Greece vs. Albania


BackgroundGreece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830. 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 other anti-communist and communist rebels. Following the latter's defeat in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. In 1967, a group of military officers seized power, establishing a military dictatorship that suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country. In 1974 following the collapse of the dictatorship, 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 European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 2001. Greece has suffered a severe economic crisis since late 2009, due to nearly a decade of chronic overspending and structural rigidities. Since 2010, Greece has entered three bailout agreements with the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), the IMF, and with the third, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The Greek Government agreed to its current, $96 billion bailout in August 2015, which will conclude in August 2018.
Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939 and occupied by Germany in 1943. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, dilapidated infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents.
Albania has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. Most of Albania's post-communist elections were marred by claims of electoral fraud; however, international observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and in June 2014 became a candidate for EU accession. Albania in November 2016 received a European Commission recommendation to open EU accession negotiations conditioned upon implementation of a judicial reform package passed earlier the same year. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, it has slowed, and the country is still one of the poorest in Europe. A large informal economy and a weak energy and transportation infrastructure remain obstacles.


LocationSouthern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece to the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north
Geographic coordinates39 00 N, 22 00 E
41 00 N, 20 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Areatotal: 131,957 sq km
land: 130,647 sq km
water: 1,310 sq km
total: 28,748 sq km
land: 27,398 sq km
water: 1,350 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Alabama
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundariestotal: 1,110 km
border countries (4): Albania 212 km, Bulgaria 472 km, Macedonia 234 km, Turkey 192 km
total: 691 km
border countries (4): Greece 212 km, Kosovo 112 km, Macedonia 181 km, Montenegro 186 km
Coastline13,676 km
362 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climatetemperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers
mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
Terrainmountainous with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands
mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 498 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m
mean elevation: 708 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,764 m
Natural resourceslignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential
petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 63.4%
arable land 19.7%; permanent crops 8.9%; permanent pasture 34.8%
forest: 30.5%
other: 6.1% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 42.86%
arable land 52.42%; permanent crops 6.84%; permanent pasture 40.73%
forest: 28.19%
other: 28.95% (2014 est.)
Irrigated land15,550 sq km (2012)
3,537 sq km (2014)
Natural hazardssevere earthquakes
volcanism: Santorini (367 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; although there have been very few eruptions in recent centuries, Methana and Nisyros in the Aegean are classified as historically active
destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast; floods; drought
Environment - current issuesair pollution; water pollution
deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and domestic effluents
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notestrategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits; a peninsular country, possessing an archipelago of about 2,000 islands
strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)
Population distributionone-third of the population lives in and around metropolitan Athens; the remainder of the country has moderate population density mixed with sizeable urban clusters
a fairly even distribution, with somewhat higher concentrations of people in the western and central parts of the country


