Greece Overview

Greece Overview


Administrative changes. The number of provinces (νομοί) has risen to 38, having been divided into two (Achaea with 3500.5 sq. Km. And 190.422 residents, 54 per sq. Km. In 1928; Elis with 1847.5 sq. Km. And 130.201 pop., 70 per sq. km.), that of Achaia in the Peloponnese, and the new province of Kilkís (2407 sq. km. with 73.139 residents, 31 per sq. km.) created in Macedonia, mainly at the expense of that of Thessaloniki (6372.6 sq. km., with 472,023 residents, 74 per sq. Km.). As a consequence of this there were also small variations in the following provinces:

Population. – The calculations give, for the total of the kingdom, 6,746,020 residents at December 21, 1934 (51.81 per sq. km.) and 6,840,000 at December 31, 1935 (52.61 per sq. km.). The natural increase of the population, which until a few years ago placed Greece in first place in Europe after the USSR, has fluctuated significantly from one year to the next, as shown by the following indices (‰):

According to topschoolsintheusa, transoceanic emigration has been reduced to almost negligible figures: from 9,710 individuals in 1930 to less than 2,500 in 1934 and to just over 3,000 in 1935, mostly headed for the United States.

Economic conditions. – Major works have been undertaken and mostly completed for the reclamation of the territories of eastern Macedonia along the lower courses of Vardar (Thessaloniki) and Struma (Sérrai-Drama). The works involve an area of ​​over half a million hectares, of which just under half represent new arable land. At the same time, the construction of an artificial lake was completed in Maratona (2.4 million square meters and 42 million cubic meters) for the water supply of the capital which, after the accommodation of refugees from Asia Minor, constitutes, with Piraeus and the suburbs, an urban agglomeration of over one million residents.

The progress made in recent years in the agricultural sector has been remarkable; The most recent data compared with the average of the years 1930-34 are given for comparison.

Wine production rose to 3.6 million hl. in 1932, and 4.7 million in 1936; that of 1.3 million quintals of oil in 1933 contracted to 0.9 million in 1936. The consistency of the livestock patrimony (p. 797) in 1935 (in thousands of heads) was: sheep 8185; goats 5286; cattle 957; pigs 624; donkeys and mules 556; 361 horses; rabbits 562 (1933); poultry 11,502 (1933)

Commerce. – The strong imbalance between imports and exports, which has always characterized the country’s economy, persists and is accentuated in trade with foreign countries:

Merchant Navy. – The Greek navy as of June 30, 1937 consisted of 613 ships for 1,855,000 tons. gross (Lloyd’s Register, 1937-1938 edition) compared to 895,000 tons in 1925. Almost all steam ships: 587 ships per ton. 1,842,336; motor ships make up an insignificant figure: 13,099 tons; that is 0.7%, compared to the total tonnage, while the world share rises to 20.7%. The characteristic of this fleet continues to be constituted by the very high proportion of cargo ships – and by the very high age; the Greek tonnage under the age of 5, compared to its overall size, is only i%. In absolute terms, it can be said that 472,974 tons. under the Hellenic flag they count 20 and more years of age; 723.144 count 25 and more. But it should be noted that about 15 ships for 92 thousand gross tons are under construction in various foreign yards, on behalf of Greek shipowners.

Cargo ship revenues rose to £ 9 million in 1936 compared to £ 7,749,022 in 1936. The traditional spirit of initiative of Hellenic armament persists despite the difficulties. The plan to set up a national insurance company was resumed; strong hostilities raise the minimum freight schemes implemented by a part of the international armament, and to which the Greeks had already adhered. In 1936 the Greek government established a Undersecretariat for the Merchant Marine, virtually independent from the Ministry of the Navy, which began to implement a scheme of social legislation. In the same year, offers were requested for the recruitment of a Piraeus-New-York passenger line which should be subsidized.

Civil aviation. – It depends on the Ministry of Air (3rd section of the Directorate-General, Civil Aviation Service). The Aeroclub of Greece was created for the purpose of providing aeronautical propaganda in the nation. Under the auspices of the “Air League” sections have been created in Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Larissa and Corfu. Civil land airports are in Athens (Tatoi), Thessaloniki (Sédes) and Giannina; civil water stations in Athens (Falero), Thessaloniki (Mikrá), Corfu, Patras, Mirabello (Hágios Nikólaos, Crete), Hērákleion (Crete), Mytilene, Syros.

