Area: 131,957 sq. km. (51,146 sq. mi.; roughly the size of Alabama).
Major cities: Capital--Athens. Greater Athens (pop. 3,566,060), municipality of Athens (772,072), Thessaloniki (749,048), Piraeus (182,671), Greater Piraeus (880,529), Patras (170,452), Larissa (113,090), Iraklion (132,117).
Terrain: Mountainous interior with coastal plains; 1,400-plus islands.
Climate: Mediterranean; mild, wet winter and hot, dry summer.
Population (March 2001 est.): 10,939,771 million.
Growth rate: 0.21%.
Languages: Greek 99% (official); English.
Religions: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other .7%.
Education: Years compulsory--9. Literacy--95%. All levels are free.
Health: Infant mortality rate--6/1,000. Life expectancy--male 76 years, female 81 years. Work force: 4.32 million.
Type: Parliamentary republic.
Constitution: June 11, 1975, amended March 1986, April 2001.
Branches: Executive--president (head of state), prime minister (head of government). Legislative--300-seat unicameral Vouli (parliament). Judicial--Supreme Court. Council of State.
Political parties: Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), New Democracy (ND), Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Coalition of the Left (SYNASPISMOS), Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI), Political Spring, and Movement of Free Citizens (KEP).
Administrative subdivisions: 13 peripheries (regional districts), 51 nomi (prefectures).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Economy (2001 est.)
GDP: $120 billion.
Per capita GDP: $11,350.9.
Growth rate: 3.5%.
Inflation rate: 3.5%.
Unemployment rate: 11%.
Natural resources: Bauxite, lignite, magnesite, oil, marble. Agriculture (8% of GDP): Products--sugar, beets, wheat, maize, tomatoes, olives, olive oil, grapes, raisins, wine, oranges, peaches, tobacco, cotton, livestock, dairy products.
Manufacturing (22% of GDP): Types--Processed foods, shoes, textiles, metals, chemicals, electrical equipment, cement, glass, transport equipment, petroleum products, construction, electrical power.
Services (70% of GDP): Transportation, tourism, communications, trade, banking, public administration, defense.
Trade: Exports--$11 billion: manufactured goods, food and beverages, petroleum products, cement, chemicals. Major markets--Germany, Italy, France, U.S., U.K. Imports--$28 billion: basic manufactures, food and animals, crude oil, chemicals, machinery, transport equipment. Major suppliers--Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Netherlands, U.S.
Greece is located in southeastern Europe, and is the only European Union member state on the Balkan Peninsula. The Greek mainland is bounded on the north by Bulgaria, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Albania; on the east by the Aegean Sea and Turkey; and on the west and south by the Ionian and Mediterranean Seas. The country consists of a large mainland; the Peloponnese Peninsula, connected to the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth; and more than 1,400 islands, including Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, and the Dodecanese and Cycladic groups. Greece has more than 14,880 kilometers (9,300 mi.) of coastline and a land boundary of 1,160 kilometers (726 mi.).
About 80% of Greece is mountainous or hilly. Much of the country is dry and rocky; only 28% of the land is arable. Western Greece contains lakes and wetlands. Pindus, the central mountain range, has an average elevation of 2,650m. Mt. Olympus, the legendary home of Zeus and other gods of Greek mythology, is the highest point in Greece at 2,917m above sea level.
Greece has mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Temperatures are rarely extreme, although snowfall does occur in the mountains and occasionally in Athens during the winter.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
Greece was inhabited as early as the Paleolithic period and by 3000 BC had become home, in the Cycladic Islands, to a culture whose art remains among the most evocative in world history. In the second millennium BC, the island of Crete nurtured the maritime empire of the Minoans, whose trade reached from Egypt to Sicily. The Minoans were supplanted by the Mycenaeans of the Greek mainland, who spoke a dialect of ancient Greek. During the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires (1st-19th centuries), Greece's ethnic composition became more diverse. Since independence in 1830 and an exchange of populations with Turkey in 1923, Greece has forged a national state which claims roots reaching back 3,000 years. The Greek language dates back at least 3,500 years, and modern Greek preserves many elements of its classical predecessor.