Population10,768,477 (July 2017 est.)
3,047,987 (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 13.83% (male 767,245/female 722,313)
15-24 years: 9.67% (male 532,179/female 509,487)
25-54 years: 42.45% (male 2,275,984/female 2,295,082)
55-64 years: 13.13% (male 692,420/female 721,641)
65 years and over: 20.91% (male 986,816/female 1,265,310) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 18.05% (male 290,572/female 259,544)
15-24 years: 17.47% (male 275,969/female 256,416)
25-54 years: 41.06% (male 597,421/female 653,965)
55-64 years: 11.54% (male 173,105/female 178,575)
65 years and over: 11.89% (male 169,681/female 192,739) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 44.5 years
male: 43.5 years
female: 45.6 years (2017 est.)
total: 32.9 years
male: 31.6 years
female: 34.3 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate-0.06% (2017 est.)
0.31% (2017 est.)
Birth rate8.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
13.2 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate11.3 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
6.8 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate2.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
-3.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 80.7 years
male: 78 years
female: 83.4 years (2017 est.)
total population: 78.5 years
male: 75.8 years
female: 81.4 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate1.43 children born/woman (2017 est.)
1.51 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.1% (2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Greek(s)
adjective: Greek
noun: Albanian(s)
adjective: Albanian
Ethnic groupspopulation: Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7% (2001 census)
note: data represent citizenship, since Greece does not collect data on ethnicity
Albanian 82.6%, Greek 0.9%, other 1% (including Vlach, Romani, Macedonian, Montenegrin, and Egyptian), unspecified 15.5% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA (2016 est.)
1,700 (2016 est.)
ReligionsGreek Orthodox (official) 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%
Muslim 56.7%, Roman Catholic 10%, Orthodox 6.8%, atheist 2.5%, Bektashi (a Sufi order) 2.1%, other 5.7%, unspecified 16.2%
note: all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
<100 (2016 est.)
LanguagesGreek (official) 99%, other (includes English and French) 1%
Albanian 98.8% (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek 0.5%, other 0.6% (including Macedonian, Romani, Vlach, Turkish, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.7%
male: 98.5%
female: 96.9% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.6%
male: 98.4%
female: 96.9% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 18 years
male: 18 years
female: 18 years (2014)
total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2015)
Urbanizationurban population: 78.6% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.31% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 59.3% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 1.81% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
urban: 84.3% of population
rural: 81.8% of population
total: 83.6% of population
urban: 15.7% of population
rural: 18.2% of population
total: 16.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 99.2% of population
rural: 98.1% of population
total: 99% of population
urban: 0.8% of population
rural: 1.9% of population
total: 1% of population (2015 est.)
urban: 95.5% of population
rural: 90.2% of population
total: 93.2% of population
urban: 4.5% of population
rural: 9.8% of population
total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationATHENS (capital) 3.052 million (2015)
TIRANA (capital) 454,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate3 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
29 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures8.1% of GDP (2014)
5.9% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density6.26 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
1.29 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Hospital bed density4.8 beds/1,000 population (2009)
2.6 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate24.9% (2016)
21.7% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth29.8 years (2014 est.)
24.5 years (2014 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 52.7
youth dependency ratio: 22.2
elderly dependency ratio: 30.5
potential support ratio: 3.3 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 44
youth dependency ratio: 26
elderly dependency ratio: 18.1
potential support ratio: 5.5 (2015 est.)


