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Greece 

 GREEK ECONOMY

Since the end of World War II and the subsequent political upheaval in Greece, there has been significant economic and social change, which have mostly been to the good. These changes have largely been fuelled by the growth of tourism, together with the benefits of EU membership, underpinned by the more traditional industries of agriculture and shipping.

Various political disputes still remain unresolved, but remain for the time being in the background.  Among these are disputes over the island of Cyprus and various other areas of the Aegean, in addition to a dispute with the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, which has been given the same name as an existing region of Greece and therefore might be construed as a territorial claim. 

Since the present government came to power, unemployment and inflation have continued to rise and a certain amount of both corruption and excessive bureaucracy have continued unabated. All this remains to be effectively addressed, together with a large budget deficit and various concerns over EU budget payments, some of which are alleged to have been made erroneously.    

Overview: Greece has a mixed capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for roughly 40% of GDP and per-Capita GDP at least 75% of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 15% of GDP. Immigrants make up one fifth of the work force. Greece continues to rely heavily on EU aid which currently amounts to about 3.3% of GDP. . The Greek economy grew by about 4.0% between 2003 and 2005, largely because of an investment boom and infrastructure upgrades for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Economic growth slowed to about 3% in 2005. Greece has not met the EU's Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criteria of 3% of GDP since 2000. Public debt, inflation, and unemployment are above the euro-zone average. To overcome these challenges, the Greek Government is expected to continue cutting government spending, reducing the size of the public sector, and reforming the labour and pension systems.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$236.8 billion (2005 est.)

Labour force:
total: 4.72 million
by occupation: services 68% agriculture 12% industry 20% (2004 est)

Unemployment rate: 9.9% (2005 est.)

Industries: tourism; food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products, mining, petroleum

Agriculture—products: wheat, corn, barley, sugar beet, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes, beef, dairy products

Exports:
total value: $18.54 billion (2005 est.)
commodities: food and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, textiles

Imports:
total value: $48.2 billion (2005 est.)
commodities: machinery, transport equipment, fuels, chemicals

Debt—external: $75.18 billion (2005 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: EU $8 billion (2000-6)

Currency: Euro

Internet Code: gr

Internet Hosts: 414,724 (2005)

Internet Users: 3.8 million (2005)

International dialling code:  +30 

  


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