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Context of Greece

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe, located on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula. Greece shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Sea of Crete and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin, featuring thousands of islands. It has a population of nearly 10.3 million (as of 2024). Athens is the nation's capital and the largest city, followed by Thessaloniki and Patras.

Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical...Read more

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe, located on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula. Greece shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Sea of Crete and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin, featuring thousands of islands. It has a population of nearly 10.3 million (as of 2024). Athens is the nation's capital and the largest city, followed by Thessaloniki and Patras.

Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, theatre, and the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis (singular polis), which spanned the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Philip II of Macedon united most of present-day Greece in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great rapidly conquering much of the known ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to northwestern India. The subsequent Hellenistic period saw the height of Greek culture and influence in antiquity. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its continuation, the Byzantine Empire, which was predominantly Greek in culture and language. The Greek Orthodox Church, which emerged in the first century AD, helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox world. After the Fourth Crusade in 1204, Latin possessions were established in parts of the Greek peninsula, but most of the area fell under Ottoman rule in the mid-15th century. Greece emerged as a modern nation state in 1830, following a war of independence.

Over the first hundred years, the Kingdom of Greece sought territorial expansion, which was mainly achieved in the early 20th century, during the Balkan Wars and up until its Asia Minor Campaign ended with a catastrophic defeat in 1922. The short-lived republic that followed was beset by the ramifications of civil strife and the challenge of resettling refugees from Turkey. In 1936 a royalist dictatorship inaugurated a long period of authoritarian rule, marked by military occupation during World War II, civil war, and military dictatorship. Greece achieved record economic growth from 1950 through the 1970s, allowing it to join the ranks of developed countries. Democracy was restored in 1974–75, and Greece has since been a parliamentary republic.

Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, the second largest in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities (precursor to the European Union) and has been part of the eurozone since 2001. It is also a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, NATO, the OECD, the WTO, and the OSCE. Greece has a unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, and prominent shipping sector. The country's rich historical legacy is reflected in part by its 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

More about Greece

Basic information
  • Currency Euro
  • Native name Ελλάδα
  • Calling code +30
  • Internet domain .gr
  • Mains voltage 230V/50Hz
  • Democracy index 7.39
Population, Area & Driving side
  • Population 10566531
  • Area 131957
  • Driving side right
  • Prehistory and early history  The entrance of the Treasury of...Read more
    Prehistory and early history  The entrance of the Treasury of Atreus (13th century BC) in Mycenae

    The Apidima Cave in Mani, in southern Greece, has been suggested to contain the oldest remains of anatomically modern humans outside of Africa, dated to 210,000 years ago.[1] However, this has been contested, with other authors suggesting the remains represent archaic humans.[2] All three stages of the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic) are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave.[3] Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC,[4] are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe.[5]

    Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation,[6][7] beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC,[8] the Minoan civilization in Crete (2700–1500 BC),[9][10] and then the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland (1600–1100 BC).[10] These civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans using an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans writing the earliest attested form of Greek in Linear B. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, along with other civilizations, during the regional event known as the Late Bronze Age collapse.[11] Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state, contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece.[12][13]

    Ancient Greece  Greek territories and colonies during the Archaic period (750–550 BC)

    The collapse of the Mycenean civilization ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the year of the first Olympic Games.[14] The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC.[15][16] With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, Southern Italy (the so-called "Magna Graecia") and Asia Minor. These states and their colonies reached great levels of prosperity that resulted in an unprecedented cultural boom, that of classical Greece, expressed in architecture, drama, science, mathematics and philosophy. In 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the world's first democratic system of government in Athens.[17][18]

     The Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens, icon of classical Greece

    By 500 BC, the Persian Empire controlled the Greek city states in Asia Minor and Macedonia.[19] Attempts by some of the Greek city-states of Asia Minor to overthrow Persian rule failed, and Persia invaded the states of mainland Greece in 492 BC, but was forced to withdraw after a defeat at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. In response, the Greek city-states formed the Hellenic League in 481 BC, led by Sparta, which was the first historically recorded union of Greek states since the mythical union of the Trojan War.[20][21] A second invasion by the Persians followed in 480 BC. Following decisive Greek victories in 480 and 479 BC at Salamis, Plataea, and Mycale, the Persians were forced to withdraw for a second time, marking their eventual withdrawal from all of their European territories. Led by Athens and Sparta, the Greek victories in the Greco-Persian Wars are considered a pivotal moment in world history,[22] as the 50 years of peace that followed are known as the Golden Age of Athens, the seminal period of ancient Greek development that laid many of the foundations of Western civilization.

    Lack of political unity within Greece resulted in frequent conflict between Greek states. The most devastating intra-Greek war was the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), won by Sparta and marking the demise of the Athenian Empire as the leading power in ancient Greece. Both Athens and Sparta were later overshadowed by Thebes and eventually Macedon, with the latter uniting most of the city-states of the Greek hinterland in the League of Corinth (also known as the Hellenic League or Greek League) under the control of Philip II.[23] Despite this development, the Greek world remained largely fragmented and would not be united under a single power until the Roman years.[24]

    Alexander the Great, whose conquests led to the Hellenistic Age

    After Philip's assassination in 336 BC, his son and king of Macedon, Alexander, set himself the leader of a Panhellenic campaign against the Persian Empire and abolished it. Undefeated in battle, he marched, until his untimely death in 323 BC, to the banks of the Indus,[25] in the process creating one of the largest empires in history. Alexander's empire fragmented after his death, inaugurating the Hellenistic period. After fierce conflict among them, the generals that succeeded Alexander and their successors founded large personal kingdoms in the areas he had conquered, such as that of the Ptolemies in Egypt, the Seleucids in Syria, Mesopotamia and Iran,[26] the Greco-Bactrians in central Asia, and the Indo-Greek kingdom. Many Greeks migrated to Alexandria, Antioch, Seleucia, and the many other new Hellenistic cities in Asia and Africa.[27] As a result of the settlement of Greeks in newly founded poleis of these kingdoms as members of a ruling minority, during the centuries that followed a vernacular form of Greek, known as koine, and Greek culture was spread, while the Greeks adopted Eastern deities and cults.[28] Greek science, technology, and mathematics are generally considered to have reached their peak during the Hellenistic period.[29] After a period of confusion following Alexander's death, the Antigonid dynasty, descended from one of Alexander's generals, established its control over Macedon and most of the Greek city-states by 276 BC.[30] Aspiring to maintain their autonomy and independence from the Antigonid kings of the Macedonians, who sought to control them, many of the poleis of Greece united in koina or sympoliteiai (i.e. federations), while after the establishment of economic relations with the East, a stratum of wealthy euergetai dominated their internal life.[31]

    Roman province (146 BC – 4th century AD)  The Antikythera mechanism (c. 100 BC) is considered to be the first known mechanical analog computer (National Archaeological Museum, Athens).

