Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Eleftheria i thanatos
Eleftheria i thanatos is the motto of Greece. The motto arose during the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s, where it was a war cry for the Greeks who rebelled against Ottoman rule, it was adopted after the Greek War of Independence. It is still in use today. There is a popular theory regarding the use of 9 stripes in the Greek flag, the five blue stripes for the syllables "Έλευθερία" and the four white stripes "ή Θάνατος"; the motto symbolized and still symbolizes the resolve of the people of Greece against tyranny and oppression. The Filiki Eteria as its emblem had the letters "ΗΕΑ" and "ΗΘΣ"; these are the letters of the words "Ή ΕλευθερίΑ" "Ή ΘάνατοΣ", which means "Either Freedom, or Death." This is the motto of the 4th Infantry Division of the Greek Army. Nikos Kazantzakis' novel Captain Michalis was subtitled Freedom or Death, which became its title in the United States, Germany and other countries. Give me liberty or give me death God Save the South, whose lyrics contain the battle cry "Freedom or death!"
Greek War of Independence Hymn to Liberty Liberté, égalité, fraternité Live free or die Thanatos
President of Greece
The President of the Hellenic Republic, colloquially referred to in English as the President of Greece, is the head of state of Greece. The President is elected by the Hellenic Parliament, his role is ceremonial since the 1986 constitutional reform; the office was formally established by the Constitution of Greece in 1975, but has antecedents in the Second Hellenic Republic of 1924–1935 and the republic established by the Greek military junta in 1973–1974. The incumbent, since 2015, is Prokopis Pavlopoulos, serving his first term in office; the president is the nominal commander-in-chief of the Greek Armed Forces and occupies the first place in the country's order of precedence. Although the Greek Constitution of 1974 vested him with considerable powers on paper, in practice the president took a ceremonial role; the president's role was formally brought into line with actual practice by the 1986 constitutional amendment, which reduced his official powers. According to Article 32 the Greek Constitution, the President is elected for a five-year term by the Hellenic Parliament in a special session at least a month before the incumbent's term expires.
Voting takes place in two phases, each maximally of three ballots, separated by no more than five days. The first and second ballots require a supermajority of 200 out of the 300-strong body, dropping to 180 on the third. In the event of a non-election after the third ballot, the parliament is to be dissolved and a snap election to be called within ten days. After the new parliament convenes, the second phase begins, with the required majority at 180 votes in the fourth ballot and a simple majority of 151 votes in the fifth ballot; the sixth and last ballot is contested between the two candidates with the most votes and decided by a relative majority. Before taking office, the President must recite an oath before Parliament: "I swear in the name of the Holy and Indivisible Trinity to safeguard the Constitution and the laws, to ensure their faithful observance, to defend the national independence and territorial integrity of the Country, to protect the rights and liberties of the Greeks and to serve the general interest and the progress of the Greek People."
The official residence of the President of Greece is the Presidential Mansion the New Royal Palace, in central Athens. The current Third Hellenic Republic was established in 1974 during the period of metapolitefsi, after the end of the Regime of the Colonels which had controlled Greece since the coup d'état of 21 April 1967. On 1 June 1973 the leader of the military junta and regent for the exiled King Constantine II, Georgios Papadopoulos, abolished the Greek monarchy and proclaimed himself President of the Republic. A staged referendum on 29 July 1973 confirmed the regime change, passed a new constitution which established a presidential republic; this attempt at controlled democratization was ended by Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannidis' overthrow of Papadopoulos in November 1973. The republic and its institutions were formally maintained, but was nothing more than a façade for the military regime. Lt. General Phaedon Gizikis was appointed President of the Republic, but power was in the hands of Ioannidis, who ruled behind the scenes.
