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Greece
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GR, Greece Directory, Overview





Greece - overview:
Greece achieved its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. 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. Following the defeat of Communist rebels 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; Greece joined the European Community or EC in 1981 (which became the EU in 1992).

Economy - overview:
Greece has a mixed capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for half of GDP and with per capita GDP 70% of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 15% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, mainly in menial jobs. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of GDP. The Greek economy grew by 4.0% in 2003 and is expected to grow by 4.2% in 2004, the year that Athens will host the 2004 Olympic Games. Remaining challenges include the reduction of the public debt, inflation, and unemployment; and further restructuring of the economy, including privatizing several state enterprises, undertaking pension and other reforms, and minimizing bureaucratic inefficiencies.


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