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Country Profile: Greece

TJC Global Translation & Interpreting Services since 1985


Total Area

130, 800 sq km


10,722,816, 0.1% growth rate,
82 density per sq km

Capital City

Athens, 3, 247, 000




Greek, 99%


Greek, 98%


Greek Orthodox, 98%

Literacy Rate



Mediterranean - mild winters, hot summers

Economic Summary

GDP: $324.6 billion


Service: 74.4%
Industry: 20.6%
Agriculture: 5.1%
Major industries: tourism, food, textiles, chemicals, petroleum, mining.
Natural resources: lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, marble, salt

Major trading partners

Germany, Italy, UK, Bulgaria, US, Cyprus, France, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea.




Greece was the first civilisation in Europe, starting with the Minoan civilisation in Crete and then the Mycenean mainland civilisation. City-states spread across the Greek peninsula and simultaneously there was a cultural boom in architecture, drama, science and philosophy, its centre in the democratic city of Athens. Alexander the Great ushered in the Greek Hellenistic Era, which is seen as a bridge - in some ways a decline - from the highpoints of the preceding Greek Classical Era and the following emergence of the Roman Empire. It featured a wave of colonisation across much of Europe and Asia.

With Roman rule over Greek lands from 146 BC came the merging of Hellenic and Roman cultures (for example, many of the Roman myths are merely transposed from their preceding Greek counterparts, with different names for the deities and heroes). This mergure created the Byzantine Empire, centred on Constantinople which remained a cultural and political centre until its defeat at the hands of the Ottomans in 1453. On the cross-over to the Ottoman Era, many vanguards of the Greek intelligentsia migrated to Western Europe and were great contributors to the Renaissance, by transferring the works of Ancient Greece to Europe.

The Greeks won in their War of Independence against the Ottomans in 1821, and following this there was dispute over the leader of the country - with monarchs from countries such as Denmark and Bavaria stepping in, however Trikopuis, a key political figure, curbed the power of the monarchy and gave many rights of rule to the prime minister. As a result of the Balkan Wars, Greece extended its territory, and after World War I came the fraught and bitter population exchange between Turkey and Greece - with Turks expelled from communes in Greece and vice versa. The Greco-Italian war gave Allies their first victory of the Second World War, with Greeks refusing to surrender to fascist Italian control.

After liberation, Greece underwent a civil war between royalists and communists, leading to desperate economic tensions. The following 20 years were characterised by the marginalisation of the leftists, but also significant economic growth. In 1975 the monarchy was abolished and a democratic republic founded, and in 1981 Greece became the tenth member state of the EU.



Tourism is Greece's key industry, with over 16 million people visiting the country each year. It is popular for its long and varied history, showcased in historical cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki, and for the chance to see ancient relics such as the Parthenon and the remains of the town of Pompeii. It also attracts many tourists for its beach and coastal resorts, specifically on the many islands belonging to the country, such as Crete and Corfu.


Greek is the official language of the country, with almost the whole population using it as their first language. Some minority languages are spoken by people in different geographic regions of the country, for example the Arvanites, an Alanian-speaking group located in rural areas around Athens. In northern Greece, there are some Slavic-speaking groups whose dialects can be classified as Macedonian or Bulgarian. Greece's Jewish community originally spoke Ladino, but is today only spoken by a few thousand people. Many Greek speakers use the distinct dialect Pontic.


Western philosophy was born in Greece, with Socrates, Aristotle and Plato hugely influential forces, whose relevance is still felt today. As well as these three key thinkers, were many Greek schools of philosophy such as Epicureanism, Stoicism and Skepticism. The most famous and enduring works of Greek literature are Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, chronicling the Trojan Wars and the consequent trials of Odysseus as he tried to get back to his home island of Ithaca. Important poets included Hesiod, Sappho and Pindar and after them the Roman historian Plutarch was a vital figure in the cultural progression of Greece.


Greece is famed for its Classical Art, for example the many statues of its gods and goddesses, and pottery depicting scenes from Ancient Mythology. However, after the merging with Roman Christian culture, by the Byzantium period much art was religious (as opposed to pagan). The Renaissance painter El Greco was the most influential of Greek artists, for his bold and modern use of colour and form.


Greek music has long-standing tradition in the country, with instruments such as the kithara, aulos and lyre used for celebration and devotional purposes. Much church music was resistant to the changes undergoing in the West, so instead of taking on the new polyphonic forms, Byzantine music remained monophonic, and developing in isolation like this, that form of apparently simple music reached its zenith in the expression of the Byzantine chant. Greece also has a thriving folk tradition and now embraces such popular cultures as western European dance music forms.


Greece is of course home to the Olympics, and as such can be seen as having the longest held sporting traditions in the world. The Greek football team won the Euro cup in 2004, and their basketball team is also world-renowned. Greece held the first modern Olympics in 1896.


Greek cuisine is a beacon of the Mediterranean diet. It uses fresh and healthy ingredients to make such national dishes as moussaka, stifado and dolmades. Favoured ingredients include olives, fresh herbs and spices, nuts, pulses, and feta cheese.

Greece's Economic Future

Greece's economy relies in a great part on the service industry, and in particular tourism, and its GDP is one of the fastest growing in the world. However, the shipping industry also makes up a high percentage of Greece's GDP, employing 4% of the country's total workforce. Greece is well situtated geographically to take part in global developments in science and technology, with companies such as Ericsson, Siemens and Coca-Cola basing their R&D headquarters in the country. Greece joined the ESA in 2005 and participates in the agency's telecommunication and technology activities, as well as the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Initiative.


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Areas in which we provide interpreting services include:

•    Legal  (including court, depositions, arbitrations, litigations)         

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For other languages, please visit our Multiple Language Services Interpreting page.

Some of the 180 languages for which we provide interpreters:
Arabic Translation Italian Translation
Chinese Translation Japanese Translation
French Translation Korean Translation
German Translation Spanish Translation

For other languages, please visit our Multiple Language Services Translation page.

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