    From about 200 BC the Roman Republic became increasingly involved in Greek affairs and engaged in a series of wars with Macedon.[32] Macedon's defeat at the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC signalled the end of Antigonid power in Greece.[33] In 146 BC, Macedonia was annexed as a province by Rome, and the rest of Greece became a Roman protectorate.[32][34]

    The process was completed in 27 BC when the Roman emperor Augustus annexed the rest of Greece and constituted it as the senatorial province of Achaea.[34] Despite their military superiority, the Romans admired and became heavily influenced by the achievements of Greek culture, hence Horace's famous statement: Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit ("Greece, although captured, took its wild conqueror captive").[35] The epics of Homer inspired the Aeneid of Virgil, and authors such as Seneca the Younger wrote using Greek styles. Roman heroes such as Scipio Africanus, tended to study philosophy and regarded Greek culture and science as an example to be followed. Similarly, most Roman emperors maintained an admiration for things Greek in nature. The Roman emperor Nero visited Greece in AD 66, and performed at the Ancient Olympic Games, despite the rules against non-Greek participation. Hadrian was also particularly fond of the Greeks.[36] Before becoming emperor, he served as an eponymous archon of Athens.[37]

     The Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, built in 161 AD

    Greek-speaking communities of the Hellenised East were instrumental in the spread of early Christianity in the 2nd and 3rd centuries,[38] and Christianity's early leaders and writers (notably St. Paul) were mostly Greek-speaking, though generally not from Greece itself.[39] The New Testament was written in Greek, and some of its sections (Corinthians, Thessalonians, Philippians, Revelation of St. John of Patmos) attest to the importance of churches in Greece in early Christianity. Nevertheless, much of Greece clung tenaciously to paganism, and ancient Greek religious practices were still in vogue in the late 4th century AD,[40] when they were outlawed by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in 391–392.[41] The last recorded Olympic games were held in 393,[42] and many temples were destroyed or damaged in the century that followed.[43] In Athens and rural areas, paganism is attested well into the sixth century AD[43] and even later.[44] The closure of the Neoplatonic Academy of Athens by the Emperor Justinian in 529 is considered by many to mark the end of antiquity, although there is evidence that the academy continued its activities for some time after that.[43] Some remote areas such as the southeastern Peloponnese remained pagan until well into the 10th century AD.[45]

    Medieval period (4th–15th century)  Dome of Hagia Sophia, Thessaloniki (8th century), one of the 15 UNESCO's Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of the city

    The Roman Empire in the east, following the fall of the Empire in the west in the 5th century, is conventionally known as the Byzantine Empire (but was simply called "Kingdom of the Romans" in its own time) and lasted until 1453. With its capital in Constantinople, its language and culture were Greek and its religion was predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christian.[46]

    From the 4th century the Empire's Balkan territories, including Greece, suffered from the dislocation of barbarian invasions.[47] The raids and devastation of the Goths and Huns in the 4th and 5th centuries and the Slavic invasion of Greece in the 7th century resulted in a dramatic collapse in imperial authority in the Greek peninsula.[48] Following the Slavic invasion, the imperial government retained formal control of only the islands and coastal areas, particularly the densely populated walled cities such as Athens, Corinth and Thessalonica, while some mountainous areas in the interior held out on their own and continued to recognise imperial authority.[48] Outside of these areas, a limited amount of Slavic settlement is generally thought to have occurred, although on a much smaller scale than previously thought.[49][50] However, the view that Greece in late antiquity underwent a crisis of decline, fragmentation and depopulation is now considered outdated, as Greek cities show a high degree of institutional continuity and prosperity between the 4th and 6th centuries AD (and possibly later as well). In the early 6th century, Greece had approximately 80 cities according to the Synecdemus chronicle, and the period from the 4th to the 7th century AD is considered one of high prosperity not just in Greece but in the entire Eastern Mediterranean.[51]

     The Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire after the death of Basil II in 1025

    Until the 8th century almost all of modern Greece was under the jurisdiction of the Holy See of Rome according to the system of Pentarchy. Byzantine Emperor Leo III moved the border of the Patriarchate of Constantinople westward and northward in the 8th century.[52]

    The Byzantine recovery of lost provinces during the Arab–Byzantine wars began toward the end of the 8th century and most of the Greek peninsula came under imperial control again, in stages, during the 9th century.[53][54] This process was facilitated by a large influx of Greeks from Sicily and Asia Minor to the Greek peninsula, while at the same time many Slavs were captured and re-settled in Asia Minor and the few that remained were assimilated.[49] During the 11th and 12th centuries the return of stability resulted in the Greek peninsula benefiting from strong economic growth – much stronger than that of the Anatolian territories of the Empire.[53] During that time, the Greek Orthodox Church was also instrumental in the spread of Greek ideas to the wider Orthodox world.[55][full citation needed]

     The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, originally built in the late 7th century as a Byzantine citadel and beginning from 1309 used by the Knights Hospitaller as an administrative centre

