National Day of Greece

Manila Bulletin, March 25, 2007 | Go to article overview
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National Day of Greece


GREECE celebrates its National Day today. Officially known as the Hellenic Republic, this southeastern European country occupies the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula and numerous islands. Athens is its capital and largest city.

The achievements of ancient Greece in art, architecture, science, mathematics, philosophy, drama, literature, and democracy have become legacies for succeeding ages. Greece reached the height of its glory and power, particularly in the Athenian citystate, in the fifth century B.C.

Greece fell under Roman rule in the second and first centuries B.C. In the fourth century A.D., it became part of the Byzantine Empire and after the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, of the Ottoman Empire.

The country won its war of independence against Turkey in 1829 and became a kingdom. A republic was established in 1924 and the monarchy was restored in 1935. George II, King of the Hellenes, resumed the throne.

After World War II, Greece has experienced rapid economic and social change. Tourism and shipping made major contributions to the Greek economy, which also benefited from payments arising from Greece's membership in the European Union (EU). The country's merchant ship fleet is one of the largest in the world.

Filipino officers and staff of about 7,000 make up the biggest nationality of the seamen manning Greek ships.

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