Religion in Greece
Almost the entire population of Greece professes Orthodoxy. According to the Constitution, Orthodox Christianity is the state religion.
Plant and Animal World in Greece
According to ancient records, Greece in antiquity was covered with forests, but they were brought to naught even in those distant times. The original forest cover has been preserved on the higher and more inaccessible slopes of Pindus, Olympus and the Rhodope Mountains. Forests of oak, beech, hornbeam and chestnut grow there, conifers appear higher up. The foothills of the mountains are occupied by thickets of strawberries, myrtle, rockroses, tree heather, wild pistachios, wild olives, rosemary, junipers, called maquis. Most of the wild animals disappeared along with the forests. Of the predatory mammals in the mountains, there are jackals, foxes, wild forest cats, brown bears, and wolves. Lots of snakes, lizards, turtles. There are endemics – stone goat, gray hamster, in coastal waters – monk seal. National parks of Greece – Olympus, Parnassus (in mainland Greece) and Samaria (on Crete)
Minerals in Greece
Greece is not rich in mineral resources and fuel. There are soft lignite coals. But there are no economically viable deposits. There is oil in the northwest, and the bottom of the Aegean gives the country oil and gas on a commercial scale. Water resources are scarce, because the rivers in Greece are small in size and the volume of their waters depends on the season. But Greece is rich in iron ore and bauxite.
Banks in Greece
The working day of Greek banks is very short – from 8:00 to 13:00, at the latest – until 14:00. Exchange offices are open until 20.00 even on weekends, but from 1 to 2% is charged for the exchange operation. There are many ATMs in the country that accept Visa, MasterCard, etc. Traveler’s checks are also widely used.
Money in Greece
Since 2002, a new currency has been introduced in Greece – the euro. Only euros and credit cards are accepted everywhere. Euros can be easily bought at exchange offices, including at a hotel, and exchanged back into dollars when leaving the country. Banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros and coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents are used. There are 100 cents in one euro. There is no “black market” for currency exchange.
Fur shops often accept US dollars for payment.
The old currency, the drachma, has no purchasing power, but it can be exchanged at banks for the new one.
Rate: 1 Euro (EUR) = 1.05 USD
Political State in Greece
According to the 1975 constitution, Greece has a parliamentary form of government. The head of government is the prime minister, the head of the party that has the most seats in parliament. The government headed by the prime minister is responsible to the parliament. Parliament consists of one chamber with up to 300 deputies elected for a term of four years.
According to politicsezine, the head of state is the president, who is elected by parliament for a term of five years and may be re-elected for another term. The President is empowered to declare war and conclude treaties with other countries. He appoints the prime minister and, on the recommendation of the latter, the other members of the government. The President may call special sittings of Parliament and dissolve it on the proposal of the government or with the consent of the Council of the Republic.
Population in Greece
The population of Greece is about 11 million people, of which 1.4 million are on the islands. About 95% of the citizens are Greeks by nationality, the rest is represented by Turks, Macedonians, Albanians, Armenians, Russians.
The official language is Greek, but there are also English, French, German, Italian. In some shops and hotels, the staff speaks Russian.
Cuisine in Greece
In Greece, they prefer healthy food with a low content of animal fats. This country is famous for its traditional fish and vegetable dishes.
A traditional Greek meal begins with appetizers and salads. The most famous salad (which we call “Greek”) is the “village” salad or horiatiki salad. It consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, olives and soft sheep’s cheese – feta, cut into large pieces. Of the vegetables, the most common are eggplants, which are stewed or fried, caviar is also prepared from them.
The main course is fish.
Fish is prepared and served in a variety of ways: hot, cold, fried, baked, stewed, stuffed, stuffed for other dishes, dried, smoked, salted, marinated. Particular attention should be paid to seafood, which are served and prepared in a variety of ways. But these dishes are quite expensive.
Greek sauces for fish and vegetables are very famous: tzatziki (or tzatziki – yogurt sauce with cucumbers and garlic) and tarmosalata (based on fish caviar).
Meat is also popular in the country. It is cooked on coals or on a spit. Stifado – beef or rabbit in a pot cooked with coriander and red wine.
Souvlaki is pork skewers.
First courses (soups, broths) are not very popular in the country due to the hot climate. Tea is considered by the Greeks as a medicine, which is usually used for colds. Their traditional hot drink is strong flavored oriental coffee. It is prepared without additives and drunk in small sips with mineral water. National spirits are raki (grape vodka), ouzo (aniseed vodka) and, of course, a variety of wines.
Dessert is usually served with fruits (watermelons, melons, peaches, apricots, grapes), nut rolls made from baklava thin phyllo dough, or yogurt with honey.
In Greek cities, eateries, barbecues, pastry shops, coffee houses, bars, wine glasses and other places of public catering are literally at every turn.