Country name"conventional long form: Hellenic Republic
conventional short form: Greece
local long form: Elliniki Dimokratia
local short form: Ellas or Ellada
former: Hellenic State, Kingdom of Greece
etymology: the English name derives from the Roman (Latin) designation ""Graecia,"" meaning ""Land of the Greeks""; the Greeks call their country ""Hellas"" or ""Ellada""
"conventional long form: Republic of Albania
conventional short form: Albania
local long form: Republika e Shqiperise
local short form: Shqiperia
former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania
etymology: the English-language country name seems to be derived from the ancient Illyrian tribe of the Albani; the native name ""Shqiperia"" is derived from the Albanian word ""Shqiponje"" (""Eagle"") and is popularly interpreted to mean ""Land of the Eagles""
Government typeparliamentary republic
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Athens
geographic coordinates: 37 59 N, 23 44 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
name: Tirana (Tirane)
geographic coordinates: 41 19 N, 19 49 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions13 regions (perifereies, singular - perifereia) and 1 autonomous monastic state* (aftonomi monastiki politeia); Agion Oros* (Mount Athos), Anatoliki Makedonia kai Thraki (East Macedonia and Thrace), Attiki (Attica), Dytiki Ellada (West Greece), Dytiki Makedonia (West Macedonia), Ionia Nisia (Ionian Islands), Ipeiros (Epirus), Kentriki Makedonia (Central Macedonia), Kriti (Crete), Notio Aigaio (South Aegean), Peloponnisos (Peloponnese), Sterea Ellada (Central Greece), Thessalia (Thessaly), Voreio Aigaio (North Aegean)
12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore
Independence3 February 1830 (from the Ottoman Empire); note - 25 March 1821, outbreak of the national revolt against the Ottomans; 3 February 1830, signing of the London Protocol recognizing Greek independence by Great Britain, France, and Russia
28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)
National holidayIndependence Day, 25 March (1821)
Independence Day, 28 November (1912) also known as Flag Day
Constitutionhistory: many previous; latest entered into force 11 June 1975
amendments: proposed by at least 50 members of Parliament and agreed by three-fifths majority vote in two separate ballots at least 30 days apart; passage requires absolute majority vote by the next elected Parliament; entry into force finalized through a “special parliamentary resolution”; articles on human rights and freedoms and the form of government cannot be amended; amended 1986, 2001, 2008 (2016)
history: several previous; latest approved by the Assembly 21 October 1998, adopted by referendum 22 November 1998, promulgated 28 November 1998
amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of the Assembly membership; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; referendum required only if approved by two-thirds of the Assembly; amendments approved by referendum effective upon declaration by the president of the republic; amended several times, last in 2016 (2017)
Legal systemcivil legal system based on Roman law
"civil law system except in the northern rural areas where customary law known as the ""Code of Leke"" prevails
Suffrage17 years of age; universal and compulsory
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Prokopios (Prokopis) PAVLOPOULOS (since 13 March 2015)
head of government: Prime Minister Alexios TSIPRAS (since 21 September 2015); note - Vassiliki THANOU-CHRISTOFILOU served as interim prime minister beginning on 27 August 2015 after the resignation of Alexios TSIPRAS on 20 August 2015; she was Greece's first female prime minister
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections/appointments: president elected by Hellenic Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 18 February 2015 (next to be held by February 2020); president appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party or coalition in the Hellenic Parliament
election results: Prokopios PAVLOPOULOS (ND) elected president by Parliament - 233 of 300 votes
chief of state: President of the Republic Ilir META (since 24 July 2017)
head of government: Prime Minister Edi RAMA (since 10 September 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Niko PELESHI
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and approved by the Assembly
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); a candidate needs three-fifths majority vote of the Assembly in 1 of 3 rounds or a simple majority in 2 additional rounds to become president; election last held in 4 rounds on 19, 20, 27, and 28 April 2017 (next election to be held in 2022); prime minister appointed by the president on the proposal of the majority party or coalition of parties in the Assembly
election results: Ilir META elected president; Assembly vote - 87 - 2 in fourth round
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Hellenic Parliament or Vouli ton Ellinon (300 seats; 288 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 12 seats are filled from nationwide party lists; 50 seats allocated to the party with the highest total valid vote count and remaining seats are apportioned according to each party's or coalition's vote percentage; members serve up to 4 years)
elections: last held on 20 September 2015 (next to be held by 2019); note - snap elections were called because of upheaval in the governing SYRIZA party over a new bailout deal with international creditors
election results: percent of vote by party - SYRIZA 35.5%, ND 28.1%, Golden Dawn 7.0%, PASOK-DIMAR 6.3%, KKE 5.6%, To Potami (The River) 4.1%, ANEL 3.7%, EK 3.4%, other 6.3%; seats by party - SYRIZA 145, ND 75, Golden Dawn 18, PASOK-DIMAR 17, KKE 15, To Potami 11, ANEL 10, EK 9; note - only parties surpassing a 3% threshold are entitled to parliamentary seats; parties need 10 seats to become formal parliamentary groups but can retain that status if the party participated in the last election and received the minimum 3% threshold
