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Known as the “cradle of democracy,” Greece won its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829 and subsequently began adding neighboring islands and territories to its holdings. After a repressive military dictatorship ended in 1967, Greece began moving toward democracy and abolished the monarchy in 1974. Greece joined the European Community (EC) in 1981. Despite rich national resources that include lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, and the potential for developing hydropower, Greece is underdeveloped relative to other nations in the European Union.

Bordering the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas, Greece has 8,479 miles (13,676 kilometers) of coastline. As a result of the temperate climate, the country experiences mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Major environmental concerns include extensive air ...

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