Greek education is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 15. English language study is compulsory from 4th grade through high school. University education, including books, is also free, contingent upon the student's ability to meet stiff entrance requirements. Overall responsibility for education rests with the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs. Private primary and secondary schools are under the authority of the Ministry of National Education. Control is mainly exercised in matters of curriculum and competence of teaching staff, as well as financial control in connection with fee collection and increases in fees. The Greek constitution does not permit the operation of private universities in Greece. Private colleges and universities (mostly foreign), however, do have campuses in Greece in spite of the fact that their degrees are not recognized by the Greek state.
Low salaries and recent legislation aimed at teacher evaluation have prompted a new wave of demonstrations and protests. Delay, on behalf of the state, to supply students with textbooks, lack of supplies, labs, and computers are matters of concern for Greek parents and educators.
A high percentage of the student population seeks higher education. About 295,000 students are registered at Greek universities, and 15% of the population currently holds a university degree. Entrance to a university is determined by state-administered exams, the candidate's grade-point average from high school, and his/her priority choices of major. About three in four candidates gain admission to Greek universities and/or technical educational institutions but rarely at the institution and major of their preference.
A large number of students, mainly those who are excluded from university admission or are admitted by less the respected technical educational institutions, pursue higher education abroad. When they return, they present their degrees to the official body of the Ministry of Education responsible for awarding recognition and equivalence of foreign university degrees. This body decides, through an evaluation procedure, whether to recognize degrees from specific foreign universities as a qualification for public sector hiring. Other students attend private, post-secondary educational institutions in Greece that are not recognized by the Greek Government.
The number of Greek students studying at European institutions is increasing along with EU support for educational exchange. In addition, nearly 5,000 Greeks are studying in the United States, about half of whom are in graduate school. Greek per capita student representation in the U.S. is the highest of any European country.
Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion in Greece and receives state funding. During the centuries of Ottoman domination, the Greek Orthodox Church preserved the Greek language and cultural identity and was an important rallying point in the struggle for independence. There is a Muslim religious minority concentrated in Thrace. Smaller religious communities in Greece include Old Calendar Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons.
The Greek media constitute a very influential institution--usually aggressive, sensationalist, and frequently irresponsible with regard to content. Objectivity as known to the U.S. media on the whole does not exist in the Greek media. Most of the media are owned by businessmen with extensive commercial interests in other sectors of the economy. They use their newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV channels to promote their commercial enterprises as well as to seek political influence.
In 1994, the Ministry of Press and Information was established to deal with media and communication issues. State broadcaster ERT--is nominally part of the Ministry, and operates three national television channels and five national radio channels. The Minister of Press also serves as the government spokesman.
The Ministry also administers the Athens News Agency (APE), whose daily Bulletin is a primary source of information for the Greek press. The same Ministry also issues the Macedonian News Agency (MPE) Bulletin, which is distributed throughout the Balkan region. For international news, CNN is a particular influence in the Greek market; the major TV channels often use it as a source. Few papers and stations have overseas correspondents, including in the United States.
In 1988, a new law provided the legal framework for the establishment of private radio stations and, as of 1989, private TV stations. According to the law, the National Radio and Television Council is in charge of allocating licenses to private TV and radio stations; in practice, however, official licensing has been delayed for many years. In 2001, the Council did decree that Athens was authorized to have 35 stations, a move which resulted in the closure of "pirate" radio stations operating from the top of Mt. Hymettos, one of the tallest points in Athens.
The Greek War of Independence began in 1821 and concluded in 1830 when England, France, and Russia forced the Ottoman Empire to grant Greece its independence under a European monarch, Bavarian prince Otto. He was deposed 30 years later, and the Great Powers chose a prince of the Danish House of Glucksberg as his successor. He became George I, King of the Hellenes.
At independence, Greece had an area of 47,515 square kilometers (18,346 square mi.), and its northern boundary extended from the Gulf of Volos to the Gulf of Arta. Under the influence of the "Meagali Idea," of expanding the Greek state to include all areas of Greek population, Greece aquired the Ionian Islands in 1864; Thessaly and part of Epirus in 1881; Macedonia, Crete, Epirus, and the Aegean Islands in 1913; Western Thrace in 1918; and the Dodecanese Islands in 1947.
