As a country that belongs to European Union according to transporthint.com, Hellenic Republic (Greek: Ελληνική Δημοκρατία) or commonly Greece, is a country in southeastern Europe, located in the southernmost region of the Balkan Peninsula. Constituted not only by the peninsular territory but also by almost 6000 islands located in the Mediterranean Sea area, the nation is considered the cradle of Western civilization due to its influence on issues such as democracy, Western philosophy, Olympic sport, literature, the study of history and politics.
The term Greece comes from the Latin term graecus (Γραικοί), the way Aristotle referred to the name of the country. Actually the name is related to that of the people of Epirus.
Simply put, the name of Greece marked the historical beginning of that part of world geography and remained in thought and tradition. But the Hellenes constituted a people that strongly marked the history of the area. There were other peoples that also cohabited the place and, nevertheless, the Hellenistic tradition was stronger due to its recognized brilliance.
From the Hellenic period the territory of the so-called Ancient Greece received a formidable impulse and development in science and art. The Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Colossus of Rhodes, timeless works of art for all time, are examples. The sciences became independent from philosophy and became autonomous subjects. Museums, such as that of Alexandria, flourished in the Hellenic territory where early Greece settled. Mathematics received a strong boost.
And so it was for the history of the people of that geographical area commonly called Greece the name shared, with all pride, of the Hellenic Republic.
Greece is a rural country of small towns and villages. Famous and ancient cities like Argos, Corinth and Sparta are today small towns. Around 98% of the population is Greek. 1% is, according to the Greek government, Muslim. Most of the Muslims are of Turkish origin. About 100,000 Muslims live in Thrace. The rest of the population is made up of Slavs, Albanians and Armenians.
The population of Greece (according to estimates for 2006) is 10,688,058 residents, which is equivalent to a density of 82 residents / km². Its population is high in proportion to the size and economic capacity of the country, where there is considerable poverty. Both the birth rate (previously one of the highest in Europe) and the death rate have decreased in recent years, and the annual growth rate, which in the 1950–1960 period was 1%, in 2006 stood at 0.18%. About 61% of the population is urban. Much of this is concentrated around Athens, Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki), in Macedonia, west of the Peloponnese and on the islands of Corfu, Zakynthos and Chios, some of the most urbanized.
According to the reorganization plan presented in 1987, Greece is divided into thirteen regions (diamerismata), further subdivided into departments (nomoi). These thirteen regions, together with their populations (with 1991 data), are:
- North Aegean (199,231 residents)
- the South Aegean (257,481 residents)
- Attica (3,523,407 residents)
- Crete (540,054 residents)
- Epirus (339,728 residents)
- Central Greece (582,280 residents)
- Western Greece (707,687 residents)
- Ionian Islands (193,734 residents)
- East Macedonia and Thrace (570,496 residents)
- Central Macedonia (1,710,513 residents)
- West Macedonia (293,015 residents)
- Peloponnese (607,428 residents)
- Thessaly (734,846 residents)
The 1975 Constitution reorganizes Monte Atos as an autonomous district with a population (with 1981 data) of 1,472 residents. Municipalities or demos (cities of more than 100,000 residents) are administered by a mayor and a city council, and communities of 300 to 10,000 residents by a president and a community council.
The Panhellenic games and especially the Olympic Games originated in Greece in ancient times, centered around individual sports such as running, boxing, wrestling, chariot racing, long jump, Javelin throw, and discus throw.
The first modern Olympic games took place in Athens in 1896, and the Olympics returned to Athens as the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, making Athens the fourth city after Paris, London, and Los Angeles to host the modern summer Olympics twice.. Greece has been represented at every Olympiad, along with four countries, Australia, France, Great Britain and Switzerland.
In recent years, soccer has been among the most popular sports in Greece. The Greece soccer team unexpectedly won the 2004 soccer Eurocup, beating the locals, the Portugal soccer team, in the final. Domestic soccer teams include AEK Athens FC, Olympiacos FC, Panathinaikos FC and PAOK Thessaloniki FC.
The Basketball also enjoys considerable popularity in Greece. Greece’s basketball team, led by Nikos Galis, won the 1987 Eurobasket in Athens against the Soviet Union. The team also won the 2005 Eurobasket in Belgrade against Germany. Domestic basketball teams have been important in the Euroleague: Panathinaikos BC has won the European championship three times, in (1996, 2000, 2002) and the intercontinental cup in 1996 and Olympiacos BC won the European championship in 1997. Also PAOK Thessaloniki BC won the Basketball Cup Winners’ Cup in 1991 and the Korac Cup in 1994. More recently, Greece’s basketball team came second in the 2006 basketball world championships.