After the fall of the junta and the return to civilian rule under Konstantinos Karamanlis in August 1974, the legal and constitutional acts of the military regime were deemed invalid, a new referendum was held on 8 December 1974, which confirmed the abolition of the monarchy. In the interim, remained in office as President. After the plebiscite, he was succeeded by Michail Stasinopoulos. A new constitution, promulgated on 11 June 1975, declared Greece a presidential parliamentary democracy; this constitution, revised in 1985, 2001, 2008, is still in force today. There are two living former Greek Presidents: List of heads of state of Greece List of Presidents of Greece by longevity
First National Assembly at Epidaurus
The First National Assembly of Epidaurus was the first meeting of the Greek National Assembly, a national representative political gathering of the Greek revolutionaries. The assembly opened in December 1821 at Piada, it was attended by representatives from regions involved in the revolution against Ottoman rule. The majority of the representatives were local notables and clergymen from the Peloponnese, Central Greece and the islands. In addition, a number of Phanariotes and academics attended. However, a number of prominent revolutionaries, including Alexander Ypsilantis and the most prominent military leaders were absent. Of the 59 representatives at the assembly, 20 were landowners, 13 were ship-owners, 12 were intellectuals, 4 were military leaders, 3 were archpriests, 3 were merchants, with and 4 others; the assembly passed a number of important documents, including: The Provisional Regime of Greece, sometimes translated as Temporary Constitution of Greece, which included a Declaration of Independence.
The Assembly elected a five-member executive on 15 January 1822, presided over by Alexandros Mavrocordatos. The executive in turn appointed the first government; the first legislature had 33 members. Another characteristic of the First National Assembly is the absence of any reference in the Constitution to the Filiki Eteria, although Dimitrios Ypsilantis, brother of Alexandros Ypsilantis and official representative of the Filiki Eteria, was appointed president of the legislature, a body controlled by the local notables
The Senate of the entire People of the Peloponnese provinces known as the Peloponnesian Senate, was a provisional regime that existed in the Peloponnese during the early stages of the Greek War of Independence. On 25 March 1821, a few days after the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in March 1821, the rebels of the southern Peloponnese, led by the Maniots, assembled at Kalamata and founded the Greek rebels' first organ of government, the Messenian Senate; as the uprising spread through Greece, the Messenian Senate's leader, Petrobey Mavromichalis, invited representatives from the rest of the Peloponnese in an assembly held at the Kaltetza Monastery. There, on 26 May the "Senate of the entire People of the Peloponnese provinces" known, from the legend on its seal, as the "Peloponnesian Senate" and as the "Senate of Kaltetza", was founded, with Bishop Theodoritos of Vresthena as president and Rigas Palamidis as secretary. Sotirios Charalambis, Athanasios Kanakaris, Anagnostis Deligiannis, Theocharis Rentis and Nikolaos Poniropoulos were members.
Unlike the modern concept of a "senate" as the upper body of parliament, the Peloponnesian Senate was both a legislative and executive organ. The Senate's constitutional charter was created on 15 December 1821. On 27 May 1821, the Senate moved its seat to the Chrysopege Monastery in Stemnitsa. After the capture of Tripolitsa in September, the Senate established itself in the town in February 1822; the Peloponnesian Senate continued in existence until it was dissolved by the Second National Assembly at Astros in April 1823
Second Hellenic Republic
The Second Hellenic Republic is a modern historiographical term used to refer to the Greek state during a period of republican governance between 1924 and 1935. To its contemporaries it was known as the Hellenic Republic or more as Greece, it occupied the coterminous territory of modern Greece and bordered Albania, Bulgaria and the Italian Aegean Islands. The term Second Republic is used to differentiate it from the Third republics; the fall of the monarchy was proclaimed by the country's parliament on 25 March 1924. A small country with a population of 6.2 million in 1928, it covered a total area of 130,199 km2. Over its eleven-year history, the Second Republic saw some of the most important historical events in modern Greek history emerge; the Second Hellenic Republic was abolished on 10 October 1935, its abolition was confirmed by referendum on 3 November of the same year, accepted as having been mired with electoral fraud. The fall of the Republic paved the way for Greece to become a totalitarian single-party state, when Ioannis Metaxas established the 4th of August Regime in 1936, lasting until the Axis occupation of Greece in 1941.