Greece entered World War I in 1917 on the side of the Allies. After the war, Greece took part in the Allied occupation of Turkey, where many Greeks still lived. In 1921, the Greek army marched toward Ankara, but was defeated by Turkish forces led by Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk) and forced to withdraw. In a forced exchange of populations, more than 1.3 million Christian refugees from Turkey poured into Greece, creating enormous challenges for the Greek economy and society.
Greek politics, particularly between the two world wars, involved a struggle for power between monarchists and republicans. Greece was proclaimed a republic in 1924, but George II returned to the throne in 1935. A plebiscite in 1946 upheld the monarchy, which was finally abolished by referendum on December 8, 1974.
Greece's entry into World War II was precipitated by the Italian invasion on October 28, 1940. Despite Italian superiority in numbers and equipment, determined Greek defenders drove the invaders back into Albania. Hitler was forced to divert German troops to protect his southern flank and overran Greece in 1941. German forces withdrew in October 1944, and the government in exile returned to Athens.
After the German withdrawal, the principal Greek resistance movement, which was controlled by the communists, refused to disarm. A banned demonstration by resistance forces in Athens in December 1944 ended in battles with Greek Government and British forces. Continuing tensions led to the outbreak of full-fledged civil war in 1946. First the United Kingdom and later the U.S. gave extensive military and economic aid to the Greek government. In 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall implemented the Marshall Plan under President Truman, which focused on the economic recovery and the rebuilding of Europe. The U.S. contributed millions of dollars to rebuilding Greece in terms of buildings, agriculture, and industry.
In August 1949, the National Army forced the remaining insurgents to surrender or flee to Greece's communist neighbors. The insurgency resulted in 100,000 killed, 700,000 displaced persons inside the country, and catastrophic economic disruption. This civil war left deep political division in Greek society between leftist and rightist.
Greece became a member of NATO in 1952. From 1952 to late 1963, Greece was governed by conservative parties--the Greek Rally of Marshal Alexandros Papagos and its successor, the National Radical Union (ERE) of Constantine Karamanlis. In 1963, the Center Union Party of George Papandreou was elected and governed until July 1965. It was followed by a succession of unstable coalition governments.
On April 21, 1967, just before scheduled elections, a group of colonels led by Col. George Papadopoulos seized power in a coup d'etat. Civil liberties were suppressed, special military courts were established, and political parties were dissolved. Several thousand political opponents were imprisoned or exiled to remote Greek islands. In November 1973, following an uprising of students at the Athens Polytechnic University, Gen. Dimitrios Ioannides replaced Papadopoulos and tried to continue the dictatorship.
Gen. Ioannides' attempt in July 1974 to overthrow Archbishop Makarios, the President of Cyprus, brought Greece to the brink of war with Turkey, which invaded Cyprus and occupied part of the island. Senior Greek military officers then withdrew their support from the junta, which toppled. Leading citizens persuaded Karamanlis to return from exile in France to establish a government of national unity until elections could be held. Karamanlis' newly organized party, New Democracy (ND), won elections held in November 1974, and he became Prime Minister.
Following the 1974 referendum, which resulted in the rejection of the monarchy, a new constitution was approved by parliament on June 19, 1975, and parliament elected Constantine Tsatsos as president of the republic. In the parliamentary elections of 1977, New Democracy again won a majority of seats. In May 1980, Prime Minister Karamanlis was elected to succeed Tsatsos as president. George Rallis was then chosen party leader and succeeded Karamanlis as Prime Minister.
On January 1, 1981, Greece became the 10th member of the European Community (now the European Union). In parliamentary elections held on October 18, 1981, Greece elected its first socialist government when the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), led by Andreas Papandreou, won 172 of 300 seats. In 1985, Supreme Court Justice Christos Sartzetakis was elected president by the Greek parliament.
Greece had two rounds of parliamentary elections in 1989; both produced weak coalition governments with limited mandates. In the April 1990 election, ND won 150 seats and subsequently gained 2 others. After Mitsotakis fired his Foreign Minister, Andonis Samaras in 1992, the rift led to the collapse of the ND government and new elections in September 1993 won again by Andreas Papandreou's PASOK.