description: unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi (140 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 25 June 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - PS 48.3%, PD 28.9%, LSI 14.3%, PDIU 4.8%, PSD 1%, other 2.7%; seats by party - PS 74, PD 43, LSI 19, PDIU 3, PSD 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Civil and Criminal Court or Areios Pagos (consists of 56 judges including the court presidents); Council of State (supreme administrative court) consists of the president, vice president, 42 privy councillors, and 98 associate and reporting judges, organized into 5- and 7-member chambers; Hellenic Court of Audit (government audit and enforcement) consists of the president, 5 vice presidents, 20 councillors, and 90 associate and reporting judges
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by presidential decree on the advice of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), which includes the president of the Supreme Court, other judges, and the prosecutor of the Supreme Court; judges appointed for life following a 2-year probationary period; Council of State president appointed by the Greek Cabinet to serve a 4-year term; other judge appointments and tenure NA; Court of Audit president appointed by decree of the president of the republic on the advice of the SJC to serve a 4-year term with an age limit of 67
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal and Courts of First Instance(district courts)
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 17 judges, including the chief justice); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, including the chairman)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges, including the chairman, appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly to serve single 9-year terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly to serve single 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years; chairman elected by the People's Assembly for a single 3-year term
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance
Political parties and leadersAnticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow or ANTARSYA [collective leadership]
Coalition of the Radical Left or SYRIZA [Alexios (Alexis) TSIPRAS]
Communist Party of Greece or KKE [Dimitrios KOUTSOUMBAS]
Democratic Left or DIMAR [Athanasios (Thanasis) THEOCHAROPOULOS]
Independent Greeks or ANEL [Panagiotis (Panos) KAMMENOS]
Movement of Democratic Socialists or KIDISO [Georgios PAPANDREOU]
New Democracy or ND [Kyriakos MITSOTAKIS]
Panhellenic Socialist Movement or PASOK [Foteini (Fofi) GENIMMATA]
People's Association-Golden Dawn [Nikolaos MICHALOLIAKOS]
Popular Unity or LAE [Panagiotis LAFAZANIS]
To Potami (The River) [Stavros THEODORAKIS]
Union of Centrists or EK [Vasilis LEVENTIS]
Democratic Party or PD [Lulzim BASHA]
Party for Justice, Integration and Unity or PDIU [Shpetim IDRIZI] (formerly part of APMI)
Social Democratic Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI]
Socialist Movement for Integration or LSI [Monika KRYEMADHI]
Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA]
Political pressure groups and leadersSupreme Administration of Civil Servants Unions or ADEDY [Spyros PAPASPYROS]
Federation of Greek Industries or SEV [Theodore FESSAS]
General Confederation of Greek Workers or GSEE [Ioannis PANAGOPOULOS]
Confederation of Trade Unions of Albania or KSSH [Kol NIKOLLAJ]
Omonia [Leonidha PAPA]
Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania or BSPSH [Gezim KALAJA]
International organization participationAustralia Group, BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EITI (compliant country), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Theocharis LALAKOS (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 2217 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-1300
FAX: [1] (202) 939-1324
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa (FL), San Francisco
consulate(s): Atlanta, Houston
chief of mission: Ambassador Floreta FABER (since 18 May 2015)
chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942
FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Geoffrey R. PYATT (since 24 October 2016)
embassy: 91 Vasillisis Sophias Avenue, 10160 Athens
mailing address: PSC 108, APO AE 09842-0108
telephone: [30] (210) 721-2951
FAX: [30] (210) 645-6282
consulate(s) general: Thessaloniki
chief of mission: Ambassador Donald LU (since 13 January 2015)
embassy: Rruga e Elbasanit, 103, Tirana
mailing address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles, VA 20189-9510
telephone: [355] (4) 2247-285
FAX: [355] (4) 2232-222
Flag description"nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white; a blue square bearing a white cross appears in the upper hoist-side corner; the cross symbolizes Greek Orthodoxy, the established religion of the country; there is no agreed upon meaning for the nine stripes or for the colors
note: Greek legislation states that the flag colors are cyan and white, but cyan can mean ""blue"" in Greek, so the exact shade of blue has never been set and has varied from a light to a dark blue over time; in general, the hue of blue normally encountered is a form of azure
"red with a black two-headed eagle in the center; the design is claimed to be that of 15th-century hero George Kastrioti SKANDERBEG, who led a successful uprising against the Ottoman Turks that resulted in a short-lived independence for some Albanian regions (1443-78); an unsubstantiated explanation for the eagle symbol is the tradition that Albanians see themselves as descendants of the eagle; they refer to themselves as ""Shqiptare,"" which translates as ""sons of the eagle""
National anthem"name: ""Ymnos eis tin Eleftherian"" (Hymn to Liberty)
lyrics/music: Dionysios SOLOMOS/Nikolaos MANTZAROS
note: adopted 1864; the anthem is based on a 158-stanza poem by the same name, which was inspired by the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottomans (only the first two stanzas are used); Cyprus also uses ""Hymn to Liberty"" as its anthem
"name: ""Hymni i Flamurit"" (Hymn to the Flag)
lyrics/music: Aleksander Stavre DRENOVA/Ciprian PORUMBESCU
note: adopted 1912
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Greek cross (white cross on blue field, arms equal length); national colors: blue, white
black double-headed eagle; national colors: red, black
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Greece
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Albania
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


