Greece vs. Bulgaria


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. Beginning in 2010, Greece entered three bailout agreements - with the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), the IMF, and the third in 2015 with the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - worth in total about $300 billion. The Greek Government formally exited the third bailout in August 2018.The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.


LocationSouthern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and TurkeySoutheastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates39 00 N, 22 00 E43 00 N, 25 00 E
Map referencesEuropeEurope
Areatotal: 131,957 sq km

land: 130,647 sq km

water: 1,310 sq km
total: 110,879 sq km

land: 108,489 sq km

water: 2,390 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Alabamaalmost identical in size to Virginia; slightly larger than Tennessee
Land boundariestotal: 1,110 km

border countries (4): Albania 212 km, Bulgaria 472 km, Macedonia 234 km, Turkey 192 km
total: 1,806 km

border countries (5): Greece 472 km, Macedonia 162 km, Romania 605 km, Serbia 344 km, Turkey 223 km
Coastline13,676 km354 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 6 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetemperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summerstemperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers
Terrainmountainous with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islandsmostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast
Elevation extremeshighest point: Mount Olympus 2,917

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 498 m

note: Mount Olympus actually has 52 peaks but its highest point, Mytikas (meaning "nose"), rises to 2,917 meters; in Greek mythology, Olympus' Mytikas peak was the home of the Greek gods
highest point: Musala 2,925 m

lowest point: Black Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 472 m
Natural resourceslignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potentialbauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 63.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 19.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 8.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 34.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 30.5% (2018 est.)

other: 6.1% (2018 est.)
agricultural land: 46.9% (2018 est.)

arable land: 29.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.5% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 15.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 36.7% (2018 est.)

other: 16.4% (2018 est.)
Irrigated land15,550 sq km (2012)1,020 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards

severe 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

earthquakes; landslides
Environment - current issuesair pollution; air emissions from transport and electricity power stations; water pollution; degradation of coastal zones; loss of biodiversity in terrestrial and marine ecosystems; increasing municipal and industrial wasteair pollution from industrial emissions; rivers polluted from raw sewage, heavy metals, detergents; deforestation; forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain; soil contamination from heavy metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wastes
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

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 islandsstrategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia
Total renewable water resources68.4 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)21.3 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)
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 clustersa fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger populations


Population10,569,703 (July 2021 est.)6,919,180 (July 2021 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 14.53% (male 794,918/female 745,909)

15-24 years: 10.34% (male 577,134/female 519,819)

25-54 years: 39.6% (male 2,080,443/female 2,119,995)

55-64 years: 13.1% (male 656,404/female 732,936)

65 years and over: 22.43% (male 1,057,317/female 1,322,176) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 14.52% (male 520,190/female 491,506)

15-24 years: 9.4% (male 340,306/female 314,241)

25-54 years: 42.87% (male 1,538,593/female 1,448,080)

55-64 years: 13.15% (male 433,943/female 482,474)

65 years and over: 20.06% (male 562,513/female 835,053) (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 45.3 years

male: 43.7 years

female: 46.8 years (2020 est.)
total: 43.7 years

male: 41.9 years

female: 45.6 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate-0.34% (2021 est.)-0.67% (2021 est.)
Birth rate7.72 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)8.15 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate12.05 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)14.52 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate0.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)-0.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.11 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.61 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.19 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
total: 8.14 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 9.19 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 81.28 years

male: 78.73 years

female: 84 years (2021 est.)
total population: 75.3 years

male: 72.08 years

female: 78.73 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate1.39 children born/woman (2021 est.)1.49 children born/woman (2021 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.2% (2020 est.)<.1% (2019 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Greek(s)

adjective: Greek
noun: Bulgarian(s)

adjective: Bulgarian
Ethnic groupsGreek 91.6%, Albanian 4.4%, other 4% (2011)

note: data represent citizenship; Greece does not collect data on ethnicity
Bulgarian 76.9%, Turkish 8%, Romani 4.4%, other 0.7% (including Russian, Armenian, and Vlach), other (unknown) 10% (2011 est.)

note: Romani populations are usually underestimated in official statistics and may represent 9–11% of Bulgaria's population
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS17,000 (2020 est.)