Constitutional order. – With the advent of the military government that came to power on 10 October 1935, the republican regime was overthrown. The plebiscite of the following November 3 decided the recall of King George II (of the house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg), and the restoration of the monarchical constitution of 1911. This, however, is now in the process of transformation. On 4 August 1936 the head of the government, Giovanni Metaxas, in agreement with the sovereign, dissolved the Chamber and proclaimed martial law, establishing a dictatorial regime.

Religion. – The hierarchy for Latin rite Catholics includes the immediately subject archbishopric of Athens (Latin metropolitan, 1205; re-established as archbishopric, 1875), and the ecclesiastical provinces of Corfu (1310), with Zakynthos (1212) and Kefalonia (sec. XIII; the three seats joined in 1919), of Naxos (13th century; underground, 1522) with Andro (?), Tino (9th century) and Micono (1400; the 4 seats joined in 1919) and suffraganians: Sira (13th century), with the administration of Milo, Santorino (1204), Scio or Chio (13th century). The diocese of Candia (metropolitan, 1213; re-established as a bishopric, 1874) is a suffragan of Smyrna. The archbishop of Athens is in charge of the administration of the apostolic vicariate of Thessaloniki (1926).

Armed Forces

Army. – The Greek army is currently on 4 army corps, 10 army corps infantry divisions, 3 autonomous infantry divisions and 1 cavalry division. Overall, the infantry amounts to 26 regiments (on 2 battalions of 3 rifle companies and 1 machine gunner each). 7 autonomous battalions, 2 regiments and 2 autonomous battalions of eúzonoi. The cavalry has 5 regiments, on two half regiments, each of 2 knight squadrons and 1 machine gun group. The artillery: 2 regiments of field artillery, 2 regiments and 2 autonomous groups of heavy artillery and 8 regiments and 3 autonomous groups of mountain artillery. The genius: 2 sapper regiments, 1 regiment and 1 autonomous telegraph battalion, 1 railwaymen regiment, 1 bridging battalion and 1 engineering squadron on horseback.

Navy. – Four 1350 ton destroyers have been ordered in England. and 35 knots, armed with 4/127 and 2 quadruple 533 launch tubes, autonomy 6000 miles at 15 knots (English type H). 4 submarines are designed.

Military aviation. – The Air Ministry, whose administration includes: a) a Directorate-General, whose head has jurisdiction over the following services, troop corps and aviation establishments, oversees the Greek military aviation, both land and sea: 1. state major general, which includes 5 offices: troop personnel and materials; information; organization and operations; instruction; independent office and mobilization; 2. office of legislation; 3. direction of civil aviation; 4. personnel management, to which the recruitment and health services are aggregated; 5. technical services; 6. administrative services. b) the meteorological service directly dependent on the Minister of Air.

The air forces include: 1 bomber squadron, the squadron, two squadrons terrestrial reconnaissance squadron 1 maritime reconnaissance.

In total, the Air Force has 72 war aircraft and 121 training aircraft at its disposal, including the reserve.

Greece has military airports in Thessaloniki (Sédes), Larissa and Athens (Tatoi); military seaplane base in Athens (Falero); makeshift camps in Dráma, Gorgópē, Ioannina, Atalántē, Halmyrós, Agrínion, Tanágra.

Finance. – The balance sheet figures since 1932 (in millions of drachmas) are given below.

As of March 31, 1937, the external debt (whose service has been suspended since 1932) was 37.2 billion and the internal debt 12.5 (of which 11, 1 consolidated).

Having abandoned convertibility in April 1932, the drachma continued to depreciate until a de facto stabilization occurred on 28 September 1936 which sanctioned a devaluation of about 59% and pegged the Greek currency to the pound sterling on the basis of 540. -550 drachmas for £ 1.

The currency control has been in force since September 1931. As of December 31, 1937, notes in circulation amounted to 6.8 billion and the gold and foreign exchange reserve was 3.5.

Among the credit institutions, the most important is the National Bank of Greece (1841), which in 1928 transferred its issuing privilege to the Bank of Greece; followed by the Bank of Athens (1893) and the Agrarian Bank (1929).

Greece Overview