The school in Greece is compulsory for 9 years from the
ages of 6 to 15 years. Virtually all education is public and
free for all. The primary school is 6 years old. All
children go on to 3-year secondary school.
The high school is 3 years old. Since 1997, upper
secondary schools (lykeio) have not been
line-divided, but offer one-year general basic courses
followed by two-year specialization courses in various
specializations. About. 80% of young people complete upper
secondary education. Greece has 19 universities and colleges
with university status, as well as 14 technological
colleges, all of which are state. The oldest universities
are located in Athens (founded 1836 and 1837) and in
Thessaloniki (1925). In 2001, 63% of young people received
higher education. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Greece.
The education system is centralized. An intergovernmental
national education committee establishes education policy,
which is administered by the Ministry of Education and
regional directorates. Centrally established curricula apply
to the entire country.
In 2002, illiteracy was estimated at approx. 2.5% of the
In December 1999, Greece and Macedonia signed an
agreement on military cooperation. Several years of
diplomatic clashes were thus resolved. Turkey's approach to
new heights reached when Foreign Minister Ismail Cem
demanded the return of the cultural treasures the English
have stolen from the Parthenon Temple, which is on display
at the British Museum in London today.
In March 2000, Greece asked for entry into the EU's Euro
area. The April 2000 parliamentary elections became one of
the most equal in the country's history. PASOK won a narrow
victory over the Conservatives led by Kostas Karamanlis.
Despite the fine counting of the "technically dead race"
between the two parties, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis got
30 MPs behind him more than Karamanlis' New Democracy.
That's because of the electoral laws that favor the victor.
Still, the result was a defeat for Simitis who, in
confidence in the country's high economic growth, had
accelerated the election to improve its parliamentary base.
The murder of a British military attaché again brought
the terrorist group to the media on November 17. It has
murdered 17 people for 25 years without the arrest of any of
the group's members. Papandreou promised a "relentless"
response to the assassination, and Simitis declared that his
government would not tolerate anyone "reversing progress or
tarnishing Greece's modern, peaceful and democratic image".
Nevertheless, international experts believed that members of
both the current and past governments have perfect knowledge
of the members of the November 17 group and possibly are
holding their hand over them.
In June, the Archbishop of the Greek Catholic Church,
Christodoulos, called for a demonstration against the
government's plan to no longer register people's religion on
their state personal identity card. He stated that:
"People's beliefs oppose this attempt to marginalize
religion". The state-church crisis erupted when Simitis
stated that the identity of the Greeks' religious
affiliation would be erased by the identity papers so that
they could meet the privacy requirements. The prime minister
would also remove the registration of fingerprints, the
person's profession and the spouse's name from the identity
Relations with Turkey improved significantly when the
Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Õcalan was captured in
1999. According to information in the media, the capture
took place after considerable cooperation between the
intelligence services of the two countries, which allowed
Turkey to pursue him and kidnap him in Kenya.
In 2002, Greece and Turkey offered to act as mediators in
the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. The fact
that the two ancient hereditary enemies - Greece and Turkey
- jointly made the proposal was proof that peace is
possible. In March, the two countries signed an agreement on
the construction of a gas pipeline through which Turkey will
ship 500,000 cubic meters of natural gas daily to Greece.
Turkish Minister of Energy Zeki Cakan took the opportunity
to declare that cooperation in the field of energy will also
improve political and economic relations.
The March 2004 election was won by the conservative New
Democracy, which replaced Konstantinos Karamanlis at the
prime minister's post. In February 2005, Karolos Papoulias
from New Democracy was elected president by a large majority
in parliament. He was posted on the post March 12.
The Greek parliament ratified the new EU constitution in
April 2005. The constitution lapsed when it was voted down
in May in referendums in France and the Netherlands.
In May 2006, two intelligence officials were formally
charged for the abduction and interrogation of two
Pakistanis, suspected of participating in the London
In February 2007, Prime Minister Karamanlis survived a
vote of no confidence in Parliament with 162 votes against
the opposition's 122. The Socialists accused him of
incompetence. Karamanlis subsequently stated that he would
continue his reform policy in education and health. He was
re-elected for a second term when his party won the
parliamentary elections in September 2007 and gained 152
seats out of the parliament's 300. Despite the absolute
majority, it was a decline for the party.
In December 2008, Greek police executed a 15-year-old
boy. The murder triggered widespread demonstrations against
police violence and a general strike against the highly
unpopular conservative government that would lose power if
elections were held. For several years, the government's
economic policy has consisted in privatizations and
deterioration of living conditions.