note: estimate does not include children
3,300 (2019 est.)
ReligionsGreek Orthodox 81-90%, Muslim 2%, other 3%, none 4-15%, unspecified 1% (2015 est.)Eastern Orthodox 59.4%, Muslim 7.8%, other (including Catholic, Protestant, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, and Jewish) 1.7%, none 3.7%, unspecified 27.4% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths<100 (2020 est.)

note: estimate does not include children
<100 (2019 est.)
LanguagesGreek (official) 99%, other (includes English and French) 1%

major-language sample(s):
?? ?a???sµ?? ??ß??? ?ed?µ????, ? apa?a?t?t? p??? ßas???? p????f?????. (Greek)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Romani 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (2011 est.)

major-language sample(s):
????o??? ???????, ???????????? ???????? ?? ??????? ??????????. (Bulgarian)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.7%

male: 98.5%

female: 96.9% (2015)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.4%

male: 98.7%

female: 98.1% (2015)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 20 years

male: 20 years

female: 20 years (2018)
total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2018)
Education expendituresNA4.1% of GDP (2017)
Urbanizationurban population: 80% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.11% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
urban population: 76% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: -0.28% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 98% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 2% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population3.153 million ATHENS (capital), 813,000 Thessaloniki (2021)1.284 million SOFIA (capital) (2021)
Maternal mortality rate3 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)10 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Health expenditures7.7% (2018)7.4% (2018)
Physicians density5.48 physicians/1,000 population (2017)4.03 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density4.2 beds/1,000 population (2017)7.5 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate24.9% (2016)25% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth29.9 years (2019 est.)26.3 years (2019 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 56.1

youth dependency ratio: 21.3

elderly dependency ratio: 34.8

potential support ratio: 2.9 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 56.6

youth dependency ratio: 23

elderly dependency ratio: 33.6

potential support ratio: 3 (2020 est.)


Country nameconventional 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 Bulgaria

conventional short form: Bulgaria

local long form: Republika Bulgaria

local short form: Bulgaria

former: Kingdom of Bulgaria, People's Republic of Bulgaria

etymology: named after the Bulgar tribes who settled the lower Balkan region in the 7th century A.D.
Government typeparliamentary republicparliamentary 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

etymology: Athens is the oldest European capital city; according to tradition, the city is named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom; in actuality, the appellation probably derives from a lost name in a pre-Hellenic language
name: Sofia

geographic coordinates: 42 41 N, 23 19 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

etymology: named after the Saint Sofia Church in the city, parts of which date back to the 4th century A.D.
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)28 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast); Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Haskovo, Kardzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofia, Sofia-Grad (Sofia City), Stara Zagora, Targovishte, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol
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 Russia3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire)
National holidayIndependence Day, 25 March (1821)Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)
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, 2019
history: several previous; latest drafted between late 1990 and early 1991, adopted 13 July 1991

amendments: proposed by the National Assembly or by the president of the republic; passage requires three-fourths majority vote of National Assembly members in three ballots; signed by the National Assembly chairperson; note - under special circumstances, a "Grand National Assembly" is elected with the authority to write a new constitution and amend certain articles of the constitution, including those affecting basic civil rights and national sovereignty; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote in each of several readings; amended several times, last in 2015
Legal systemcivil legal system based on Roman lawcivil law
Suffrage17 years of age; universal and compulsory18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Ekaterini SAKELLAROPOULOU (since 13 March 2020)

head of government: Prime Minister Kyriakos MITSOTAKIS (since 8 July 2019)

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 22 January 2020 (next to be held by February 2025); president appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party or coalition in the Hellenic Parliament

election results: Katerina SAKELLAROPOULOU (independent) elected president by Parliament - 261 of 300 votes; note - SAKELLAROPOULOU is Greece's first woman president
chief of state: President Rumen RADEV (since 22 January 2017); Vice President Iliana IOTOVA (since 22 January 2017)

head of government: Interim Prime Minister Stefan YANEV (since 12 May 2021); note - YANEV is leading a caretaker government until elections are held on 11 July 2021

cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, elected by the National Assembly

elections/appointments: president and vice president elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 6 and 13 November 2016 (next to be held in fall 2021); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister, elected by the National Assembly

