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Backgrounder: Key facts about Greece

10-03-2010 15:47 BJT Special Report:Wen visits 4 European nations, attends 8th ASEM |

BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Greece is a country in southeast Europe, situated on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula.

It has a total area of 13.2 square km and a population of some 11 million, mainly Greeks, with the Greek Orthodox faith as the prevailing religion of the country. A large majority of the Greek people use Greek as their first or only language.

The Greek capital Athens is a world-renowned ancient city with a population of some 3.7 million.

Greece consists of a mountainous peninsula mainland jutting out into the sea and numerous islands, including Crete, Euboea, Lesbos, Chios, the Dodecanese and the Cycladic groups of the Aegean Sea as well as the Ionian Sea islands.

Greece has the tenth longest coastline in the world with 14,880km. Its land boundary is 1,160 km.

The shores of the Aegean sea saw the emergence of the first advanced civilization in Europe, the Minoan civilization in Crete and the Mycenean civilization on the mainland. Later, city-states emerged across the Greek peninsula and spread to the shores of Black Sea, South Italy and Asia Minor reaching great levels of prosperity that resulted in an unprecedented cultural boom, expressed in architecture, drama, science and philosophy.

Greece nurtured a group of philosophers, mathematicians and artists like Socrates, Plato, Euclid, and Pheidias. Greece is also the birthplace of world modern Olympic Games.

Chinese-Greek relations date back to June 5, 1972. In 2006, the two countries uplifted their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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