Economy - overviewGreece has a capitalist economy with a public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP about two-thirds that of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 18% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, mainly in agricultural and unskilled jobs. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP.

The Greek economy averaged growth of about 4% per year between 2003 and 2007, but the economy went into recession in 2009 as a result of the world financial crisis, tightening credit conditions, and Athens' failure to address a growing budget deficit. By 2013, the economy had contracted 26%, compared with the pre-crisis level of 2007. Greece met the EU's Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criterion of no more than 3% of GDP in 2007-08, but violated it in 2009, when the deficit reached 15% of GDP. Deteriorating public finances, inaccurate and misreported statistics, and consistent underperformance on reforms prompted major credit rating agencies to downgrade Greece's international debt rating in late 2009 and led the country into a financial crisis. Under intense pressure from the EU and international market participants, the government accepted a bailout program that called on Athens to cut government spending, decrease tax evasion, overhaul the civil-service, health-care, and pension systems, and reform the labor and product markets. Austerity measures reduced the deficit to 1.3% in 2017. Successive Greek governments, however, failed to push through many of the most unpopular reforms in the face of widespread political opposition, including from the country's powerful labor unions and the general public.

In April 2010, a leading credit agency assigned Greek debt its lowest possible credit rating, and in May 2010, the IMF and euro-zone governments provided Greece emergency short- and medium-term loans worth $147 billion so that the country could make debt repayments to creditors. Greece, however, struggled to meet the targets set by the EU and the IMF, especially after Eurostat - the EU's statistical office - revised upward Greece's deficit and debt numbers for 2009 and 2010. European leaders and the IMF agreed in October 2011 to provide Athens a second bailout package of $169 billion. The second deal called for holders of Greek government bonds to write down a significant portion of their holdings to try to alleviate Greece’s government debt burden. However, Greek banks, saddled with a significant portion of sovereign debt, were adversely affected by the write down and $60 billion of the second bailout package was set aside to ensure the banking system was adequately capitalized.

In 2014, the Greek economy began to turn the corner on the recession. Greece achieved three significant milestones: balancing the budget - not including debt repayments; issuing government debt in financial markets for the first time since 2010; and generating 0.7% GDP growth — the first economic expansion since 2007.

Despite the nascent recovery, widespread discontent with austerity measures helped propel the far-left Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party into government in national legislative elections in January 2015. Between January and July 2015, frustrations between the SYRIZA-led government and Greece’s EU and IMF creditors over the implementation of bailout measures and disbursement of funds led the Greek government to run up significant arrears to suppliers and Greek banks to rely on emergency lending, and also called into question Greece’s future in the euro zone. To stave off a collapse of the banking system, Greece imposed capital controls in June 2015 shortly before rattling international financial markets by becoming the first developed nation to miss a loan payment to the IMF. Unable to reach an agreement with creditors, Prime Minister Alexios TSIPRAS held a nationwide referendum on 5 July on whether to accept the terms of Greece’s bailout, campaigning for the ultimately successful “no” vote. The TSIPRAS government subsequently agreed, however, to a new $96 billion bailout in order to avert Greece’s exit from the monetary bloc. On 20 August, Greece signed its third bailout which allowed it to cover significant debt payments to its EU and IMF creditors and ensure the banking sector retained access to emergency liquidity. The TSIPRAS government — which retook office on 20 September after calling new elections in late August — successfully secured disbursal of two delayed tranches of bailout funds. Despite the economic turmoil, Greek GDP did not contract as sharply as feared, with official estimates of a -0.2% contraction in 2015, boosted in part by a strong tourist season.

In 2017, Greece saw improvements in GDP and unemployment. Unfinished economic reforms, a massive non-performing loan problem, and ongoing uncertainty regarding the political direction of the country hold the economy back. Some estimates put Greece’s black market at 20- to 25% of GDP, as more people have stopped reporting their income to avoid paying taxes that, in some cases, have risen to 70% of an individual’s gross income. These issues will continue to be a drag on the economy in 2018 and further delay recovery from the financial crisis.
Albania, a formerly closed, centrally-planned state, is a developing country with a modern open-market economy. Albania managed to weather the first waves of the global financial crisis but, the negative effects of the crisis caused a significant economic slowdown. Since 2014, Albania’s economy has steadily improved and economic growth is projected to increase to 3.8% in 2017. However, close trade, remittance, and banking sector ties with Greece and Italy make Albania vulnerable to spillover effects of possible debt crises and weak growth in the euro zone.

Remittances, a significant catalyst for economic growth, declined from 12-15% of GDP before the 2008 financial crisis to 5.8% of GDP in 2015, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy. The agricultural sector, which accounts for almost half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming, because of a lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Complex tax codes and licensing requirements, a weak judicial system, endemic corruption, poor enforcement of contracts and property issues, and antiquated infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment making attracting foreign investment difficult. Since 2015, Albania has launched an ambitious program to increase tax compliance and bring more businesses into the formal economy. In July 2016, Albania passed constitutional amendments reforming the judicial system in order to strengthen the rule of law and to reduce deeply entrenched corruption.

