Emigrate to Greece

⇒ Culture

⇒ Climate

⇒ Language

⇒ School system

⇒ Health care system

⇒ Vaccinations and medical certificates

⇒ Tax system

⇒ Economy

⇒ Prices by index

⇒ Real estate

⇒ Company foundation

⇒ Visa

⇒ Safety

⇒ German agencies

⇔ BACK TO OVERVIEW⇔

Greece - its culture and history

Greece is a country with a rich culture and history that spans thousands of years. Greek mythology, art, music and theater are important components of the culture. Greek history includes the Persian Wars, the Hellenistic era and independence from the Ottomans.

Culture in Greece:

Greece is famous for its rich culture, ranging from ancient to modern times. Greek culture has many aspects, including art, literature, music and theater.

An important part of Greek culture is Greek mythology. These myths tell of gods and heroes who have influenced the world. Some of the most famous Greek myths are the story of Zeus and Hera, the story of Odysseus and the story of Heracles.

Greek art is also an important part of the culture. Greek sculptures and paintings often depict scenes from mythology or portraits of famous people. Some of the most famous examples are the sculptures of the Parthenon and the paintings of El Greco.

Greece is also known for its music. Traditional Greek music often includes the bouzouki, a type of guitar, and the baglamas, a type of small guitar. The music is often accompanied by dancers performing traditional dances such as the Syrtaki.

History in Greece:

Greece has a long and complex history dating back to ancient times. Ancient Greece was one of the most important civilizations in the world and influenced Western culture in many areas, including philosophy, art and science.

An important part of Greek history is the Persian Wars. In the 5th century BC, the Greeks fought against the Persians in a series of wars. The most famous battle was the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, in which the Athenians defeated the Persians.

Another important period of Greek history was the Hellenistic era. This was the period after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, when his empire was divided into several states. Greece was ruled by several kingdoms, including the Kingdom of Pergamon and the Kingdom of Macedonia.

Over the centuries, Greece has been conquered by various conquerors, including the Romans, the Ottomans, and the Germans during World War II. Greece finally gained its independence from the Ottomans in 1832 and became a sovereign nation.

Climate

The climate in Greece is typically Mediterranean, which means that summers are hot and dry and winters are mild and humid. However, there are some regional differences due to the geographical location of the country.

In general, the north of the country is cooler and wetter than the south. Summers in northern Greece are usually less hot than in the rest of the country, and there may even be snow in winter. In southern Greece, on the other hand, summers are very hot and dry and it can be sunny almost all year round.

The coastal regions have a milder climate than the interior, as they are tempered by the influence of the sea. Summers on the coast are pleasant, as there is usually a cooling breeze to temper the heat. Winters on the coast are usually mild and humid.

The islands of Greece have a similar climate to the coastal regions, but there are some differences. The islands are usually drier than the mainland, which means there is less rain in the summer. Winters on the islands are also often milder than on the mainland.

Overall, the climate in Greece is pleasant for visitors all year round. Summers are ideal for beach vacations and exploring ancient sites, while mild winters are perfect for hiking and other outdoor activities. However, it is important to prepare for high temperatures in the summer and be prepared for rain in the winter months.

Language

The official language of Greece is Greek, which is spoken by almost the entire population of the country. However, there are also some minority languages spoken in Greece.

An important minority language in Greece is Turkish, which is spoken by a small number of people in the Western Thrace region in the north of the country. Another minority language is Albanian, which is spoken by a significant minority in Greece, especially in the Epirus region in the northwest of the country.

Slavic is also spoken in some regions of Greece, particularly in the Macedonia region in the north of the country, where there is a significant Slavic minority. The language is also common in some other regions such as Epirus and Thessaly.

In addition, there are also a significant number of people in Greece who speak English, German or French, especially in the larger cities and tourist areas.

Overall, however, Greek is the most widely spoken language in Greece and the one that is most important for travelers to communicate. However, it is always a good idea to learn some basic Greek words and phrases to better communicate with the locals and experience the local culture.

School and education system

The education system in Greece is divided into four levels: primary, secondary, high school and higher education.

Primary education begins for children at the age of six and lasts for six years. The curriculum includes Greek, mathematics, science, social science, foreign languages, music and art. Completion of elementary school is mandatory for all students.

After completing elementary school, students attend secondary school for three years, where they continue to study a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, physics, history, foreign languages, music and art. At the end of secondary school, students must pass an examination to be admitted to high school.

The high school is a three-year program that prepares students for college or other professional training. Students typically have a wider choice of courses, including science, math, foreign languages, and humanities. At the end of high school, students must pass an examination to gain admission to college.

The Greek higher education system consists of public and private universities and colleges. Access to higher education is competitive and requires passing a state examination. Higher education is free for all students and there are no tuition fees.

Overall, the education system in Greece is well developed and offers students a wide range of subjects and opportunities to prepare for their future careers. However, there are also challenges in the system, particularly with regard to class overload, teacher qualifications, and education funding.

