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 1981, Greece joined the EC (now the EU); it became the 12th member of the European Economic and Monetary Union in 2001. Greece has suffered a severe economic crisis since late 2009, due to nearly a decade of chronic overspending and structural rigidities.
Beginning in 2010, Greece entered three bailout agreements - the first two with the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF; and the third in 2015 with the European Stability Mechanism - worth in total about $300 billion. The Greek Government formally exited the third bailout in August 2018.
Temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers
Greek 91.6%, Albanian 4.4%, other 4% (2011 est.)
The host often gives the first toast at Greek meals, but an honored guest should return the favor later on in the evening.
Moussaka — layers of sautéed eggplant and/or potatoes and spicy ground lamb topped with Béchamel sauce and baked
Tourism- and shipping-based EU economy; clientelism economic culture and systemic corruption; new structural reforms for fiscal solvency; high public debts and unemployment; increasing Chinese port control; oil and gas disputes with Turkey