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Summary | Profile

Country profile: Greece

Location: Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey
Climate: temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers
Terrain: mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands
Size: 131940 sq. km total (Land area: 130800 sq. km  Water area: 1140
Population: 10,722,816 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Greek 99% (official), other 1% (includes English and French)
Government: parliamentary republic
Capital city: Athens
Legal system: based on codified Roman law; judiciary divided into civil, criminal, and administrative courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Currency: euro (EUR)

Country profile

In recent years, Greece has enjoyed strong economic growth and low inflation. In 2005, however, Greece's economy experienced a modest slowdown, with 3.7 percent real GDP growth, down from 4.2 percent in 2004. The contraction occurred following four years of high investment expenditures for the 2004 Olympics as well as high employment and low interest rates. The economy is expected to slow further due to high oil prices and the decline of the Euro against the US dollar, with a projected growth rate of 3.5 percent in 2006.

One of the smallest economies in the European Union (EU), Greece became the twelfth member of the Eurozone in January 2001. The government is undergoing an EU-imposed “excessive-deficit” procedure for misreporting its public finances as far back as 1997. In fact, had the true extent of its fiscal deficit been known, Greece would not have been allowed to adopt the euro in 2002. With its deficit reaching 6.6 percent of GDP in 2004 and 4.6 percent for 2005, Greece remains well above the 3 percent limit for Eurozone members. Although much of the deficit can be attributed to one-time spending in preparation for the 2004 Olympics, the fiscal corrections needed are substantial.

Since the mid-1990s, Greece has undertaken macroeconomic and structural reforms, including measures to reduce the size of the bureaucracy, expand privatization, and attract foreign investment. Both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have called for continued efforts in these areas. Although privatization of key utilities and industries has begun, these efforts are limited when compared to other Eurozone members.

Greatly improved relations between Greece and Turkey have allowed for more economic and energy cooperation. In March 2002, Greece and Turkey began discussions to resolve a decades-long disagreement over Aegean Sea boundaries. Greece has endorsed Turkey's bid for EU membership since 1999. Greece, which is a major investor in the former Yugoslavia, is working to integrate its energy infrastructure with the Balkan states. Improved relations with neighboring states could help Greece achieve its goal of becoming a major regional energy hub.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production: 5,687 bbl/day (2005 est.) 15 million cu m (2005 est.)
Consumption: 415,700 bbl/day (2005 est.) 2 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Exports: 119,200 bbl/day (2004 est.)  million cu m (2005 est.)
Imports: 550,400 bbl/day (2004 est.) 2 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Reserves: 7 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.) 950 million cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Major fields:

Greece - recent news

27 Feb 20
Greece: Energean to acquire Total's stake in Block 2, offshore Greece
Energean Oil and Gas has signed an agreement for the acquisition of Total’s stake in Block 2, offshore Western Greece, providing further material exploration opportunities in its core area of the Eastern Mediterranean with limited financial exposure.
05 Jan 20
Greece: Energean and DEPA agreement paves the way for commercial operation of EastMed pipeline
Energean and the Public Gas Corporation of Greece ('DEPA') have agreed to cooperate to further support the EastMed Pipeline Project. Energean and DEPA have signed a Letter of Intent for the potential sale and purchase of 2 BCM natural gas per annum from Energean’s gas fields offshore Israel.
08 Apr 19
Greece: Energean announces first oil from Epsilon extended reach well
Energean Oil and Gas has announced the successful completion of drilling operations of the extended reach well, EA-H3, at the Epsilon oil field in the Gulf of Kavala, Northern Greece. The well was brought into production on 1 April and is currently producing at a stable dry oil rate of more than 1,000 bopd on a restricted choke.
12 Sep 18
Greece: Energean considering farmout of its Katakolo development offshore Greece
Announcing its results for the half year ended 30 June 2018, Energean said it was considering a possible farm-down of its Katakolo development, offshore Greece.
06 Mar 18
Greece: Total consortium and Repsol consortium bid for blocks offshore Greece
Hellenic Petroleum, as part of a Total-ExxonMobil consortium and a Repsol consortium, has submitted offers for the Southwest and West of Crete blocks and the Ionian Sea block, following international tenders for the blocks announced last year.

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