On January 17, 1996, following a protracted illness, Prime Minister Papandreou resigned and was replaced as Prime Minister by former Minister of Industry Constantine Simitis. In elections held in September 1996, Constantine Simitis was elected Prime Minister. In April 2000, Simitis and PASOK won again by a narrow margin, gaining 158 seats to ND's 125. New elections must be held no later than spring 2004.
The Greek constitution, amended most recently in 2001, establishes Greece as a parliamentary democracy led by a strong prime minister, usually the head of the party with a majority in the 300-seat parliament. The members of parliament are elected to a four-year term through universal, mandatory voting by secret ballot. The results are based on a reinforced proportional system designed to increase the likelihood of an outright majority for the party with the plurality of votes. A party must receive 3% of the total national vote to qualify for seats. The President, elected by a reinforced majority of the parliament to a 5-year term, has primarily ceremonial functions.
Greece has a strongly centralized administrative system despite European Union (EU) efforts to devolve power to elected regional officials. The country is divided into 51 prefectures (nomarchies), each headed by a prefect (nomarch), who is elected by direct popular vote. Above them are 13 regional administrative regions (peripheries), headed by a regional governor (periferiarch), appointed by the Minister of the Interior. In northern Greece and in greater Athens, three areas have an additional administrative position between the nomarch and periferiarch, the"super nomarch," also elected by direct popular vote. Although municipalities and villages have elected officials, they do not have an adequate independent tax base and depend on the central government for a large part of their financial needs. Consequently they are subject to numerous central government controls. Recent reforms have strengthened appointed regional secretaries at the expense of elected "nomarchs," a trend that runs counter to EU intent.
Greece will host the Olympic Games in Athens August 13-29, 2004. Amid growing concerns about construction deadlines and cost overruns, Prime Minister Simitis appointed Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki, who led Greece's bid to host the Olympics, as coordinator of the Athens Olympic Organizing Committee (ATHOC). Security of the games is a key factor of international attention.
Principal Government Officials
Prime Minister--Costas Simitis
Foreign Minister--George Papandreou
Ambassador to the United States--Georgios Savvaidis
Ambassador to the United Nations--Elias Gounaris
Greece's embassy in the United States is located at 2221 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008; tel: (202) 939-5800; fax: (202) 939-5824.
The government has succeeded in reducing budget deficits and inflation, two key factors that allowed Greece to join the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on January 1, 2001. On January 1, 2002, Greece, along with 11 out of its 14 EU partners, adopted the euro as its new common currency. The euro is expected to boost trade, help dismantle the last remaining market barriers within the EU, and stimulate production.
The Greek economy is expected to grow 3.5% in 2002 and continue at robust rates above projected EU averages. Years of austerity and reform programs, however, have increased unemployment in some sectors. Foreign investment also has dropped and efforts to revive it have been only partially successful. Greece's large general government debt is projected to drop to 99% of GDP ($135 billion euros) in 2002. Many structural problems persist and privatization of the telecommunications, banking, aerospace and energy sectors has not moved at the pace originally proposed.
Services make up the largest and fastest-growing sector of the Greek economy. Tourism is a major source of foreign exchange earnings, although the industry has been slow to expand and suffers from poor infrastructure. About 12 million tourists visited Greece in 2001 with net revenues exceeding five billion euros. Industrial activity posted increases for the seventh year in a row, rising by 6.1% in 2000. Greece's food industry is expanding rapidly to support new markets in neighboring countries. High-technology equipment production, especially for telecommunications, is also a fast-growing sector. Agriculture employs about 15% of the work force and is still characterized by small farms and low capital investment, despite significant support from the EU in structural funds and subsidies. Traditionally a seafaring nation, the Greek merchant fleet totaled 5,101 ships in 2000, with 1,850 registered under the Greek flag.
European Union (EU) Membership
Greece has realigned its economy as part of an extended transition to full EU membership that began in 1981. Greece will assume the rotating EU presidency in the first half of 2003. Greek businesses continue to adjust to competition from EU firms and the government has had to liberalize its economic and commercial regulations and practices. Greece has been granted waivers from certain aspects of the EU's 1992 single-market program.