Albania’s electricity supply is uneven despite upgraded transmission capacities with neighboring countries. However, the government has recently taken steps to stem non-technical losses and has begun to upgrade the distribution grid. Better enforcement of electricity contracts has improved the financial viability of the sector, decreasing its reliance on budget support. Also, with help from international donors, the government is taking steps to improve the poor road and rail networks, a long standing barrier to sustained economic growth.

Inward FDI has increased significantly in recent years as the government has embarked on an ambitious program to improve the business climate through fiscal and legislative reforms. The government is focused on the simplification of licensing requirements and tax codes, and it entered into a new arrangement with the IMF for additional financial and technical support. Albania’s three-year IMF program, an extended fund facility arrangement, was successfully concluded in February 2017. Albania’s 2017 budget aims to reach a small primary surplus, which the Albanian Government plans to achieve by strengthening tax collection amid moderate public wage and pension increases. The country continues to face high public debt, exceeding its former statutory limit of 60% of GDP in 2013 and reaching 71% in 2016.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$299.5 billion (2017 est.)
$294.4 billion (2016 est.)
$294.3 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$35.87 billion (2017 est.)
$34.59 billion (2016 est.)
$33.46 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
unreported output may be as large as 50% of official GDP
GDP - real growth rate1.8% (2017 est.)
0% (2016 est.)
-0.2% (2015 est.)
3.7% (2017 est.)
3.4% (2016 est.)
2.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$27,800 (2017 est.)
$27,300 (2016 est.)
$27,100 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$12,500 (2017 est.)
$12,000 (2016 est.)
$11,600 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 4%
industry: 16%
services: 80% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 22.6%
industry: 23.8%
services: 53.7%
(2017 est.)
Population below poverty line36% (2014 est.)
14.3% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 26.7% (2015 est.)
lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 19.6% (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.2% (2017 est.)
0% (2016 est.)
2.1% (2017 est.)
1.3% (2016 est.)
Labor force4.769 million (2017 est.)
1.407 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 12.6%
industry: 15%
services: 72.4% (30 October 2015 e)
agriculture: 41.8%
industry: 11.4%
services: 46.8% (December 2014 est)
Unemployment rate22.3% (2017 est.)
23.6% (2016 est.)
14% (2017 est.)
15.2% (2016 est.)
note: these official rates may not include those working at near-subsistence farming
Distribution of family income - Gini index36.7 (2012 est.)
35.7 (2011)
29 (2012 est.)
30 (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $95.36 billion
expenditures: $98.08 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: $3.486 billion
expenditures: $3.765 billion (2017 est.)
Industriestourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleum
food; footwear, apparel and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower
Industrial production growth rate3% (2017 est.)
3.5% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes; beef, dairy products
wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, olives and olive oil, grapes; meat, dairy products; sheep and goats
Exports$29.23 billion (2017 est.)
$27.1 billion (2016 est.)
$960.9 million (2017 est.)
$789.1 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesfood and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, textiles
apparel and clothing, footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; cement and construction materials, vegetables, fruits, tobacco
Exports - partnersItaly 11.2%, Germany 7.7%, Cyprus 6.4%, Turkey 5.3%, Bulgaria 5.2%, US 4.3%, UK 4.2%, Lebanon 4.1% (2016)
Italy 50.5%, Serbia 8.1%, Kosovo 7.5%, Greece 4.2% (2016)
Imports$50.23 billion (2017 est.)
$45.45 billion (2016 est.)
$4.084 billion (2017 est.)
$3.671 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
Imports - partnersGermany 11.1%, Italy 8.8%, China 6.6%, Russia 6.4%, Netherlands 5.5%, Iraq 5.4%, France 4.4%, South Korea 4.1% (2016)
Italy 29%, Germany 9.4%, China 8.7%, Greece 7.8%, Turkey 7.8%, Serbia 4.1% (2016)
Debt - external$506.6 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$468.2 billion (31 March 2015 est.)
$8.579 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$8.421 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.906 (2017 est.)
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.9214 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
leke (ALL) per US dollar -
121.9 (2017 est.)
124.14 (2016 est.)
124.14 (2015 est.)
125.96 (2014 est.)
105.48 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt180% of GDP (2017 est.)
179.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
71.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
72% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$6.893 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.026 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$3.274 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.109 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$498 million (2017 est.)
-$1.238 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.201 billion (2017 est.)
-$899 million (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$204.3 billion (2016 est.)
$13 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$34.18 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$30.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.056 billion (31 December 2014)
$5.459 billion (31 December 2013)
Market value of publicly traded shares$42.08 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$55.15 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$82.59 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.05% (31 March 2016)
0.15% (11 June 2014)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
1.25% (31 December 2016)
1.75% (31 December 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate5.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
5.62% (31 December 2016 est.)
7.2% (31 December 2017 est.)
9.65% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$249.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$231.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.147 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.065 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$97.61 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$86.53 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
$3.979 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.397 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$156.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$138.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.665 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.75 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues46.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
26.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
-2.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 49.8%
male: 45.2%
female: 55% (2015 est.)
total: 39.8%
male: 39.3%
female: 40.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 73.3%
government consumption: 19.5%
investment in fixed capital: 10.9%
investment in inventories: -1.7%
exports of goods and services: 31.5%
imports of goods and services: -33.6% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 77.6%
government consumption: 10.9%
investment in fixed capital: 27%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 29.7%
imports of goods and services: -45.2% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving10.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
9.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
9.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
15.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
15.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.3% of GDP (2015 est.)