    Following the Fourth Crusade and the fall of Constantinople to the "Latins" in 1204, mainland Greece was split between the Greek Despotate of Epirus (a Byzantine successor state) and French rule[56] (known as the Frankokratia), while some islands came under Venetian rule.[57] The re-establishment of the Byzantine imperial capital in Constantinople in 1261 was accompanied by the empire's recovery of much of the Greek peninsula, although the Frankish Principality of Achaea in the Peloponnese and the rival Greek Despotate of Epirus in the north both remained important regional powers into the 14th century, while the islands remained largely under Genoese and Venetian control.[56] During the Paleologi dynasty (1261–1453) a new era of Greek patriotism emerged accompanied by a turning back to ancient Greece.[58][59][60]

    As such prominent personalities at the time also proposed changing the imperial title to "Emperor of the Hellenes",[58][60] and, in late fourteenth century, the emperor was frequently referred to as the "Emperor of the Hellenes".[61] Similarly, in several international treaties of that time the Byzantine emperor is styled as "Imperator Graecorum".[62]

    In the 14th century much of the Greek peninsula was lost by the Byzantine Empire at first to the Serbs and then to the Ottomans.[63] By the beginning of the 15th century, the Ottoman advance meant that Byzantine territory in Greece was limited mainly to its then-largest city, Thessaloniki, and the Peloponnese (Despotate of the Morea).[63] After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, the Morea was one of the last remnants of the Byzantine Empire to hold out against the Ottomans. However, this, too, fell to the Ottomans in 1460, completing the Ottoman conquest of mainland Greece.[64] With the Turkish conquest, many Byzantine Greek scholars, who up until then were largely responsible for preserving Classical Greek knowledge, fled to the West, taking with them a large body of literature and thereby significantly contributing to the Renaissance.[65]

    Venetian possessions and Ottoman rule (15th century – 1821)  The Byzantine castle of Angelokastro successfully repulsed the Ottomans during the first great siege of Corfu in 1537, the siege of 1571, and the second great siege of Corfu in 1716, causing them to abandon their plans to conquer Corfu.[66]

    While most of mainland Greece and the Aegean islands was under Ottoman control by the end of the 15th century, Cyprus and Crete remained Venetian territory and did not fall to the Ottomans until 1571 and 1670 respectively. The only part of the Greek-speaking world that escaped long-term Ottoman rule was the Ionian Islands, which remained Venetian until their capture by the First French Republic in 1797, then passed to the United Kingdom in 1809 until their unification with Greece in 1864.[67]

    While some Greeks in the Ionian Islands and Constantinople lived in prosperity, and Greeks of Constantinople (Phanariotes) achieved positions of power within the Ottoman administration,[68] much of the population of mainland Greece suffered the economic consequences of the Ottoman conquest. Heavy taxes were enforced, and in later years the Ottoman Empire enacted a policy of creation of hereditary estates, effectively turning the rural Greek populations into serfs.[69]

    The Greek Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople were considered by the Ottoman governments as the ruling authorities of the entire Orthodox Christian population of the Ottoman Empire, whether ethnically Greek or not. Although the Ottoman state did not force non-Muslims to convert to Islam, Christians faced several types of discrimination intended to highlight their inferior status in the Ottoman Empire. Discrimination against Christians, particularly when combined with harsh treatment by local Ottoman authorities, led to conversions to Islam, if only superficially. In the 19th century, many "crypto-Christians" returned to their old religious allegiance.[70]

     The White Tower of Thessaloniki, one of the best-known Ottoman structures remaining in Greece

    The nature of Ottoman administration of Greece varied, though it was invariably arbitrary and often harsh.[70] Some cities had governors appointed by the Sultan, while others (like Athens) were self-governed municipalities. Mountainous regions in the interior and many islands remained effectively autonomous from the central Ottoman state for many centuries.[71][page needed]

    Prior to the Greek Revolution of 1821, there had been a number of wars which saw Greeks fight against the Ottomans, such as the Greek participation in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the Epirus peasants' revolts of 1600–1601 (led by the Orthodox bishop Dionysios Skylosophos), the Morean War of 1684–1699, and the Russian-instigated Orlov Revolt in 1770, which aimed at breaking up the Ottoman Empire in favour of Russian interests.[71][page needed] These uprisings were put down by the Ottomans with great bloodshed.[72][73] On the other side, many Greeks were conscripted as Ottoman citizens to serve in the Ottoman army (and especially the Ottoman navy), while also the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, responsible for the Orthodox, remained in general loyal to the empire.

    The 16th and 17th centuries are regarded as something of a "dark age" in Greek history, with the prospect of overthrowing Ottoman rule appearing remote with only the Ionian islands remaining free of Turkish domination. Corfu withstood three major sieges in 1537, 1571 and 1716 all of which resulted in the repulsion of the Ottomans. However, in the 18th century, due to their mastery of shipping and commerce, a wealthy and dispersed Greek merchant class arose. These merchants came to dominate trade within the Ottoman Empire, establishing communities throughout the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and Western Europe. Though the Ottoman conquest had cut Greece off from significant European intellectual movements such as the Reformation and the Enlightenment, these ideas together with the ideals of the French Revolution and romantic nationalism began to penetrate the Greek world via the mercantile diaspora.[74] In the late 18th century, Rigas Feraios, the first revolutionary to envision an independent Greek state, published a series of documents relating to Greek independence, including but not limited to a national anthem and the first detailed map of Greece, in Vienna. Feraios was murdered by Ottoman agents in 1798.[75][76]

    Modern nation-state Greek War of Independence (1821–1832)  The sortie (exodus) of Messolonghi, depicting the third siege of Missolonghi, painted by Theodoros Vryzakis The Battle of Navarino in 1827 secured Greek independence.

