Title: The Hellenic Republic
Population Change: -0.48
National Average Age: 46
Urban Percentage: 85
Christian Population: 11,000,000
Christian Percentage: 98
Introduction: 'Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Influential in ancient times it''s often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens its capital retains landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.'
Overview: Greece 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.