Electricity - production48.34 billion kWh (2015 est.)
7.135 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption53.05 billion kWh (2015 est.)
7.094 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports1.037 billion kWh (2016 est.)
1.869 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports9.833 billion kWh (2016 est.)
1.827 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production3,172 bbl/day (2016 est.)
22,750 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports477,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
1,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - exports3,082 bbl/day (2016 est.)
19,100 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - proved reserves10 million bbl (1 January 2017 es)
168.3 million bbl (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - proved reserves991.1 million cu m (1 January 2017 es)
821.2 million cu m (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - production4 million cu m (2015 est.)
35 million cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - consumption4.354 billion cu m (2015 est.)
200 million cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports3.162 billion cu m (2015 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity18.94 million kW (2015 est.)
1.897 million kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels56.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
5.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants14.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
94.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources26.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production626,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
290 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption299,600 bbl/day (2016 est.)
27,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports351,700 bbl/day (2016 est.)
16,250 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports181,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
13,250 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy78 million Mt (2013 est.)
4.3 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)


Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 5.126 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 245,336
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 12,538,927
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 116 (July 2016 est.)
total: 3,369,756
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 111 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: adequate, modern networks reach all areas; good mobile telephone and international service
domestic: microwave radio relay trunk system; extensive open-wire connections; submarine cable to offshore islands
international: country code - 30; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Europe, Middle East, and Asia; a number of smaller submarine cables provide connectivity to various parts of Europe, the Middle East, and Cyprus; tropospheric scatter; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean, 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat - Indian Ocean region) (2015)
general assessment: fixed line, teledensity continues to decline due to heavy use of mobile-cellular telephone services; mobile-cellular telephone use is widespread and generally effective; of 3.4 million active mobile telephone users, 1.3 million use mobile broadband services (3G/4G)
domestic: offsetting the shortage of fixed-line capacity, mobile-cellular phone service has been available since 1996; by 2015, four companies were providing mobile services and mobile teledensity had reached 110 per 100 persons; Internet broadband services initiated in 2005, and the penetration rate rose to over 65% by 2016; Internet cafes are popular in major urban areas
international: country code - 355; submarine cable provides connectivity to Italy, Croatia, and Greece; the Trans-Balkan Line, a combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system, provides additional connectivity to Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Turkey; international traffic carried by fiber-optic cable and, when necessary, by microwave radio relay from the Tirana exchange to Italy and Greece (2016)
Internet country code.gr
Internet userstotal: 7,443,016
percent of population: 69.1% (July 2016 est.)
total: 2,016,516
percent of population: 66.4% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast mediaBroadcast media dominated by the private sector; roughly 150 private TV channels, about ten of which broadcast nationwide; 1 government-owned terrestrial TV channel with national coverage; 3 privately owned satellite channels; multi-channel satellite and cable TV services available; upwards of 1,500 radio stations, all of them privately owned; government-owned broadcaster has 2 national radio stations (2014)
Albania has more than 65 TV stations, including several that broadcast nationally; Albanian TV broadcasts are also available to Albanian-speaking populations in neighboring countries; many viewers have access to Italian and Greek TV broadcasts via terrestrial reception; Albania's TV stations have begun a government-mandated conversion from analog to digital broadcast; the government has pledged to provide analog-to-digital converters to low-income families affected by this decision; cable TV service is available; 2 public radio networks and roughly 78 private radio stations; several international broadcasters are available (2017)