Greece has been a net beneficiary of the EU budget; in 2001 EU transfers accounted for 3.4% of GDP. From 1994-99, about $20 billion in EU structural funds were spent on projects to modernize and develop Greece's transportation network in time for the Olympics in 2004. The centerpiece was the construction of the new international airport near Athens, which opened in March 2001 soon after the launch of the new Athens subway system.
EU transfers to Greece are to phase out over the next decade, when the last of some $24 billion in structural funds are disbursed by 2006. These funds contribute significantly to Greece's current accounts balance and further reduce the state budget deficit. In addition, EU funds will continue to finance major public works and economic development projects, upgrade competitiveness and human resources, improve living conditions, and address disparities between poorer and more developed regions of the country.
In 2001, the U.S. trade surplus with Greece was about $630 million. Although there are no significant nontariff barriers to American exports, the U.S. accounted for only 4% of Greece's imports in 2000, which totaled about $28.5 billion. The top U.S. exports remain defense and related contracts, although American business activity is expected to grow in the tourism development, medical, construction, food processing and packaging and franchising sectors. U.S. companies are involved in Greece's on-going privatization efforts; further deregulation of Greece's energy sector and the country's central location as a transportation hub for Europe may offer additional opportunities in electricity, gas, refinery and related sectors.
Greece's foreign policy is increasingly aligned with that of its European partners. Greece gives particular emphasis to its close relations with Cyprus, but has growing political and economic ties with the Balkan countries and the Middle East.
Greece maintains full diplomatic, political, and economic relations with its south-central European neighbors. It provides peacekeeping contingents for Bosnia and Kosovo. Greece has good relations with Russia and has opened embassies in a number of the former Soviet republics, which it sees as potentially important trading partners.
Prominent issues in Greek foreign policy include a dispute over the name of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M.), the enduring Cyprus problem, Greek-Turkish differences over the Aegean, and Greek-American relations.
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M.) Greek refusal to recognize F.Y.R.O.M. under the name "Republic of Macedonia" has been an important issue in Greek politics since 1992. Greece was adamantly opposed to the use of the name "Macedonia" by the government in Skopje, claiming that the name is intrinsically Greek and should not be used by a foreign country. Mediation efforts by the UN, U.S., and EU brokered an interim agreement between Greece and FYROM in September 1995. Talks on the name question continue under UN auspices.
Greece restored diplomatic relations with Albania in 1971, but the Greek Government did not formally lift the state of war, declared during World War II, until 1987. After the fall of the Albanian communist regime in 1991, relations between Athens and Tirana became increasingly strained because of allegations of mistreatment by Albanian authorities of the Greek ethnic minority in southern Albania. A wave of Albanian illegal economic migrants to Greece exacerbated tensions. Cooperation between Greece and Albania is improving, with efforts focused on regional issues, such as narcotics trafficking and illegal immigration. However, tensions hover just below the surface. Greece remains host to 600,000-800,000 Albanian immigrants, many of them illegal. Albanian crime in Greece often attracts headlines.
For historical reasons, most Greeks see Turkey as the major potential threat to their security. Greece and Turkey have unresolved but manageable disagreements regarding the Aegean and treatment of Greek minority in Istanbul and the Muslim (primarily ethnic Turkish) minority in western Thrace. The largest source of tension in their relationship since the 1950s has been the Cyprus conflict. Greece blames Turkey for the continuing division of the island between Greek and Turkish Cypriots since 1974, and firmly supports the Greek Cypriot quest for a federal solution to the conflict based on relevant United Nations resolutions.
At times over the past three decades, tensions between Greece and Turkey have almost reached the point of armed confrontation, usually caused by one side or the other's attempting to clarify an ambiguous status quo in the Aegean. In 1996, President Clinton intervened to help avert a possible armed exchange after Greek and Turkish journalists generated a dispute over ownership of an uninhabited rock called Imia. A significant breakthrough in relations took place with the major earthquakes that hit Turkey and Greece in 1999. Both countries and peoples responded generously to the other's need, helping turn around official perceptions that rapprochement was politically too risky. Since that time, Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers George Papandreou and Ismail Cem have steadily increased the quantity and quality of bilateral exchanges, both official and unofficial.