    In the late eighteenth century, an increase in secular learning during the Modern Greek Enlightenment led to the emergence among Westernized Greek-speaking elites of the diaspora of the notion of a Greek nation tracing its existence to ancient Greece, distinct from the other Orthodox peoples, and having a right to political autonomy. One of the organizations formed in this intellectual milieu was the Filiki Eteria, a secret organization formed by merchants in Odessa (Odesa) in 1814.[77] Appropriating a long-standing tradition of Orthodox messianic prophecy aspiring to the resurrection of the eastern Roman empire and creating the impression they had the backing of Tsarist Russia, they managed amidst a crisis of Ottoman trade, from 1815 onwards, to engage traditional strata of the Greek Orthodox world in their liberal nationalist cause.[78] The Filiki Eteria planned to launch revolution in the Peloponnese, the Danubian Principalities and Constantinople. The first of these revolts began on 6 March 1821 in the Danubian Principalities under the leadership of Alexandros Ypsilantis, but it was soon put down by the Ottomans. The events in the north spurred the Greeks of the Peloponnese into action and on 17 March 1821 the Maniots declared war on the Ottomans.[79]

    By the end of the month, the Peloponnese was in open revolt against the Ottomans and by October 1821 the Greeks under Theodoros Kolokotronis had captured Tripolitsa. The Peloponnesian revolt was quickly followed by revolts in Crete, Macedonia and Central Greece, which would soon be suppressed. Meanwhile, the makeshift Greek navy was achieving success against the Ottoman navy in the Aegean Sea and prevented Ottoman reinforcements from arriving by sea. In 1822 and 1824 the Turks and Egyptians ravaged the islands, including Chios and Psara, committing wholesale massacres of the population.[79] Approximately three-quarters of the Chios' Greek population of 120,000 were killed, enslaved or died of disease.[80][81] This had the effect of galvanizing public opinion in western Europe in favour of the Greek rebels.[82]

    Tensions soon developed among different Greek factions, leading to two consecutive civil wars. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II negotiated with Mehmet Ali of Egypt, who agreed to send his son Ibrahim Pasha to Greece with an army to suppress the revolt in return for territorial gain.[83] Ibrahim landed in the Peloponnese in February 1825 and had immediate success: by the end of 1825, most of the Peloponnese was under Egyptian control, and the city of Missolonghi—put under siege by the Turks since April 1825—fell in April 1826. Although Ibrahim was defeated in Mani, he had succeeded in suppressing most of the revolt in the Peloponnese, and Athens had been retaken.[84]

    After years of negotiation, three great powers, France, Russian Empire, and the United Kingdom, decided to intervene in the conflict and each nation sent a navy to Greece.[85] Following news that combined Ottoman–Egyptian fleets were going to attack the Greek island of Hydra, the allied fleet intercepted the Ottoman–Egyptian fleet at Navarino. A week-long standoff ended with the Battle of Navarino (20 October 1827) which resulted in the destruction of the Ottoman–Egyptian fleet. A French expeditionary force was dispatched to supervise the evacuation of the Egyptian army from the Peloponnese, while the Greeks proceeded to the captured part of Central Greece by 1828. As a result of years of negotiation, the nascent Greek state was finally recognised under the London Protocol in 1830.[86]

    Kingdom of Greece  The Entry of King Otto in Athens, painted by Peter von Hess in 1839

    In 1827, Ioannis Kapodistrias, from Corfu, was chosen by the Third National Assembly at Troezen as the first governor of the First Hellenic Republic. Kapodistrias established a series of state, economic and military institutions. Soon tensions appeared between him and local interests. Following his assassination in 1831 and the subsequent London conference a year later, the Great Powers of Britain, France and Russia installed Bavarian Prince Otto von Wittelsbach as monarch.[87] Otto's reign was despotic, and in its first 11 years of independence Greece was ruled by a Bavarian oligarchy led by Joseph Ludwig von Armansperg as Prime Minister and, later, by Otto himself, who held the title of both King and Premier.[87] Throughout this period Greece remained under the influence of its three protecting great powers, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, as well as Bavaria.[88] In 1843 an uprising forced Otto to grant a constitution and a representative assembly.

    Despite the absolutism of Otto's reign, the early years proved instrumental in creating institutions (improving those established by Ioannis Kapodisrias) which are still the bedrock of Greek administration and education.[89] Important steps were taken in areas including the education system, maritime and postal communications, effective civil administration and, most importantly, the legal code.[90] Historical revisionism took the form of de-Byzantinification and de-Ottomanisation, in favour of promoting the country's Ancient Greek heritage.[91] In this spirit, the national capital was moved from Nafplio, where it had been since 1829, to Athens, which was at the time a smaller town.[92] Religious reform also took place, and the Church of Greece was established as Greece's national church, although Otto remained a Catholic. 25 March, the day of Annunciation, was chosen as the anniversary of the Greek War of Independence to reinforce the link between Greek identity and Orthodoxy.[91] Pavlos Karolidis called the Bavarian efforts to create a modern state in Greece as "not only appropriate for the peoples' needs, but also based on excellent administrative principles of the era".[90]

    Otto was deposed in the 23 October 1862 Revolution. Multiple causes led to his deposition and exile, including the Bavarian-dominated government, heavy taxation, and a failed attempt to annex Crete from the Ottoman Empire.[87] The catalyst for the revolt was Otto's dismissal of Konstantinos Kanaris from the Premiership.[89] A year later, he was replaced by Prince Wilhelm (William) of Denmark, who took the name George I and brought with him the Ionian Islands as a coronation gift from Britain. A new Constitution in 1864 changed Greece's form of government from constitutional monarchy to the more democratic crowned republic.[93][94][95] In 1875 the concept of parliamentary majority as a requirement for the formation of a government was introduced by Charilaos Trikoupis,[96] curbing the power of the monarchy to appoint minority governments of its preference.

     The territorial evolution of the Kingdom of Greece from 1832 to 1947

    Corruption, coupled with Trikoupis' increased spending to fund infrastructure projects like the Corinth Canal,[97] overtaxed the weak Greek economy and forced the declaration of public insolvency in 1893. Greece also accepted the imposition of an International Financial Commission to enforce the repayment of the country's debtors.