Railwaystotal: 2,548 km
standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-m gauge (764 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 961 km 1.000-m gauge; 22 km 0.750-m gauge (2014)
total: 677 km (447 km of major railway lines and 230 km of secondary lines)
standard gauge: 677 km 1.435-m gauge (2015)
Roadwaystotal: 116,960 km
paved: 41,357 km (includes 1,091 km of expressways)
unpaved: 75,603 km (2010)
total: 18,000 km
paved: 7,020 km
unpaved: 10,980 km (2002)
Waterways6 km (the 6-km-long Corinth Canal crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; it shortens a sea voyage by 325 km) (2012)
41 km (on the Bojana River) (2011)
Pipelinesgas 1,329 km; oil 94 km (2013)
gas 498 km (a majority of the network is in disrepair and parts of it are missing); oil 249 km (2015)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Aspropyrgos, Pachi, Piraeus, Thessaloniki
oil terminal(s): Agioi Theodoroi
container port(s): Piraeus (3,360,000) (2015)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Revithoussa
major seaport(s): Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore
Merchant marinetotal: 1,364
by type: bulk carrier 207, container ship 7, general cargo 127, oil tanker 423, other 600 (2017)
total: 57
by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 49, other 7
Airports77 (2013)
4 (2016)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 68
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 15
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 18
under 914 m: 10 (2017)
total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 7 (2013)
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)
Heliports9 (2013)
1 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 9
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 93
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 12,583,541
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 27,452,961 mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 1
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 151,632
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixSX (2016)
ZA (2016)


Military branchesHellenic Army (Ellinikos Stratos, ES), Hellenic Navy (Elliniko Polemiko Navtiko, EPN), Hellenic Air Force (Elliniki Polemiki Aeroporia, EPA) (2013)
Land Forces Command, Navy Force Command, Air Forces Command (2013)
Military service age and obligation19-45 years of age for compulsory military service; during wartime the law allows for recruitment beginning January of the year of inductee's 18th birthday, thus including 17 year olds; 18 years of age for volunteers; conscript service obligation is 1 year for the Army and 9 months for the Air Force and Navy; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2014)
19 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age in case of general/partial compulsory mobilization (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP2.56% of GDP (2016)
2.54% of GDP (2015)
2.34% of GDP (2014)
2.36% of GDP (2013)
2.41% of GDP (2012)
1.22% of GDP (2017)
1.23% of GDP (2016)
1.16% of GDP (2015)
1.35% of GDP (2014)
1.41% of GDP (2013)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - internationalGreece and Turkey continue discussions to resolve their complex maritime, air, territorial, and boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea; Greece rejects the use of the name Macedonia or Republic of Macedonia; the mass migration of unemployed Albanians still remains a problem for developed countries, chiefly Greece and Italy
Illicit drugsa gateway to Europe for traffickers smuggling cannabis and heroin from the Middle East and Southwest Asia to the West and precursor chemicals to the East; some South American cocaine transits or is consumed in Greece; money laundering related to drug trafficking and organized crime
active transshipment point for Southwest Asian opiates, hashish, and cannabis transiting the Balkan route and - to a lesser extent - cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; significant source country for cannabis production; ethnic Albanian narcotrafficking organizations active and expanding in Europe; vulnerable to money laundering associated with regional trafficking in narcotics, arms, contraband, and illegal aliens
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 14,420 (Syria); 11,440 (Afghanistan); 8,161 (Iraq) (2016)
stateless persons: 198 (2016)
note: 1,069,664 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015 - January 2018); as of November 2017, an estimated 48,662 migrants and refugees were stranded in Greece
stateless persons: 4,921 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook