Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let's go to Athens, Greece "Introduction"

Greece is strategically located between the mainland of Europe and the Middle East. It lies in the south of the Balkan Peninsula and to the north, shares a border with Albania, FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Bulgaria. In the East, Greece borders, Turkey, an ancient rival, while its western front faces the Adriatic Sea and its southern side straddles the Mediterranean Sea. The country covers an area of 32,000 square km.(19,838 miles)

Greece is, of course, the land of ancient sites and architectural treasures -- the Acropolis in Athens, the amphitheater of Epidaurus, and the reconstructed palace at Knossos among the best known.

But Greece is much more: It offers age-old spectacular natural sights, for instance -- from Santorini's caldera to the gray pinnacles of rock of the Meteora -- and modern diversions ranging from elegant museums to luxury resorts.

Greece is a mountainous peninsula with fertile plateaus, coastal belts and about 50 inhabited islands, of which Crete is the largest. The climate is relatively mild during the winter. Daytime winter temperatures are usually between 6° - 14° C with many hours of sunshine. The summer is warm, with temperatures between 28°  - 36°C. Low humidity and rainfall make the country and its islands one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.

Greece also boasts a well educated workforce and is a member of the Euro-zone. The tourism and shipping industries are very important in the country and are growing rapidly. English is widely spoken, especially within the business Community.

Historically, Greece represents one of the most ancient civilizations, with advanced cultural and political institutions dating back to 500 B.C. greece8During the Roman era, the country became part of the Roman Empire. Later it became one of the main administrative areas of the Byzantine Empire. Following the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks, Greece became a territory of the Ottoman Empire for nearly four centuries and achieved its independence in1829. It was only after a series of local wars that Greece stabilized its present territory.

The period ending in 1974 was often characterized by political instability, culminating in the seven-year military coup of 1967. The 1974 democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy, leading to decades of relative political stability continuing through today. Ironically, that stability is threatened today by Financial excess which has weakened the economy.

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