election results: Rumen RADEV elected president in second round; percent of vote - Rumen RADEV (independent, supported by Bulgarian Socialist Party) 59.4%, Tsetska TSACHEVA (GERB) 36.2%, neither 4.5%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Hellenic Parliament or Vouli ton Ellinon (300 seats; 280 members in multi-seat constituencies and 12 members in a single nationwide constituency directly elected by open party-list proportional representation vote; 8 members in single-seat constituencies elected by simple majority vote; members serve up to 4 years);  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

elections: last held on 7 July 2019 (next to be held by July 2023)

election results: percent of vote by party - ND 39.9%, SYRIZA 31.5%, KINAL 8.1%, KKE 5.3%, Greek Solution 3.7%, MeRA25 3.4%, other 8.1%; seats by party - ND 158, SYRIZA 86, KINAL 22, KKE 15, Greek Solution 10, MeRA25 9; composition - men 244, women 56, percent of women 18.7%
description: unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (240 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 11 July 2021 (next election to be held in 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - ITN 23.8%, GERB-SDS 23.2%, BSP for Bulgaria 13.2%, DB 12.5%, DPS 10.6%, ISMV 5%, other 11.7%; seats by party/coalition ITN 65, GERB-SDS 63, BSP for Bulgaria 36, DB 34, DPS 29, ISMV 13
Judicial branchhighest courts: 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, 7 vice presidents, 42 privy councilors, 48 associate councilors and 50 reporting judges, organized into six 5- and 7-member chambers; Court of Audit (government audit and enforcement) consists of the president, 5 vice presidents, 20 councilors, 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; court president serves a 4-year term or until age 67; tenure of vice presidents, councilors, and judges NA

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal and Courts of First Instance (district courts)
highest courts: Supreme Court of Cassation (consists of a chairman and approximately 72 judges organized into penal, civil, and commercial colleges); Supreme Administrative Court (organized into 2 colleges with various panels of 5 judges each); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 justices); note - Constitutional Court resides outside the judiciary

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Cassation and Supreme Administrative judges elected by the Supreme Judicial Council or SJC (consists of 25 members with extensive legal experience) and appointed by the president; judges can serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Constitutional Court justices elected by the National Assembly and appointed by the president and the SJC; justices appointed for 9-year terms with renewal of 4 justices every 3 years

subordinate courts: appeals courts; regional and district courts; administrative courts; courts martial
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]
European Realistic Disobedience Front or MeRA25 [Yanis VAROUFAKIS]
Greek Solution [Kyriakos VELOPOULOS]
Independent Greeks or ANEL [Panagiotis (Panos) KAMMENOS]
Movement for Change or KINAL [Foteini (Fofi) GENIMMATA]
New Democracy or ND [Kyriakos MITSOTAKIS]
People's Association-Golden Dawn [Nikolaos MICHALOLIAKOS]
Popular Unity or LAE [Panagiotis LAFAZANIS]
The River (To Potami) [Stavros THEODORAKIS]
Union of Centrists or EK [Vasileios (Vasilis) LEVENTIS]
Agrarian People's Union or ZNS [Roumen YONCHEV]
Bulgarian Agrarian People’s Union [Nikolay NENCHEV]
Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Korneliya NINOVA] (alliance of BSP, ZNS, PKT, New Dawn, Ecoglasnost)
Bulgaria of the Citizens or DBG [Dimiter DELCHEV]]
Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria or GERB (alliance with SDS) [Boyko BORISSOV]
Democratic Bulgaria or DB (alliance of Yes! Bulgaria, DSB, and The Greens) [Atanas ATANASOV, Hristo IVANOV]
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Atanas ATANASOV]
Ecoglasnost [Emil GEORGIEV]
Green Movement or The Greens [Borislav SANDOV, Vladislav PENEV]
Movement for Rights and Freedoms or DPS [Mustafa KARADAYI]
Movement 21 or D21 [Tatyana DONCHEVA]
New Dawn [Mincho MINCHEV]
Political Club Thrace or PKT [Stefan NACHEZ]
Stand Up.BG or IS.BG [Maya MONOLOVA]
Stand Up! Mafia, Get Out! or ISMV (coalition of IS.BG, D21, DBG, ENP, ZNS, and Volt) [Maya MONOLOVA, Nikolay HADZHIGENOV] 
There is Such a People or ITN [SLAVI TRIFONOV]
United People's Party or ENP [Valentina VASILEVA-FILADELFEVS]
Union of Democratic Forces or SDS [Rumen HRISTOV]
Yes! Bulgaria [Hristo IVANOV]
Volt Bulgaria or Volt [Nastimir ANANIEV]
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, ZCAustralia Group, BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EU, FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Alexandra PAPADOPOULOU (since 6 February 2021)