A crucial step toward a more positive relationship was the Helsinki EU Summit in December 1999, when Greece endorsed Turkey's bid for candidacy to the European Union. Since that time, Greece has contributed significantly to Turkey-EU dialogue, but with the expectation that improved relations would facilitate progress on Cyprus and the Aegean. Greeks are divided on whether Turkey has responded adequately, but are still convinced that Greece's long-term interests are best served by Turkey's successfully fulfilling the requirements for European Union membership.
Greece's main foreign policy goal in 2002 is to assure Cyprus's accession to the European Union by 2004, preferably but not necessarily with the Cyprus conflict resolved. This has caused friction with Turkey, which feels that entry of Cyprus into the EU without the consent of the Turkish Cypriots would violate treaty obligations and be dangerously destabilizing. Greece and Turkey both welcomed the decision of Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash late in 2001 to launch direct talks with President Cleridis, the leader of the Greek Cypriots, in hopes of finding a settlement that would eliminate this potentially serious threat to Turkey's relations with the EU.
At the end of 2001, Greece was blocking a compromise agreement on relations between NATO and the planned European Rapid Reaction force under the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) umbrella. Greece felt Turkey's desired level of participation in ESDP decisionmaking undermined the autonomy of this force, but agreed on the need for a mutually acceptable solution.
The Middle East
Greece has a special interest in the Middle East because of its geographic position and its economic and historic ties to the area. Greece cooperated with allied forces during the 1990-91 Persian Gulf war. Since 1994, Greece has signed defense cooperation agreements with Israel and Egypt. In recent years, Greek leaders have hosted several meetings of Israeli and Palestinian politicians to contribute to the peace process. Greece has been traditionally supportive of Palestinian claims. However, beginning in the late 1990s, efforts to strike a more balanced relationship with Israel received a boost. Greek-Israeli relations have been complicated by Israel's strategic cooperation with Turkey.
The U.S. and Greece have longstanding historical, political, and cultural ties based on a common heritage, shared democratic values, and participation as Allies during World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Cold War. The Greek Government responded to the September 11, 2001 attacks with strong political support for the United States, unimpeded use of Greek airspace, and the offer of some Greek military assets in support of the counterterrorism campaign. In the summer of 2002, the Greek authorities captured several suspected members of the terrorist group "17 November," the first significant breakin the investigation of the group, which has killed five U.S. mission employees since 1975. Currently there is smooth cooperation between U.S. and Greek counter-terrorism officials.
About 1.1 million Americans are of Greek origin. The large, well-organized Greek-American community in the U.S. cultivates close political and cultural ties with Greece. Greece has the seventh-largest population of U.S. Social Security beneficiaries in the world.
The U.S. has provided Greece with more than $11.1 billion in economic and security assistance since 1946. Economic programs were phased out by 1962, but military financial assistance continued until the early 1990s.
In 1953, the first defense cooperation agreement between Greece and the United States was signed, providing for the establishment and operation of American military installations on Greek territory. The U.S. closed three of its bases in the 1990s. The current mutual defense cooperation agreement (MDCA) provides for the operation by the U.S. of a naval support facility that exploits the strategically located deep water port and airfield at Souda Bay in Crete.
Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Thomas J. Miller
Deputy Chief of Mission--J. Michael Cleverley
Political Counselor--Matthias Mittman (acting)
Economic Counselor--John Stepanchuk
Principal Commercial Officer--Walter Hage
Consul General--Hilarion Martinez
Consul General, Thessaloniki--John Koenig
Regional Security Officer--William Gaskill
Agricultural Officer--Lisa Hardy-Bass (resident in Rome)
Public Affairs Officer--Sandra Kaiser
The U.S. Embassy in Greece is located at 91 Vasilissis Sophias Blvd., 10160 Athens; tel:  (210) 721-2951 or 721-8401, after hours 722-3652; fax:  (10) 645-6282. The U.S. Consulate General for Thessaloniki is located at 43 Tsimiski Street, 546 23 Thessaloniki; tel:  (2310) 242-905 or 721-2951, ext. 2400; fax:  (2310) 242-927, 242-924. The Internet address for the U.S. embassy is www.usembassy.gr; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.