.3% of GDP): Types--processed foods, shoes, textiles, metals, chemicals, electrical equipment, cement, glass, transport equipment, petroleum products, construction, electrical power
- Services (73.3% of GDP): Transportation, tourism, communications, trade, banking, public administration, defence
- Exports: $18.54 billion: manufactured goods, food and beverages, petroleum products, cement, chemicals. Major markets–Germany, Italy, France, U.S., U.K.
- Imports: $48.2 billion. Basic manufactures food and animals, crude oil, chemicals, machinery, transport equipment. Major suppliers-Germany, Italy, France, U.S., Japan, Netherlands.
In the sub-sector of manufacturing (13% of GDP) the food industry is one of the most profitable and highest growth in the area, with an increased presence in the Balkan countries and significant export potential. High-technology equipment.
EURO .The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change are widely available and traveller’s cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs are widespread and are generally the cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining euros.
All Major International cards.
To enter Greece is required only an identity card for E.U. nationals and a passport for citizens of most other countries.
Country code is 30+city code. For international calls 00+country code
Open Monday through Friday from 7.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
- Government office hours: 7.30 a.m.-3.00 p.m. Monday through Friday from October to May, Monday through Friday from May to September
- Private sector office hours: 8.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m.
- Manufacturing establishments: 7.00 a.m.-3.00 p.m. Monday through Friday
- Banks: 8.30 a.m.-2.00 p.m. Monday through Friday
- Stores: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
Greece has a Mediterranean climate. Plenty of sunshine, mild temperatures and limited rainfalls can vary due to the country’s geographical position and its distribution between the mainland and the sea. In the summer months the dry hot days are cooled by seasonal winds, while the temperatures in mountainous regions are lower. The winters are mild in lowland areas, with a minimum amount of snow and ice. Yet mountains are usually snow-covered.
There are no specific health risks in Greece, but visitors who plan to walk through forested areas are advised to consider vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis. Medical facilities in Greece vary; those in major cities are excellent but many of the islands are some distance from a decent hospital. Food and water are safe, but those visiting for short periods should consider sticking to bottled water. UK nationals are entitled to a refund on emergency hospital treatment under a reciprocal agreement between the UK and Greece, and a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) should be taken on holiday for this purpose.
The tip is not included in the bill in a restaurant. Leave between 10 to 15 percent. For drinks at cafes, round the bill up to the nearest euro. Taxis expect change as do cloak room attendants and porters.
There is no risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks and visitors will really enjoy their holidays with out any worries.
Duty free Travelers from non-EU countries do not pay duty when entering Greece for 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g tobacco; 1 litre of spirits with alcohol volume over 22%, or 2 litres of dessert wine not exceeding 22% alcohol volume and sparkling wine, or 2 litres of table wine; 50g perfume or 250ml eau de toilette; and other goods for non-commercial value to the value of €175 for adults and €90 for children under 15 years. Providing goods are bought for personal use, there are no restrictions on carrying tobacco and alcohol between the 15 original countries of the EU (including the UK), with the exception of Finland, Denmark and Sweden.