Greece’s agricultural potential is hampered by poor soil, insufficient levels of precipitation, a landholding mechanism that has served to boost the variety of unproductive smallholdings, and populace migration from the landscape to cities and towns. Much less than one-third of the land area is cultivable, with the remainder consists of pasture, scrub, and also forest. Just in the plains of Thessalía, Makedonía, and also Thráki is cultivation feasible on a reasonably huge scale. Over there corn (maize), wheat, barley, street beets, peaches, tomatoes, cotton (of which greek is the only EU producer), and also tobacco room grown.
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port the Ýdra, Greece
The port of Ýdra (Hydra), Greece.
George Holton/Photo Researchers
Other crops grown in substantial quantities are olives (for olive oil), grapes, melons, potatoes, and oranges, every one of which room exported to various other EU countries. Due to the fact that the last quarter of the 20th century, Greece likewise has been exporting hothouse-grown vegetables to northern Europe during the winter. Greek wine, including the resin-flavoured retsina, has been produced primarily for residential consumption, however by the 1990s greek was creating wines of greater quality for the people market. Sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, and also chickens are increased for export and also local consumption.
Although inefficient, Greek farming has benefited significantly from EU subsidies, and there are countless signs of growing rural prosperity. In general, however, the prominence of the agricultural sector to the economic climate is diminishing.
Forests, mostly state-owned, cover about one-fifth of the soil area, yet they room prone to significant forest fires. Forest commodities make no far-ranging contribution come the economy.
Greece’s comprehensive coastline and numerous archipelago have always supported intensive fishing activity. However, overfishing and also the failure to maintain fish stocks properly, a difficulty throughout the Mediterranean, have decreased the contribution of fishing to the economy.
Resources and power
Greece has couple of natural resources. Its only an extensive mineral deposits space of nonferrous metals, significantly bauxite. The country additionally has small deposits of silver ore and marble, which are mined. Fossil fuels, with the exemption of lignite, are in short supply: there space no store of bituminous coal, and also oil production, based on the Prinos ar near the island that Thásos, is limited. After the Thásos discovery, a dispute emerged in the 1970s in between Greece and also Turkey over the delineation the the 2 countries’ particular continental shelves and has continued to be unresolved. In ~ the begin of the 21st century, about nine-tenths the Greece’s electrical power requirements were offered by fossil fuels (primarily by lignite-fueled power stations), and practically one-tenth by hydroelectric power, v a still considerably smaller slice detailed by atom energy. Native the late 1990s the nation began arising solar and also wind power.
The manufacturing sector in greek is weak. An created tradition exists just for the manufacturing of textiles, processed foods, and cement. Among the world’s biggest cement factory is located in Vólos. In the past, private investment was oriented much an ext toward actual estate than towards industry, and also concrete apartment blocks proliferated throughout the country. In the 1960s and ’70s Greek shipowners took benefit of one investment program that benefited from foreign capital by investing in such sectors as oil refining and also shipbuilding. Shipping proceeds to it is in a vital industrial sector—the vendor fleet being one of the biggest in the world—though countless of Greece’s ships are older than those of other leading countries. In the 1970s countless ships that had actually hitherto registered under flags of convenience returned to the Greek flag; only a little proportion remains under international registry. Greek ships, which are predominantly mass carriers, are incredibly vulnerable to downturns in international financial activity, as they space principally involved in transferring cargoes between arising countries. In the at an early stage 21st century around one-fifth that the labour pressure was to work in manufacturing and construction.
The central bank is the bank of Greece, which issued the drachma, the national currency, until 2001, when Greece adopted the euro as its single currency. Greece has actually been a member of the EU since 1981. A far-ranging number the the country’s commercial banks are state-controlled. The state additionally exercises substantial control over the insurance money sector.
There is a stock exchange in Athens, but, for many Greeks, genuine estate, foreign currency, gold, and jewelry have actually proved come be an ext attractive investments than securities and bonds. Back Greece has actually a pension and also social insurance system of substantial complexity, plenty of Greeks have actually opposed changes to it. Through the late 1990s the had come to be easier for Greeks to achieve their pensions and also get clinical care. The main social security fund, the society Insurance academy (IKA), is at risk to recurrent funding crises.
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Greece’s key trading partners are Italy, Germany, Turkey, Russia, and also Iraq. Its major exports encompass food (especially fruit and also nuts), clothing and apparel, machinery, and also refined petroleum and also petroleum-based products. Machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals and chemical products, foodstuffs, ships and also boats, and crude petroleum are the country’s key imports.