When the Republic was proclaimed on 25 March 1924, the official name adopted for the country was Hellenic State. However, the name was changed to Hellenic Republic on 24 May 1924 by vote of the Parliament. Accordingly, the title of the country's head of state was changed from Governor to President of the Republic; the collapse of the Hellenic Army in Asia Minor was followed by the collapse of the government. Public outrage at the Asia Minor disaster, as Greece's defeat in the war became known, was reflected in the military coup which followed it; the coup, orchestrated by army officers, took the name The Revolution. Although The Revolution itself did not abolish the monarchy, one of its first acts was to shut down all the royalist newspapers as well as use the Armed Forces to prosecute known royalists; the decision whether or not to abolish the monarchy is one which divided Greek society, as some Liberal Party supporters, including the Party's founder, Eleftherios Venizelos, spoke out in favour of retaining the monarchy as a safety net against instability.
After the defeat of Greece by the Turkish National Movement of 1922, the defeated army revolted against the royal government. Under Venizelist officers like Nikolaos Plastiras and Stylianos Gonatas, King Constantine I was again forced to abdicate, died in exile in 1923, his eldest son and successor, King George II, was soon after asked by the parliament to leave Greece so the nation could decide what form of government it should adopt. In a 1924 plebiscite, Greeks voted to create a republic; these events marked the culmination of a process that had begun in 1915 between King Constantine and his political nemesis, Eleftherios Venizelos. The Republic was proclaimed on 25 March 1924 by the Parliament. Following the proclamation of the change in form of government from constitutional monarchy to republic, a referendum was held proclaimed for 13 April 1924. Voters were asked whether they "approve of the decision of the National Assembly that Greece be reorganised into a Republic on the parliamentary model".
Voting was to be secret, although the requirement that "yes" votes be cast with white ballots and "no" votes with yellow ones defeated the purpose of secrecy. The results of the referendum were a clear victory for the Republican campaign: 69.9% in favour of a republic and 30.1% in favour of the monarchy. Newspapers from a wide range of the political spectrum noted a lack of violence, implying a lack of electoral intimidation in favour of one side or another; the newspaper Forward wrote that the vote was "historic for the order which prevailed during the voting time", Skrip commented that people refrained from "any action which could be seen as a provocation" and that "the military measures made this easier", while the Communist Party's Rizospastis commented on the "relative calm" that prevailed in the electoral district of Athens. Makedonia added that so many people disregarded the yellow "no" ballots, that the floors inside the electoral centers and the streets around were littered with them.
Meanwhile, the decree of 1924 "on the safeguard of the republican regime" introduced the jail sentence for a minimum of six months for advocating in public the return of the monarchy, disputing the results of the referendum or publishing slander against the founders of the republic. In an interview following the referendum, then-Prime Minister Alexandros Papanastasiou defended government plans to pass such a decree, saying that the government must be allowed to move forward with its reforms without any sort of hindrance for a limited amount of time; the fragile nature of the young Greek republic became evident from the first year of its
Third National Assembly at Troezen
The Third Greek National Assembly at Troezen was convened during the latter stages of the Greek Revolution. The long-delayed Third National Assembly was convened in April 1826 at Piada, but cut short by the news of the Fall of Missolonghi. Attempts to arrange a new Assembly in the autumn failed due to disagreements among the various factions. Instead, two rival assemblies were established at Kastri. After much deliberation, all parties agreed to participate in an assembly at Troezen. 168 delegates assembled there on 19 March 1827, under the chairmanship of Georgios Sisinis. Having suffered from internal dissensions, the Assembly decided to create a supreme post to preside over the Executive, creating thus the office of Governor of Greece, to which it elected the most distinguished Greek, Count John Capodistria, for a seven-year term, on April 3. A Governmental Commission was set up to administer Greece until his arrival. On 1 May, the Assembly approved by vote of the Political Constitution of Greece.
For the first time, the Constitution was not labeled "Provisional", signaling the Greek aspirations for complete independence from the Ottoman Empire. This Constitution consisted of 150 articles, it established key principles in Greek Constitutional history which remain to this day, such as the statement "Sovereignty lies with the people. It established a strict separation of powers, vesting the executive power to the Governor and assigning to the body of the representatives of the people, named Boule, the legislative power; the Governor only had a suspending veto on the bills, lacked the right to dissolve the Parliament. He was inviolable, while the Secretaries of the State, in other words the Ministers, assumed the responsibility for his public actions. On 4 May 1827, a day before its dissolution, the Assembly voted for establishing Nafplion as the capital of Greece and seat of both parliament and government