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greece


            Greece has an area of 50,949 square miles and is located at the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula. The area of Greece is approximately the same as England or the U.S. state of Alabama. Greece is located in Southern Europe between Albania and Turkey. The country is bordered to the west by the Ionian Sea, and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and to the east by the Aegean Sea. Its only land borders are to the North. The people of Greece usually experience mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. .
             Greece has three main elements: the sea, mountains, and the lowland. Arms and inlets of the sea go in so deeply that only a small, wedge-shaped portion of the interior mainland is more than fifty miles from the coast. Islands take up roughly 18% of modern Greece. Approximately eighty percent of Greece is mountain terrain. A series of mountain chains on the Greek mainland close in narrow parallel valleys and numerous small basins that used to hold lakes. The last main feature of the Greek landscape is the lowland. The lowland makes up about twenty percent of the land area and it has played an important role in the life of the country.
             Approximately eleven million people live in Greece today. Most Greeks belong to the Church of Greece (Greek Orthodox Church). The Muslim minority, which has most of the non-Orthodox group, is mainly Turkish. The rest are Roman and Greek Catholics, except for a few thousand people of Protestant churches and of Judaism. In terms of ethnic composition, Greeks make up all but a small part of the total, the remainder being Macedonians, Turks, Albanians, Bulgarians, Armenians, and Gypsies. .
             Greece adopted its present constitution in 1975. This document officially took out the monarchy that had ruled Greece, and it made the nation a Parliamentary Republic headed by a President. The constitution was amended in 1986 to limit the powers of the President. The President serves as head of state but mainly performs ceremonial duties.


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