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Greece: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Hellenic Republic
conventional short form: Greece
local long form: Elliniki Dimokratia
local short form: Ellas or Ellada
former: Kingdom of Greece
CapitalAthens Athens+Greece
geographic coordinates: 37 59 N, 23 44 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions13 regions (perifereies, singular - perifereia) and 1 autonomous monastic state* (aftonomi monastiki politeia); Agion Oros* (Mount Athos), Anatoliki Makedonia kai Thraki (East Macedonia and Thrace), Attiki (Attica), Dytiki Ellada (West Greece), Dytiki Makedonia (West Macedonia), Ionia Nisia (Ionian Islands), Ipeiros (Epirus), Kentriki Makedonia (Central Macedonia), Kriti (Crete), Notio Aigaio (South Aegean), Peloponnisos (Peloponnese), Sterea Ellada (Central Greece), Thessalia (Thessaly), Voreio Aigaio (North Aegean)
Constitutionmany previous; latest entered into force 11 June 1975; amended 1986, 2001, 2008 (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: President Karolos PAPOULIAS (since 12 March 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Antonis SAMARAS (since 20 June 2012)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 3 February 2010 (next to be held by February 2015); president appoints leader of the party securing plurality of vote in election to become prime minister and form a government
election results: Karolos PAPOULIAS reelected president; number of parliamentary votes - 266 out of 300
Flag descriptionnine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white; a blue square bearing a white cross appears in the upper hoist-side corner; the cross symbolizes Greek Orthodoxy, the established religion of the country; there is no agreed upon meaning for the nine stripes or for the colors; the exact shade of blue has never been set by law and has varied from a light to a dark blue over time
Independence1830 (from the Ottoman Empire)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Hellenic Supreme Court of Civil and Penal Law (consists of 56 judges)
judge selection and term of office: judges selected by the Supreme Judicial Council which includes the president of the Supreme Court, other judges, and the prosecutor of the Supreme Court; judges appointed for life following a 2-year probationary period
subordinate courts: Supreme Administrative Court; Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; Court of Auditors
Legal systemcivil legal system based on Roman law
Legislative branchunicameral Hellenic Parliament or Vouli ton Ellinon (300 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 17 June 2012 (next scheduled to be held by 2016); note - there was a legislative election on 6 May 2012 in which none of the leaders of the top three parties (New Democracy, Coalition of the Radical Left, and the Panhellenic Socialist Movement) were able to form a government
election results: percent of vote by party - ND 29.7%, SYRIZA 26.9%, PASOK 12.3%, ANEL 7.5%, Golden Dawn 6.9%, DIMAR 6.3%, KKE 4.5%, other 6.0%; seats by party - ND 129, SYRIZA 71, PASOK 33, ANEL 20, Golden Dawn 18, DIMAR 17, KKE 12; note - only parties surpassing a 3% threshold are entitled to parliamentary seats; parties need 10 seats to become formal parliamentary groups, but can retain that status if the party participated in the last election and received the minimum 3% threshold; note - as of 20 January 2014 the composition of the Parliament was ND 126, SYRIZA 71, PASOK 27, ANEL 17, Golden Dawn 18, DIMAR 14, KKE 12, Independent Democratic Deputies 11, independents 4
International organization participationAustralia Group, BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
National holidayIndependence Day, 25 March (1821)
Political pressure groups and leadersSupreme Administration of Civil Servants Unions or ADEDY (Spyros PAPASPYROS)
Federation of Greek Industries or SEV (Dimitris DASKALOPOULOS)
General Confederation of Greek Workers or GSEE (Ioannis PANAGOPOULOS)
Political parties and leadersAnticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow or ANTARSYA (Petros KONSTANTINOU)
Coalition of the Radical Left or SYRIZA (Alexis TSIPRAS)
Communist Party of Greece or KKE (Dimitris KOUTSOUMBAS)
Democratic Left or DIMAR (Fotis KOUVELIS)
Ecologist Greens (Nikos CHRYSOGELOS)
Golden Dawn (Nikolaos MICHALOLIAKOS)
Independent Greeks or ANEL (Panagiotis (Panos) KAMMENOS)
New Democracy or ND (Antonis SAMARAS)
Panhellenic Socialist Movement or PASOK (Evangelos VENIZELOS)
Popular Orthodox Rally or LAOS (Georgios KARATZAFERIS)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Government typeparliamentary republic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Christos P. PANAGOPOULOUS (since 17 September 2012)
chancery: 2217 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 939-1300
FAX: (1) (202) 939-1324
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa (FL), San Francisco
consulate(s): Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans
National anthemname: "Ymnos eis tin Eleftherian" (Hymn to Liberty)
lyrics/music: Dionysios SOLOMOS/Nikolaos MANTZAROS
note: adopted 1864; the anthem is based on a 158 verse poem by the same name, which was inspired by the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottomans; Cyprus also uses "Hymn to Liberty" as its anthem
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Greek cross (white cross on blue field; arms equal length)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador David D. PEARCE (since 5 September 2013)
embassy: 91 Vasillisis Sophias Avenue, 10160 Athens
mailing address: PSC 108, APO AE 09842-0108
telephone: (30) (210) 721-2951
FAX: (30) (210) 645-6282
consulate(s) general: Thessaloniki (2012)