    All Greeks were united, however, in their determination to liberate the Hellenic lands under Ottoman rule. Especially in Crete, a prolonged revolt in 1866–1869 had raised nationalist fervour. When war broke out between Russia and the Ottomans in 1877, Greek popular sentiment rallied to Russia's side, but Greece was too poor and too concerned about British intervention, to officially enter the war. Nevertheless, in 1881, Thessaly and small parts of Epirus were ceded to Greece as part of the Treaty of Berlin, while frustrating Greek hopes of receiving Crete.[98]

    Greeks in Crete continued to stage regular revolts, and in 1897, the Greek government under Theodoros Deligiannis, bowing to popular pressure, declared war on the Ottomans. In the ensuing Greco-Turkish War of 1897, the badly trained and equipped Greek army was defeated by the Ottomans. Through the intervention of the Great Powers, however, Greece lost only a little territory along the border to Turkey, while Crete was established as an autonomous state under Prince George of Greece. With state coffers empty, fiscal policy came under International Financial Control.[99] Alarmed by the abortive Ilinden uprising of the autonomist Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) in 1903, the Greek government, aiming to quell Komitadjis (IMRO bands) and detach the Slavophone peasants of the region from Bulgarian influence, sponsored a guerrilla campaign in Ottoman-ruled Macedonia, led by Greek officers and known as the Macedonian Struggle, which ended with the Young Turk Revolution in 1908.[100]

    Expansion, disaster, and reconstruction  Hellenic Army formation in the World War I Victory Parade in Arc de Triomphe, Paris, July 1919

    Amidst general dissatisfaction with the seeming inertia and unattainability of national aspirations under the premiership of the cautious reformist Theotokis, a group of military officers organised a coup in August 1909 and shortly thereafter called to Athens Cretan politician Eleftherios Venizelos, who conveyed a vision of national regeneration. After winning two elections and becoming Prime Minister in 1910,[101] Venizelos initiated wide-ranging fiscal, social, and constitutional reforms, reorganised the military, made Greece a member of the Balkan League, and led the country through the Balkan Wars. By 1913, Greece's territory and population had almost doubled, annexing Crete, Epirus, and Macedonia. In the following years, the struggle between King Constantine I and charismatic Venizelos over the country's foreign policy on the eve of First World War dominated the country's political scene and divided the country into two opposing groups. During parts of WW1, Greece had two governments: A royalist pro-German one in Athens and a Venizelist pro-Entente one in Thessaloniki. The two governments were united in 1917, when Greece officially entered the war on the side of the Entente.

     Map of Greater Greece after the Treaty of Sèvres, when the Megali Idea seemed close to fulfillment, featuring Eleftherios Venizelos as its supervising genius

    In the aftermath of World War I, Greece attempted further expansion into Asia Minor, a region with a large native Greek population at the time, but was defeated in the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, contributing to a massive flight of Asia Minor Greeks.[102][103] These events overlapped, with both happening during the Greek genocide (1914–1922),[104][105][106][107] a period during which, according to various sources,[108] Ottoman and Turkish officials contributed to the death of several hundred thousand Asia Minor Greeks, along with similar numbers of Assyrians and a rather larger number of Armenians. The resultant Greek exodus from Asia Minor was made permanent, and expanded, in an official Population exchange between Greece and Turkey. The exchange was part of the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne which ended the war.[109]

    The following era was marked by instability, as over 1.5 million propertyless Greek refugees from Turkey had to be integrated into Greek society. Cappadocian Greeks, Pontian Greeks, and non-Greek followers of Greek Orthodoxy were all subject to the exchange as well. Some of the refugees could not speak the language and were from what had been unfamiliar environments to mainland Greeks, such as in the case of the Cappadocians and non-Greeks. The refugees also made a dramatic post-war population boost, as the number of refugees was more than a quarter of Greece's prior population.[110]

    Following the catastrophic events in Asia Minor, the monarchy was abolished via a referendum in 1924 and the Second Hellenic Republic was declared.[111] In 1935, a royalist general-turned-politician Georgios Kondylis took power after a coup d'état and abolished the republic, holding a rigged referendum, after which King George II returned to Greece and was restored to the throne.

    Dictatorship, World War II, and reconstruction

    An agreement between Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas and the head of state George II followed in 1936, which installed Metaxas as the head of a dictatorial regime known as the 4th of August Regime, inaugurating a period of authoritarian rule that would last, with short breaks, until 1974.[112] Although a dictatorship, Greece remained on good terms with Britain and was not allied with the Axis.

     The Axis occupation of Greece.
      Italian   German   Bulgarian
      Dodecanese, Italian possession since 1912

    On 28 October 1940, Fascist Italy demanded the surrender of Greece, but the Greek administration refused, and, in the following Greco-Italian War, Greece repelled Italian forces into Albania, giving the Allies their first victory over Axis forces on land. The Greek struggle and victory against the Italians received exuberant praise at the time.[113][citation not found] French general Charles de Gaulle was among those who praised the fierceness of the Greek resistance. In an official notice released to coincide with the Greek national celebration of the Day of Independence, De Gaulle expressed his admiration for the Greek resistance:

    In the name of the captured yet still alive French people, France wants to send her greetings to the Greek people who are fighting for their freedom. The 25 March 1941 finds Greece in the peak of their heroic struggle and in the top of their glory. Since the Battle of Salamis, Greece had not achieved the greatness and the glory which today holds.[113]

    The country would eventually fall to urgently dispatched German forces during the Battle of Greece, despite the fierce Greek resistance, particularly in the Battle of the Metaxas Line.

     People in Athens celebrate the liberation from the Axis powers, October 1944. Postwar Greece would soon experience a civil war and political polarization.

