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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 World War II, Greece was first invaded by Italy (1940) and subsequently occupied by Germany (1941-44); fighting endured in a protracted civil war between supporters of the king and other anti-Communists and Communist rebels. Following the latter's defeat in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. In 1967, a group of military officers seized power, establishing a military dictatorship that suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country. In 1974, democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy. In 1981, Greece joined the EC (now the EU); it became the 12th member of the European Economic and Monetary Union in 2001. In 2010, the prospect of a Greek default on its euro-denominated debt created severe strains within the EMU and raised the question of whether a member country might voluntarily leave the common currency or be removed.


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Military

Military branches
Hellenic Army (Ellinikos Stratos, ES), Hellenic Navy (Elliniko Polemiko Navtiko, EPN), Hellenic Air Force (Elliniki Polemiki Aeroporia, EPA) (2011)

Military service age and obligation
19-45 years of age for compulsory military service; during wartime the law allows for recruitment beginning January of the year of inductee's 18th birthday, thus including 17 year olds; 17 years of age for volunteers; conscript service obligation - 1 year for all services; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2008)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 2,485,389
Females age 16-49 2,469,854 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 2,032,378
Females age 16-49 2,016,552 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 52,754
Female 49,485 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 22
4.3% of GDP (2005 est.)


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  Greece (Athens):


  GPS points from Greece (Athens)

Skopi Greece (general)

Kakavi North Aegean

Ormos Boufalou Greece (general)

Kavos Mavrovrakhou Greece (general)

Kalamaki Bay Greece (general)


Sikidhia Crete

Akra Mouros Crete




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