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Greece

Greece is situated on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula, bordered by Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north; and by Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea lies south-east of mainland Greece, while the Ionian Sea lies to the west; both seas feature many islands. Greece’s capital city is Athens.

1. Introduction

a. History and background

Greece is situated on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula, bordered by Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north; and by Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea lies south-east of mainland Greece, while the Ionian Sea lies to the west; both seas feature many islands. Greece’s capital city is Athens.

Greece joined the European Union (EU) in 1981. It has been a member of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) of the EU since 2001, NATO since 1952, and the OECD since 1960.

Greece’s service industry makes up the largest, most vital and fastest-growing sector of the Greek economy, followed by industry and agriculture. Tourism is very important with almost 15.7 million people visiting Greece in 2008.

Greece enjoys a high growth rate. In 2008, foreign direct investment into the country reached EUR 3.4 billion, almost three times higher than 2007. The deficit of the general government has decreased from 7.8 per cent of GDP in 2004 to 5 per cent in 2008.

The currency of Greece is the euro (EUR).

b. Legal system

Greece is a presidential parliamentary republic. The Greek governmental structure is similar to that found in many Western democracies and has been described as a compromise between the French and German models. The Prime Minister and Cabinet play the central role in the political process, while the President performs some governmental functions in addition to ceremonial duties.

Editorial board
Peter G Economides TEP
Totalserve Management Ltd, Athens, Greece

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