Greece Overview Essay examples

Submitted By cefeeney
Words: 3102
Pages: 13

The country of Greece is located at the southern end of the Balken Peninsula in southeast Europe. It is bordered to the north by Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey, and offers thousands of miles of beautiful coastline with the Aegean sea to the east, the Ionian sea to the west, and the Mediterranean sea to the south. Greece is becoming one of the most popular vacation destinations in Europe. With it's wonderful location, Greece offers a desirable mediterranean climate that attracts beach goers worldwide. The summers, though hot and dry, are balanced out with cool seasonal winds known as meltemi. The mountainous regions see milder summer conditions, but are every bit as enjoyable as the coastal region's. Rain and snow accumulation is limited in the lowland areas, but the mountains are generally snow covered. Still, due to it's tropical climate, the winters in Greece are hardly comparable to those of the more northern countries in Europe. Greece's current constitution was adopted in 1975 and then amended in 1986 to limit the powers of the president. When the constitution was granted, it freed Greece from its ruling monarchy and declared the nation a Parliamentary Republic. Contrary to the United States, Greece elects their president for a five year term rather than four. However, the voting age of eighteen is the same. Once the President has been elected, he appoints the Prime Minister, who must then be approved by Parliament. Currently, the president of Greece is Karolos Papoulias, and though it would seem as if the President would have the most power, his duties are mainly ceremonial. It is in fact the Prime Minister, George A. Papandreou, who serves as head of government and holds all the power. Vouli, Greece's lawmaking body, consists of a house of 300 members called deputies, who are elected to four-year terms. The two leading political parties of Greece are The Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), which supports social welfare and workers benefits, and The New Democracy Party, who support a free market economy and more government freedom for private businesses. Due to the fact that Greece is a member of NATO, these two parties disagree most when it comes to the presence of the United States Military on Greek soil. PASOK is opposed to the military presence, while the New Democracy party approves and encourages it. Greece runs a capitalist economy in which tourism contributes 15 percent GDP, with the United States listed as one of the three major sources of tourists. Currently the American dollar is rated as .7 of one euro, which is higher than it has been in the past but still less than ideal. Due to this low exchange rate, per capita spending from tourism is at a deficit. Still, Greece is a popular vacation spot among many americans so much that English has become the predominant second language of the country. Although 99 percent of the country speaks greek, tourism and immigration has caused the other 1 percent to be made up of English, Albanian, and Turkish speaking citizens. Immigrants also make up about one fifth of the work force, with specialization mainly in agriculture and unskilled jobs. Between the years of 2003 and 2007, the economy grew a total of 16 percent, which was contributed mostly by infrastructural spending due to the 2004 Athens olympic games. However, in 2009 the economy hit a recession which eventually caused a deficit of 15.4 percent GDP and unemployment to rise 12 percent. Greeks generally travel by foot or automobile, as do most europeans, so the country's current infrastructure contributes mainly to imports, exports, and tourism. Greece's major natural resources include oil, marble, wheat, olives, grapes, cotton, and livestock. These exports bring in an estimated $20.96 million annually, with main trade partners being Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, and the United States. On the other hand, Greece spends an estimated $46.6 billion on imports annually, with major partners including