Greece: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government of the country Greece.

GREECE

NITTY GRITTY

Location-A jagged, mountainous peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean Sea and including virtually all of the island groups in the surrounding waters. Its neighbors are: to the northwest, Albania; to the north, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, and it is separated from Turkey in the northeast by the River Evros.

How Created-The boundaries have been basically the same since ancient times with alterations occurring according to the empire currently in power. More recent additions are: Thessaly, added in 1881; Macedonia, Crete, Epirus, and part of Thrace after the Balkan Wars in 1913; and the Dodecanese Islands, ceded by Italy in 1946.

Size-50,944 sq. mi. (131,944 sq. km.).

Population-over 9 million: Greek, 94.9%; Macedonian, 1.8%; Turkish, 1.4%; Albanian, 0.6%; Aromanian, 0.6%; other, 0.7%. 96.8% Greek Orthodox, 1.3% Muslim, 1.9% other.

Who Rules-In July, 1974, the government-led plot to overthrow President Makarios of Cyprus and unite the island with Greece failed. This was followed by the dissolution of the Greek military cabinet and Constantinos Caramanlis, a former premier, was asked to return to Greece from a self-imposed exile and form a civilian government. He is once again Premier Caramanlis, having won election in November, 1974.

Who REALLY Rules-The Greeks have changed the rules of the game and at present it is difficult to discern who has exactly what sphere of influence. U.S. involvement (CIA, Pentagon) has fallen into much disfavor since the U.S. Government gave tacit approval to the colonels. At this time it is also difficult to say just how much power the military will wield since it was they who called Caramanlis back to office. There is a good chance they are pulling some strings in the background.

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