    The Nazis proceeded to administer Athens and Thessaloniki, while other regions of the country were given to Nazi Germany's partners, Fascist Italy and Bulgaria. The occupation brought about terrible hardships for the Greek civilian population. Over 100,000 civilians died of starvation during the winter of 1941–1942, tens of thousands more died because of reprisals by Nazis and collaborators, the country's economy was ruined, and the great majority of Greek Jews (tens of thousands) were deported and murdered in Nazi concentration camps.[114][115] The Greek Resistance, one of the most effective resistance movements in Europe, fought vehemently against the Nazis and their collaborators. The German occupiers committed numerous atrocities, mass executions, and wholesale slaughter of civilians and destruction of towns and villages in reprisals. In the course of the concerted anti-guerrilla campaign, hundreds of villages were systematically torched and almost 1 million Greeks left homeless.[115] In total, the Germans executed around 21,000 Greeks, the Bulgarians executed 40,000, and the Italians executed 9,000.[116]

    Following liberation and the Allied victory over the Axis, Greece annexed the Dodecanese Islands from Italy and regained Western Thrace from Bulgaria. The country almost immediately descended into a bloody civil war between communist forces and the anti-communist Greek government, which lasted until 1949 with the latter's victory. The conflict, considered one of the earliest struggles of the Cold War,[117] resulted in further economic devastation, mass population displacement and severe political polarisation for the next thirty years.[118]

    Although the post-war decades were characterised by social strife and widespread marginalisation of the left in political and social spheres, Greece nonetheless experienced rapid economic growth and recovery, propelled in part by the U.S.-administered Marshall Plan.[119] In 1952, Greece joined NATO, reinforcing its membership in the Western Bloc of the Cold War.[120]

    King Constantine II's dismissal of George Papandreou's centrist government in July 1965 prompted a prolonged period of political turbulence, which culminated in a coup d'état on 21 April 1967 by the Regime of the Colonels. Under the junta, civil rights were suspended, political repression was intensified, and human rights abuses, including state-sanctioned torture, were rampant. Economic growth remained rapid before plateauing in 1972. The brutal suppression of the Athens Polytechnic uprising on 17 November 1973 set in motion the events that caused the fall of the Papadopoulos regime, resulting in a counter-coup which overthrew Georgios Papadopoulos and established brigadier Dimitrios Ioannidis as the new junta strongman. On 20 July 1974, Turkey invaded the island of Cyprus in response to a Greek-backed Cypriot coup, triggering a political crisis in Greece that led to the regime's collapse and the restoration of democracy through Metapolitefsi.[121]

    Third Hellenic Republic  Signing at Zappeion by Constantine Karamanlis of the documents for the accession of Greece to the European Communities in 1979

    The former prime minister Konstantinos Karamanlis was invited back from Paris where he had lived in self-exile since 1963, marking the beginning of the Metapolitefsi era. The first multiparty elections since 1964 were held on the first anniversary of the Polytechnic uprising. A democratic and republican constitution was promulgated on 11 June 1975 following a referendum which chose to not restore the monarchy.

    Meanwhile, Andreas Papandreou, George Papandreou's son, founded the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in response to Karamanlis's conservative New Democracy party, with the two political formations dominating in government over the next four decades. Greece rejoined NATO in 1980.[a][122] Greece became the tenth member of the European Communities (subsequently subsumed by the European Union) on 1 January 1981, ushering in a period of sustained growth. Widespread investments in industrial enterprises and heavy infrastructure, as well as funds from the European Union and growing revenues from tourism, shipping, and a fast-growing service sector raised the country's standard of living to unprecedented levels. In 1981, the election of Andreas Papandreou resulted in significant reforms during the entire 1980s. Among others, he recognised the national resistance during WW2, the civil marriage, the dowry was abolished, while education system and foreign policy doctrines changed as well. However, Papandreou's tenure has been associated as well with corruption, double digit inflation, stagnation, budget deficits that caused problems in the Greek economy later on.[123]

    In the nineties, as well the 2000s, Greek influence in the Balkan countries was on its apogee.[124] The country adopted the euro in 2001 and successfully hosted the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens.[125]

    Beginning in 2010, Greece suffered substantially from the Great Recession and the related European sovereign debt crisis. Due to the adoption of the euro, when Greece experienced a financial crisis, it could no longer devalue its currency to regain competitiveness. Youth unemployment was especially high during this period.[126] In the two elections of May and June 2012, there was a major change in the political landscape of Greece, with new parties emerging out of the collapse of popularity of the two main parties of the past, PASOK and New Democracy.[127] In January 2015, Alexis Tsipras was elected as prime minister, being the first prime minister of Greece outside the two political parties.[128] This Greek government-debt crisis, and subsequent austerity policies, resulted in protests and social strife. The crisis is generally considered to have ended around 2018, with the end of the bailout mechanisms and the return of economic growth.[129]

    Simultaneously, in June 2018, the leaders of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, and North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, signed the Prespa Agreement, solving the naming dispute that strained the relations of the two countries and eased the latter's way to become a member of the EU and NATO.[130]

    In July 2019, Kyriakos Mitsotakis became Greece's new prime minister, after his centre-right New Democracy party had won the election over ruling leftist Syriza.[131] In March 2020, Greece's parliament elected a non-partisan candidate, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, as the first female President of Greece.[132] During the 2020s, the Greek economy continues to rebound, as a result of post-COVID economic recovery, robust investments, and an increase in tourist revenues and consumer spending.[133]