chancery: 2217 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 939-1300

FAX: [1] (202) 939-1324

email address and website:


consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa (FL), San Francisco

consulate(s): Atlanta, Houston
chief of mission: Ambassador Tihomir Anguelov STOYTCHEV (since 27 June 2016)

chancery: 1621 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 387-0174; [1] (202) 299-0273, [1] (202) 483-1386

FAX: [1] (202) 234-7973

email address and website:
office@bulgaria-embassy.org; Embassy.Washington@mfa.bg


consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, 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: 7100 Athens Place, Washington DC  20521-7100

telephone: [30] (210) 721-2951

FAX: [30] (210) 724-5313

email address and website:


consulate(s) general: Thessaloniki
chief of mission: Ambassador Herro MUSTAFA (since 18 October 2019)

embassy: 16, Kozyak Street, Sofia 1408

mailing address: 5740 Sofia Place, Washington, DC  20521-5740

telephone: [359] (2) 937-5100

FAX: [359] (2) 937-5320

email address and website:

Flag descriptionnine 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
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; the pan-Slavic white-blue-red colors were modified by substituting a green band (representing freedom) for the blue

note: the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed
National anthemname: "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: "Mila Rodino" (Dear Homeland)

lyrics/music: Tsvetan Tsvetkov RADOSLAVOV

note: adopted 1964; composed in 1885 by a student en route to fight in the Serbo-Bulgarian War
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdictionaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Greek cross (white cross on blue field, arms equal length); national colors: blue, whitelion; national colors: white, green, red
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 Bulgaria

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


Economy - overview

Greece 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 grew between the SYRIZA-led government and Greece’s EU and IMF creditors over the implementation of bailout measures and disbursement of funds. The Greek government began running up significant arrears to suppliers, while Greek banks relied on emergency lending, and Greece’s future in the euro zone was called into question. To stave off a collapse of the banking system, Greece imposed capital controls in June 2015, then became the first developed nation to miss a loan payment to the IMF, rattling international financial markets. 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 2015, Greece signed its third bailout, allowing it to cover significant debt payments to its EU and IMF creditors and to ensure the banking sector retained access to emergency liquidity. The TSIPRAS government — which retook office on 20 September 2015 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, 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.

Bulgaria, a former communist country that entered the EU in 2007, has an open economy that historically has demonstrated strong growth, but its per-capita income remains the lowest among EU members and its reliance on energy imports and foreign demand for its exports makes its growth sensitive to external market conditions.

The government undertook significant structural economic reforms in the 1990s to move the economy from a centralized, planned economy to a more liberal, market-driven economy. These reforms included privatization of state-owned enterprises, liberalization of trade, and strengthening of the tax system - changes that initially caused some economic hardships but later helped to attract investment, spur growth, and make gradual improvements to living conditions. From 2000 through 2008, Bulgaria maintained robust, average annual real GDP growth in excess of 6%, which was followed by a deep recession in 2009 as the financial crisis caused domestic demand, exports, capital inflows and industrial production to contract, prompting the government to rein in spending. Real GDP growth remained slow - less than 2% annually - until 2015, when demand from EU countries for Bulgarian exports, plus an inflow of EU development funds, boosted growth to more than 3%. In recent years, strong domestic demand combined with low international energy prices have contributed to Bulgaria’s economic growth approaching 4% and have also helped to ease inflation. Bulgaria’s prudent public financial management contributed to budget surpluses both in 2016 and 2017.

