Natural resources and energy
Greece has quite a lot of minerals. Nevertheless, in the 2010s, the mining industry accounted for less than half a percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and employed an equally small share of the labor force.
The extraction of bauxite for aluminum production and of lignite matters most for the economy. The coal is mainly produced in Macedonia and in the southern mainland. Marble, magnesite, silver, iron, nickel and pumice are also mined.
- COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Greece with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Greece is one of the countries in Europe that consumes least energy. Imported oil and a much smaller portion of natural gas account for three quarters of the energy supply. In the country, energy is mainly extracted from lignite, natural gas and oil. The oil and gas are extracted from a deposit in the northeastern Aegean Sea. Sun, wind and water are also used, mainly on the islands. Domestic energy accounts for a quarter of energy consumption.
An oil pipeline runs to Greece from Turkey. Refineries are located in Athens and Corinth.
Electricity is generated mainly in coal, oil or natural gas fired heat plants. Hydropower accounts for a smaller part, as does solar and wind power.
- Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, GR stands for Greece. Visit itypeusa for more information about Greece.
The country’s economic crisis has created problems for the electricity supply, when private electricity producers went bankrupt or found it difficult to pay their bills to the state supplier of natural gas, which in turn was unable to pay their foreign suppliers.
FACTS – ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
2,182 kilograms of oil equivalent (2015)
Electricity consumption per person
5063 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
67 319 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
6.2 tons (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
17.2 percent (2015)
Italy and Greece conclude agreements on offshore zones
Italy and Greece’s foreign ministers sign an agreement on the countries’ economic zones in the Ionian Sea between the countries, thereby resolving fishing rights disputes. The agreement is based on a previous agreement between the countries from 1977 and must be ratified by the parliaments before it can enter into force. An agreement between Turkey and Libya on sea borders, which annoyed the Greek government, is believed to have driven the agreement between Greece and Italy.
Greece extends restrictions on migrant camps
Although the rest of society is now reopened, restrictions on refugee camps will remain. On March 21, the government introduced quarantine rules to stop the spread of the corona virus in refugee camps on Greek islands. Greece has so far managed to prevent a greater spread of virus in the country and so far almost 3000 inhabitants have been infected and 180 people have died of the covid-19 disease caused by the corona virus. From mid-June, flights will gradually start to operate again in Athens and Thessaloniki airports, while smaller airports will open from July 1. Travelers who come from areas that are highly contagious will have to spend one to two weeks in quarantine.
EU countries receive unaccompanied refugee children
The transfer of the first young unaccompanied migrants from refugee camps on the islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios begins with twelve children being allowed to go to Luxembourg. The next step is for about 50 children to be received by Germany. In March, some EU countries pledged to receive a total of 1,600 unaccompanied children and teenagers as part of a cooperation initiative between the European Commission and the Greek authorities, which is also supported by UNHCR and other migrant organizations. Greece has been criticized for the over 5,000 underage migrants living in the country living in difficult conditions, in refugee camps but sometimes even in police detention. The corona crisis has exacerbated the problems of not least crowding in refugee camps, as outbreaks of viruses have forced premises to close.
Greeks should stay home to prevent corona spread
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announces the introduction of new strict rules for staying outside the home. It is only allowed to go outside the home to get to work, shop for food and medicines, visit doctors and for exercise outdoors. Those who venture out must bring a certificate and identification. Failure to comply can result in a fine of 150 euros. To date, 15 people have died of covid-19 disease.
China grants half a million respirators
The medical services that are still struggling with the suites after the debt crisis are expected to lack medical equipment needed for the care of people who have covid-19 disease. Not least, facial protection is expected to be a scarce commodity, which means that a state-owned Chinese electricity company and the partially Chinese-owned electricity company Admie in Greece donate over 500,000 facial protection to health care.
Several measures to stop corona spread
The authorities announce that the country’s borders against Albania and Northern Macedonia will be closed and that cruise ships will not be allowed to add at Greek ports. Already, all shops except grocery stores and pharmacies have been closed as well as schools, universities, cinemas and sports facilities. The measures are taken in an attempt to limit the spread of the corona virus. According to the reports, three hundred people have so far fallen ill.
Greece faces temporary suspension of asylum handling
Prime Minister Mitsotakis announces that no asylum cases will be received for a month to come. The decision is a way for Greece to deal with the crisis at the border with Turkey, where thousands of migrants from the neighboring country want to cross the border to Greece and the EU. UN Refugee Organization UNHCR criticizes the decision to violate the 1951 Refugee Convention as well as the EU Refugee Law.
Migrants in Turkey are stopped at the border
According to the UN, at least 13,000 migrants have gathered at the border between Greece and Turkey. The border has been opened by Turkey to allow Syrian refugees to enter the EU. Greek border posts are said to have used tear gas to prevent migrants from entering the country illegally. About 3.6 million Syrian refugees are in Turkey, which in an agreement with the EU from 2016 promised to take care of the migrants in exchange for financial support.
New protests against refugee camps on Greek islands
Residents of Lesbos, Chios and Samos strike again in protest of the government’s plans to continue to have refugee camps in the islands. The existing camps, which are not enough for all the asylum seekers who come to the country, will be replaced with new premises with greater capacity during 2020. However, the islanders are critical of the plans and only want to accept smaller facilities where asylum seekers are received and then forwarded or sent. back to Turkey.
Protests against refugee camps in Lesbos, Samos and Chios
Thousands of islanders live on three islands in the Greek island world – Lesbos, Samos and Chios, where the government has placed large camps for migrants – organizing a general strike with closures of shops and means of transport while demonstrations are being held. Residents are protesting against the government’s plans to build new large refugee camps on the islands and replace those that already exist. The refugee camps are a security problem, say the protesters and they also respond to the humanitarian problems in the camps. In the camp of Moria in Lesbos, 19,000 asylum seekers live, although it only has capacity for 2,800. Human rights organizations warn of increasing xenophobia and racism.
First female president appointed
Parliament voted in favor of appointing Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou as the country’s new president. She is the daughter of a judge in the Supreme Court of Greece, and a lawyer trained in, among others, Paris. She becomes the country’s first female head of state in modern times. Sakellaropoulou will take office as president on March 13.
Greece, Cyprus and Israel sign gas pipeline agreement
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, together with the Prime Ministers of Israel and Cyprus, sign the final agreement to build a 190-mile gas pipeline to transport natural gas from Israeli and Cypriot gas fields to Europe. The management is supposed to be drawn via the Greek island of Crete and the Greek mainland to Europe. The goal of the European countries is not least to reduce dependence on Russian gas.