    ^ Harvati, Katerina; et al. (10 July 2019). "Apidima Cave fossils provide earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in Eurasia". Nature. 571 (7766): 500–504. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1376-z. PMID 31292546. S2CID 195873640. ^ Marie-Antoinette de Lumley, Gaspard Guipert, Henry de Lumley, Natassa Protopapa, Théodoros Pitsios, Apidima 1 and Apidima 2: Two anteneandertal skulls in the Peloponnese, Greece, L'Anthropologie, Volume 124, Issue 1, 2020, 102743, ISSN 0003-5521, ^ Douka, K.; Perles, C.; Valladas, H.; Vanhaeren, M.; Hedges, R.E.M. (2011). "Franchthi Cave revisited: the age of the Aurignacian in south-eastern Europe". Antiquity Magazine: 1133. ^ Eugene N. Borza (1992). In the Shadow of Olympus: The Emergence of Macedon. Princeton University Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-691-00880-6. ^ Perlès, Catherine (2001). The Early Neolithic in Greece: The First Farming Communities in Europe. Cambridge University Press. p. 1. ISBN 9780521000277. ^ Ricardo Duchesne (7 February 2011). 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Oxford University Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-19-872788-0. They formed an alliance, which we call the Hellenic League, and bound themselves not just to repel the Persians, but to help one another whatever particular enemy threatened the freedom of the Greek cities. This was a real acknowledgment of a shared Greekness, and a first attempt to unify the Greek states under such a banner. ^ John Van Antwerp Fine (1983). The Ancient Greeks: A Critical History. Harvard University Press. p. 297. ISBN 978-0-674-03314-6. This Hellenic League – the first union of Greek states since the mythical times of the Trojan War – was the instrument through which the Greeks organised their successful resistance to Persia. ^ Barry Strauss (16 August 2005). The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece – and Western Civilization. Simon and Schuster. pp. 1–11. ISBN 978-0-7432-7453-1. ^ Willner, Mark; Hero, George; Wiener, Jerry; Hero, George A. (2006). 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The revolt marked the end of constitutional monarchy and the beginning of a crowned democracy with George-Christian-Wilhelm of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sønderburg-Glücksburg dynasty as monarch. ^ Greece Country Study Guide: Strategic Information and Developments. International Business Publications, US. 3 March 2012. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-4387-7447-3. In 1862, however, a revolt brought about important changes in the political system that led to the so-called "crowned democracy", i.e. a kingdom with a democratic government.[permanent dead link] ^ "Constitutional History". Hellenic Parliament. Retrieved 4 September 2018. ^ "The Countdown". Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2022. ^ Immig, Nicole (2009). "The "New" Muslim Minorities in Greece: Between Emigration and Political Participation, 1881–1886". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 29 (4): 511–522. doi:10.1080/13602000903411408. S2CID 143664377. ^ "Quand la France et l'Allemagne mirent la Grèce sous tutelle… en 1898". 16 July 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2022. ^ Livanios 1999, pp. 195–6, Koliopoulos & Veremis 2002, pp. 280–1, Kostopoulos 2011. ^ Mazower 1992, pp. 886, 890–3, 895–900, 904 ^ Matthew J. Gibney, Randall Hansen. (2005). Immigration and Asylum: from 1900 to the Present, Volume 3. ABC-CLIO. p. 377. ISBN 978-1-57607-796-2. The total number of Christians who fled to Greece was probably in the region of I.2 million with the main wave occurring in 1922 before the signing of the convention. According to the official records of the Mixed Commission set up to monitor the movements, the Greeks who were transferred after 1923 numbered 189,916 and the number of Muslims expelled to Turkey was 355,635 (Ladas I932, 438–439), but using the same source Eddy 1931, 201 states that the post-1923 exchange involved 192,356 Greeks from Turkey and 354,647 Muslims from Greece. ^ Sofos, Spyros A.; Özkirimli, Umut (2008). Tormented by History: Nationalism in Greece and Turkey. C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd. pp. 116–117. ISBN 978-1-85065-899-3. ^ Schaller, Dominik J; Zimmerer, Jürgen (2008). "Late Ottoman genocides: the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and Young Turkish population and extermination policies – introduction". Journal of Genocide Research. 10 (1): 7–14. doi:10.1080/14623520801950820. S2CID 71515470. ^ "Genocide Resolution approved by Swedish Parliament". News.AM., containing both the IAGS and the Swedish resolutions. ^ Gaunt, David. Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia during World War I. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2006. ^ Hedges, Chris (17 September 2000). "A Few Words in Greek Tell of a Homeland Lost". The New York Times. ^ Rummel, RJ (1998). "The Holocaust in Comparative and Historical Perspective". Idea Journal of Social Issues. 3 (2). ^ Annette Grossbongardt (28 November 2006). "Christians in Turkey: The Diaspora Welcomes the Pope". Der Spiegel. ^ Howland, Charles P. "Greece and Her Refugees", Foreign Affairs, The Council on Foreign Relations. July 1926. ^ "Newspaper of the Government – Issue 64". Government Newspaper of the Hellenic State. 25 March 1924. Retrieved 18 May 2022. ^ Hagen, Fleischer (2006). "Authoritarian Rule in Greece (1936–1974) and Its Heritage". Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes in Europe: Legacies and Lessons from the Twentieth Century. New York/Oxford: Berghahn. p. 237. ^ a b Fafalios and Hadjipateras, p. 157 ^ "Greek history since World War I". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 June 2023. ^ a b Mazower (2001), p. 155 ^ Die Wehrmacht eine Bilanz. Guido Knopp, Mario Sporn (Taschenbuchausg., 1. Aufl ed.). München. 2009. ISBN 978-3-442-15561-3. OCLC 423851310.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link) ^ Chomsky, Noam (1994). World Orders, Old And New. Pluto Press London. ^ Mazower, Mark. After the War was Over. ^ Baten, Jörg (2016). A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present. Cambridge University Press. p. 51, Figure 2.3 "Numeracy in selected Balkan and Caucasus countries", based on data from Crayen and Baten (2010). ISBN 978-1-107-50718-0. ^ Chourchoulis, Dionysios; Kourkouvelas, Lykourgos (26 November 2012). "Greek perceptions of NATO during the Cold War". Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. Informa UK Limited. 12 (4): 497–514. doi:10.1080/14683857.2012.741848. ISSN 1468-3857. S2CID 153476225. ^ "34. Cyprus (1960–present)". Retrieved 2 June 2023. ^ History, Editorial Consultant: Adam Hart-Davis. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-1-85613-062-2. ^ "The ideal Greek everyman: Andreas Papandreou at 100". EUROPP. 5 February 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2023. ^ "Rediscovering the Greek voice in the Balkans |". Retrieved 9 May 2023. ^ "Greece". European Union. Retrieved 7 April 2007. ^ Baten, Jörg (2016). A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present. Cambridge University Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-107-50718-0. ^ Konstantinidou, Diana (28 June 2012). "Elections 2012: the Greek political system in flux?". Greece@LSE. Retrieved 9 May 2023. ^ "Syriza's historic win puts Greece on collision course with Europe | Greece | The Guardian". Retrieved 9 May 2023. ^ Cite error: The named reference Bailout exit Reuters was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ "After the Prespa Agreement: Why North Macedonia's Accession to EU won't happen in the near future | Ústav mezinárodních vztahů – Expertise to impact". (in Czech). Retrieved 9 May 2023. ^ "New era as Mitsotakis is sworn in as Greece's new PM". ^ "Greece swears in first female president". ^ "Greek economy to slow in 2023 as energy costs, Ukraine war hit spending -OECD". Reuters. 10 January 2023. Retrieved 9 May 2023.