Bulgaria is heavily reliant on energy imports from Russia, a potential vulnerability, and is a participant in EU-backed efforts to diversify regional natural gas supplies. In late 2016, the Bulgarian Government provided funding to Bulgaria’s National Electric Company to cover the $695 million compensation owed to Russian nuclear equipment manufacturer Atomstroyexport for the cancellation of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project, which the Bulgarian Government terminated in 2012. As of early 2018, the government was floating the possibility of resurrecting the Belene project. The natural gas market, dominated by state-owned Bulgargaz, is also almost entirely supplied by Russia. Infrastructure projects such as the Inter-Connector Greece-Bulgaria and Inter-Connector Bulgaria-Serbia, which would enable Bulgaria to have access to non-Russian gas, have either stalled or made limited progress. In 2016, the Bulgarian Government established the State eGovernment Agency. This new agency is responsible for the electronic governance, coordinating national policies with the EU, and strengthening cybersecurity.

Despite a favorable investment regime, including low, flat corporate income taxes, significant challenges remain. Corruption in public administration, a weak judiciary, low productivity, lack of transparency in public procurements, and the presence of organized crime continue to hamper the country's investment climate and economic prospects.

GDP (purchasing power parity)$319.334 billion (2019 est.)

$313.469 billion (2018 est.)

$307.521 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$161.654 billion (2019 est.)

$155.894 billion (2018 est.)

$151.218 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.87% (2019 est.)

1.91% (2018 est.)

1.44% (2017 est.)
3.39% (2019 est.)

3.2% (2018 est.)

3.5% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$29,799 (2019 est.)

$29,206 (2018 est.)

$28,594 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$23,174 (2019 est.)

$22,191 (2018 est.)

$21,371 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 4.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 16.9% (2017 est.)

services: 79.1% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 4.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 28% (2017 est.)

services: 67.4% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line17.9% (2018 est.)23.8% (2019 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.7%

highest 10%: 26.7% (2015 est.)
lowest 10%: 1.9%

highest 10%: 31.2% (2017)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.2% (2019 est.)

0.6% (2018 est.)

1.1% (2017 est.)
3.1% (2019 est.)

2.8% (2018 est.)

2% (2017 est.)
Labor force4 million (2020 est.)3.113 million (2020 est.)

note: number of employed persons
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 12.6%

industry: 15%

services: 72.4% (30 October 2015 est.)
agriculture: 6.8%

industry: 26.6%

services: 66.6% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate17.3% (2019 est.)

19.34% (2018 est.)
5.66% (2019 est.)

6.18% (2018 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index34.4 (2017 est.)

35.7 (2011)
40.4 (2017 est.)

38.3 (2016)
Budgetrevenues: 97.99 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 96.35 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 20.35 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 19.35 billion (2017 est.)
Industriestourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleumelectricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and equipment, automotive parts, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel; outsourcing centers
Industrial production growth rate3.5% (2017 est.)3.6% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productsmaize, olives, wheat, milk, peaches/nectarines, oranges, tomatoes, grapes, milk, potatoeswheat, maize, sunflower seed, milk, barley, rapeseed, potatoes, grapes, tomatoes, watermelons
Exports$92.925 billion (2019 est.)

$88.511 billion (2018 est.)

$81.196 billion (2017 est.)
$42.369 billion (2019 est.)

$40.779 billion (2018 est.)

$40.091 billion (2017 est.)
Exports - commoditiesrefined petroleum, packaged medicines, aluminum plating, computers, cotton (2019)refined petroleum, packaged medicines, copper, wheat, electricity (2019)
Exports - partnersItaly 10%, Germany 7%, Turkey 5%, Cyprus 5%, Bulgaria 5% (2019)Germany 16%, Romania 8%, Italy 7%, Turkey 7%, Greece 6% (2019)
Imports$94.597 billion (2019 est.)

$91.798 billion (2018 est.)

$85.092 billion (2017 est.)
$44.853 billion (2019 est.)

$42.841 billion (2018 est.)

$40.53 billion (2017 est.)
Imports - commoditiescrude petroleum, refined petroleum, packaged medicines, cars, ships (2019)crude petroleum, copper, cars, packaged medicines, refined petroleum (2019)
Imports - partnersGermany 11%, China 9%, Italy 8%, Iraq 7%, Russia 6%, Netherlands 5% (2019)Germany 11%, Russia 9%, Italy 7%, Romania 7%, Turkey 7% (2019)
Debt - external$484.888 billion (2019 est.)

$478.646 billion (2018 est.)
$39.059 billion (2019 est.)

$41.139 billion (2018 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.82771 (2020 est.)

