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Greece achieved 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. 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.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 10,706,290 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Greek(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Greek

Official Language(s): Greek

Major Languages Spoken: Albanian, Bulgarian, English, French, Greek

Map of Greece

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Hellenic Republic

Country Name (short form): Greece

Country Name (local long form): Elliniki Dhimokratia

Country Name (local short form): Ellas or Ellada

Name of Capital: Athens

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Greece: Turkey, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria

Land Area: 130800 sq km

Water Area: 1140 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than Alabama

Total Land Boundry: 1,228 km

Coastline: 13,676 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 25 March (1821)

International Phone Code: 30

Currency Code: euro (EUR)

Internet Country Code: .gr

US Embassy Location: 91 Vasilisis Sophias Avenue, 10160 Athens

US Embassy Mailing Address: PSC 108, APO AE 09842-0108


Greece flag

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