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Stay safe
    Stay safe Crime and theft

    Violent crime and theft rates are low; public disorder is rare, and public drunkenness is generally frowned upon. Visitors should rest assured that this is a safe and friendly destination, but it is always advisable for foreign tourists to exercise basic precautionary measures just as they would at home. There has been a spike in theft (or at least a perceived one), which some locals will not hesitate to blame on the influx of immigrants.

    The places where the visitor is most likely to encounter crime and theft are probably the handful of overcrowded, and overheated, the metro in Athens, tourist resorts thronged with younger foreigners attracted by cheap flights, cheap rooms, and cheap booze. The more notorious of such places include Faliraki in Rhodes (calmed down since a new tough mayor was elected), Kavos in Corfu, Malia on Crete, and Ios (though this last is said to have quieted down a bit.) Most visitors to these places return home unmolested, but there have been increasing reports from them of theft, public indecency, sexual assault, and alcohol-fueled violence; both the perpetrators and victims are usually young foreigners, though sometimes locals are involved. Authorities have stepped up the police presence in such areas to crack down on these activities. Still, visitors to these places would do well to avoid anything that looks like trouble, especially late at night, and to remember that their own overindulgence in alcohol increases their chance of attracting trouble themselves.

    ...Read more
    Stay safe Crime and theft

    Violent crime and theft rates are low; public disorder is rare, and public drunkenness is generally frowned upon. Visitors should rest assured that this is a safe and friendly destination, but it is always advisable for foreign tourists to exercise basic precautionary measures just as they would at home. There has been a spike in theft (or at least a perceived one), which some locals will not hesitate to blame on the influx of immigrants.

    The places where the visitor is most likely to encounter crime and theft are probably the handful of overcrowded, and overheated, the metro in Athens, tourist resorts thronged with younger foreigners attracted by cheap flights, cheap rooms, and cheap booze. The more notorious of such places include Faliraki in Rhodes (calmed down since a new tough mayor was elected), Kavos in Corfu, Malia on Crete, and Ios (though this last is said to have quieted down a bit.) Most visitors to these places return home unmolested, but there have been increasing reports from them of theft, public indecency, sexual assault, and alcohol-fueled violence; both the perpetrators and victims are usually young foreigners, though sometimes locals are involved. Authorities have stepped up the police presence in such areas to crack down on these activities. Still, visitors to these places would do well to avoid anything that looks like trouble, especially late at night, and to remember that their own overindulgence in alcohol increases their chance of attracting trouble themselves.


    The most commonly reported major scam against travellers is the Greek version of the old clip joint routine. This is reported primarily from central Athens, but also occasionally from other cities and even the larger island towns. A single male traveller will be approached, usually at night in a neighborhood where there are a lot of bars, by a friendly Greek who will strike up a conversation leading to an invitation to go to "this really cool bar I know" for a drink. Once at the bar, they are joined by a couple of winsome ladies who immediately begin ordering drinks, often champagne, until, at the end of the evening, the mark is presented with an astronomical bill, payment of which is enforced by the sudden appearance of a pair of glowering thugs. The reason this scam works is because most Greeks have a tradition of being friendly to visitors, and almost all Greeks who strike up a conversation with you will have no ulterior motives. But if you're a single male traveller approached by a Greek in the circumstances described above, it's safest to politely but firmly decline any invitations.

    Also don't accept to change your money on the street and if someone asks you if you could change a €20 or €50 note, refuse (you might get a counterfeit note).

    Photography restrictions

    It is strictly forbidden to take photos of military installations or other strategic locations. Authorities will take violations quite seriously. Obey signs prohibiting photography. In fact, it would be best not to take photographs of anything of military significance, including Greek navy ships, or of airports or any aircraft, even civilian ones: Greek authorities can be very sensitive about such things. Many museums prohibit photography without a permit; some prohibit only flash or tripod photography, and many ask visitors not to take photos of objects (statues, etc.) which include people standing by them, as this is considered disrespectful. Officials at museums will rush over to yell at you if they see a camera or even a cell phone in your hand.

    Greek Aryballos (a kind of vase) from the 6th century BC

    Greece also has very strict laws concerning the export of antiquities, which can include not only ancient objects but also coins, icons, folk art, and random pieces of stone from archeological sites. Before buying anything which could conceivably be considered an antiquity, you should become familiar with the current laws regarding what can be taken out of the country. Briefly, all objects made before 1830 are considered antiquities and are protected by the Ministry. Do not ever think to export or buy any piece of archeological value because it will be either be a fake or you will be arrested promptly at the airport for trafficking of goods of archeological value.


    Greece has some of the strictest, and most strictly enforced, drug laws in Europe, and tourists are not exempt. No matter what anyone tells you, it is most definitely not cool to do drugs in Greece, including marijuana. Furthermore, such a behaviour is strongly rejected by most locals and will almost certainly cause someone to call the Police and have you arrested. Even a very small quantity is enough to get you in serious trouble. Don't even think of offering even the smallest amount of drug to someone else. You risk being prosecuted with charges of drug dealing, leading to several years of imprisonment!


    The greatest danger to travellers in Greece is probably in the simple process of crossing the street: traffic can be bad even in smaller towns and horrendous in Athens and other Greek cities, and accident rates are high. Caution should be exercised by pedestrians, even when crossing with a walk light. Traffic fatalies were cut by 60% in the ten years leading up to 2018, but in that year 709 people were killed on Greek roads — 64 per million people, which is higher than the average of 49 in the rest of the European Union. Drivers often weave between lanes while speeding. Stay safe.

    COVID-19 measures

    The only measure thaτ will be active for the summer of 2022 is the mandatory use of face mask in public transport and in all indoor places except indoor places of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs. The Greek government has not ruled out the application of restrictive measures for the unvaccinated people after September 1, 2022.

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