0.90338 (2019 est.)

0.87789 (2018 est.)

0.885 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)
leva (BGN) per US dollar -

1.61885 (2020 est.)

1.7669 (2019 est.)

1.7172 (2018 est.)

1.7644 (2014 est.)

1.4742 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar yearcalendar year
Public debt181.8% of GDP (2017 est.)

183.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
23.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

27.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: defined by the EU's Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities: currency and deposits, securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives, and loans; general government sector comprises the subsectors: central government, state government, local government, and social security funds
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$7.807 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$6.026 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$28.38 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$25.13 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$3.114 billion (2019 est.)

-$6.245 billion (2018 est.)
$2.06 billion (2019 est.)

$611 million (2018 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$209.79 billion (2019 est.)$68.49 billion (2019 est.)
Taxes and other revenues48.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)35.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)1.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 35.2%

male: 33.5%

female: 37.2% (2019 est.)
total: 8.9%

male: 9.3%

female: 8.3% (2019 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 69.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 20.1% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 12.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 33.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -34.7% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 61.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 16% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 19.2% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 66.3% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -64.8% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving9.9% of GDP (2019 est.)

8.8% of GDP (2018 est.)

8.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
26.1% of GDP (2019 est.)

24.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

25.3% of GDP (2017 est.)


Electricity - production52.05 billion kWh (2016 est.)42.29 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption56.89 billion kWh (2016 est.)32.34 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports1.037 billion kWh (2016 est.)9.187 billion kWh (2017 est.)
Electricity - imports9.833 billion kWh (2016 est.)4.568 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production4,100 bbl/day (2018 est.)1,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports484,300 bbl/day (2017 est.)133,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports3,229 bbl/day (2017 est.)0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves10 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)15 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves991.1 million cu m (1 January 2018 est.)5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production8 million cu m (2017 est.)79.28 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption4.927 billion cu m (2017 est.)3.313 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2017 est.)31.15 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports4.984 billion cu m (2017 est.)3.256 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity19.17 million kW (2016 est.)10.75 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels57% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)39% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants14% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)23% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)20% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources29% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)19% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production655,400 bbl/day (2017 est.)144,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption304,100 bbl/day (2017 est.)97,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports371,900 bbl/day (2017 est.)92,720 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports192,200 bbl/day (2017 est.)49,260 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2020)electrification - total population: 100% (2020)


Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 4,820,898

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 45.32 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 975,355

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13.91 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal subscriptions: 11,882,081

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 111.69 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 8,134,581

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 116.02 (2019 est.)
Internet country code.gr.bg
Internet userstotal: 7,783,381

percent of population: 72.95% (July 2018 est.)
total: 4,571,851

percent of population: 64.78% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systemsgeneral assessment:

telecom market is susceptible to country’s volatile economy, but renewed confidence has been renewed through foreign and European Commission investment; increasing urban population with well-developed mobile market; growing adoption of IoT technology; steady development of broadband; investment in LTE and launch of 5G; government project for ultra-fast broadband, largely funded by European Commission with focus on underserved areas (2021)


domestic: microwave radio relay trunk system; extensive open-wire connections; submarine cable to offshore islands; 48 per 100 for fixed-line and 114 per 100 for mobile-cellular (2019)

international: country code - 30; landing points for the SEA-ME-WE-3, Adria-1, Italy-Greece 1, OTEGLOBE, MedNautilus Submarine System, Aphrodite 2, AAE-1 and Silphium optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Asia and Australia;  tropospheric scatter; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean, 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat - Indian Ocean region) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

general assessment:

Bulgaria’s telecoms sector benefited from adaptation of EU regulatory measures and privatization; population is moving to fiber over DSL for broadband connection; investment towards rural areas; migration from fixed-line voice to mobile and VoIP; private networks pursuing upgrades and development of services based on 5G; broadband market in Bulgaria enjoys cross-platform competition; operators deploy NB-IoT platform in several cities and released smart platform for utilities; government launched e-learning platform to help students continue their studies during lockdown (2021)


domestic: fixed-line 14 per 100 persons, mobile-cellular teledensity, fostered by multiple service providers, is over 116 telephones per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 359; Caucasus Cable System via submarine cable provides connectivity to Ukraine, Georgia and Russia; a combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system provides connectivity to Italy, Albania, and Macedonia; satellite earth stations - 3 (1 Intersputnik in the Atlantic Ocean region, 2 Intelsat in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadband - fixed subscriptionstotal: 4,149,146

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 39 (2019 est.)
total: 2,014,772

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 28.74 (2019 est.)
Broadcast mediabroadcast media dominated by the private sector; roughly 150 private TV channels, about 10 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 stations4 national terrestrial TV stations with 1 state-owned and 3 privately owned; a vast array of TV stations are available from cable and satellite TV providers; state-owned national radio broadcasts over 3 networks; large number of private radio stations broadcasting, especially in urban areas


Railwaystotal: 2,548 km (2014)

standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-m gauge (764 km electrified) (2014)

narrow gauge: 961 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)

22 0.750-m gauge
total: 5,114 km (2014)

standard gauge: 4,989 km 1.435-m gauge (2,880 km electrified) (2014)

narrow gauge: 125 km 0.760-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 117,000 km (2018)total: 19,512 km (2011)

paved: 19,235 km (includes 458 km of expressways) (2011)

unpaved: 277 km (2011)

note: does not include Category IV local roads
Waterways6 km (the 6-km-long Corinth Canal crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; it shortens a sea voyage by 325 km) (2012)470 km (2009)
Pipelines1329 km gas, 94 km oil (2013)2765 km gas, 346 km oil, 378 km refined products (2017)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Aspropyrgos, Pachi, Piraeus, Thessaloniki

oil terminal(s): Agioi Theodoroi

container port(s) (TEUs): Piraeus (5,648,000) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Revithoussa
major seaport(s): Burgas, Varna (Black Sea)
Merchant marinetotal: 1,294

by type: bulk carrier 165, container ship 6, general cargo 95, oil tanker 379, other 649 (2020)
total: 81

by type: bulk carrier 5, general cargo 15, oil tanker 8, other 53 (2020)
Airportstotal: 77 (2013)total: 68 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 68 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 6 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 15 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 19 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 18 (2017)

under 914 m: 10 (2017)
total: 57 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 17 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 12 (2017)

under 914 m: 26 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 9 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)

under 914 m: 7 (2013)
total: 11 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)

under 914 m: 9 (2013)
Heliports9 (2013)1 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 11 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 97

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 15,125,933 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 21.91 million mt-km (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 8 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 44

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,022,645 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1.38 million mt-km (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixSXLZ


Military branchesHellenic Armed Forces: Hellenic Army (Ellinikos Stratos, ES; includes National Guard reserves), Hellenic Navy (Elliniko Polemiko Navtiko, EPN), Hellenic Air Force (Elliniki Polemiki Aeroporia, EPA; includes air defense) (2021)Bulgarian Armed Forces: Land Forces (Army), Naval Forces, Bulgarian Air Forces (Voennovazdushni Sili, VVS), Joint Special Forces; Ministry of Interior: Border Guards (2021)
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 (2019)18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in 2007; service obligation 6-9 months (2019)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP2.68% of GDP (2020 est.)

2.36% of GDP (2019)

2.54% of GDP (2018)

2.38% of GDP (2017)

2.4% of GDP (2016)
1.6% of GDP (2020 est.)

3.15% of GDP (2019)

1.45% of GDP (2018)

1.23% of GDP (2017)

1.25% of GDP (2016)
Military - noteGreece joined NATO in 1952Bulgaria officially became a member of NATO in 2004

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Greece and Turkey continue discussions to resolve their complex maritime, air, territorial, and boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea; 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 crimemajor European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and, to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market; limited producer of precursor chemicals; vulnerable to money laundering because of corruption, organized crime; some money laundering of drug-related proceeds through financial institutions
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 26,696 (Syria), 17,685 (Afghanistan), 9,614 (Iraq) (2019)

stateless persons: 5,557 (2020)

note: 1,209,645 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-August 2021); as of the end of December 2020, an estimated 119,700 migrants and refugees were stranded in Greece since 2015-16
refugees (country of origin): 17,551 (Syria) (2019)

stateless persons: 1,141 (2020)

note: 61,920 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-July 2021); Bulgaria is predominantly a transit country

Source: CIA Factbook