Homeschooling and online school

In Greece, both homeschooling and online schooling are possible. Homeschooling refers to the education of children at home by their parents or other guardians rather than having them attend a traditional school. In Greece, there are legal provisions that regulate homeschooling. Parents must submit a written statement to the Office of Education and meet certain criteria in order to homeschool their children.

In addition, many schools in Greece also offer online learning opportunities. This was especially used more during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow students to learn from home. However, the exact implementation and availability of online schools can vary by region and school.

If you need specific information about homeschooling or online schooling in Greece, I recommend that you contact your local education office or schools in your area for accurate and up-to-date information.

Healthcare system

The health care system in Greece is funded by the state and provides free or affordable health care to all citizens. The system is largely public and financed by a combination of taxes and social security contributions.

The Greek healthcare system is divided into three main areas: Primary Care, Secondary Care and Tertiary Care. Primary care includes family physicians, dentists, and other specialists who provide general medical services. Secondary care includes specialized clinics and hospitals, while tertiary care focuses on the care of patients with complex or serious health problems.

The Greek healthcare system is generally well-equipped and provides high-quality care. However, there are also challenges, particularly in terms of access to specialized services, long waiting times, and lack of investment in rural areas. To address these challenges, the Greek government has implemented comprehensive reforms in recent years to improve the efficiency and quality of health care.

For foreigners and tourists, the Greek health system also provides access to medical care, but it is advisable to take out private health insurance to avoid additional costs. Overall, the Greek health care system provides quality and affordable health care to all citizens of the country.

Vaccinations and medical certificates

Currently, there are no mandatory vaccinations for entry or emigration. Just make sure that the standard vaccinations are always up to date.

Tax system

The tax system in Greece has undergone numerous changes in recent years, particularly in response to the financial crisis that hit the country between 2008 and 2010. In this article we will give an overview of the current tax system in Greece.

The tax system in Greece consists of various taxes, including income tax, VAT, corporate income tax and capital gains tax. Income tax is the most important source of revenue for the state and is paid by all residents of the state on their earnings.

Income tax in Greece is progressive and varies according to income levels. The tax rate for income up to 20,000 euros is 22%, while a tax rate of 29% applies to income between 20,001 and 30,000 euros. For income above 30,000 euros, the tax rate is 37%. There is also a solidarity tax due on higher incomes, which is 2.2% per year on incomes over 42,000 euros.

Value added tax (VAT) is an indirect tax levied on goods and services. Currently, VAT in Greece is 24% for most goods and services, while reduced rates of 13% and 6% apply to certain products such as food, books and medicines.

Corporate income tax in Greece is 24% for all companies, while capital gains tax is 15%.

It is important to note that the tax system in Greece can be complex, especially for foreigners looking to invest or work in the country. It is therefore advisable to seek the advice of a professional to ensure that one complies with all relevant tax regulations and does not receive any unexpected tax demands.

Overall, the tax system in Greece has made significant progress in recent years to stabilize public finances and increase the confidence of international investors and lenders. The Greek government is committed to increasing tax revenues and making the tax system more transparent and efficient in order to promote economic growth and development in the country.

Economy

The economy in Greece continues to show resilience to the crisis and will continue to record moderate growth in 2023, according to the European Commission’s fall forecast. While gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 6 percent in 2022, it is expected to increase by only 1 percent in 2023. The tourism sector is a major contributor to GDP in this regard, with industry revenues expected to rise to more than 18 billion euros in 2022. Exports and private consumption also contribute to economic growth, although their growth will be lower in 2023.

Despite the energy crisis, the Ukraine war and high inflation, 2022 was positive for the Greek economy overall. The favorable economic situation also supports the election polls of the ruling conservative party Nea Dimokratia in view of the parliamentary elections in the first half of 2023.

In August 2022, the twelve-year monitoring of Greece’s public finances by the European Union came to an end. This gives Greece more leeway in determining its spending and reforms.

In terms of investment, Greek companies benefit intensively from EU funding. Gross fixed capital formation is expected to increase by 6.3 percent in 2023, according to EU forecasts. However, increased raw material prices and borrowing costs require frequent revisions to price and cost calculations.

The investments are also supported by the EU reconstruction fund, which is mobilized with 32 billion euros in loans and grants. Payments from the EU fund are performance-based and banks have been asked to provide project loans totaling 587 million euros by the end of 2022. However, the target has already been exceeded at 900 million euros. If the private capital for these projects is added, the currently planned investments amount to 2 billion euros. By the end of 2022, some 2.8 billion euros in grants are expected to have been used.

In addition, Greek companies benefit from the programs of the EU Partnership Agreement 2021 to 2027, which has a total budget of 26.2 billion euros.

Prices by index

Since the prices are changing due to the EU wide rising inflation very strongly and also quickly we refer here to the website Cost of Living. This website updates the information so that you are always up to date.

Real Estate

The real estate market in Greece has gone through a number of challenges in recent years, including the impact of the global financial crisis and the subsequent sovereign debt crisis in Greece. In recent years, however, the market has stabilized somewhat, and there are opportunities for both buyers and renters.

As far as buying real estate is concerned, prices in Greece have generally fallen in recent years. This is due to a combination of economic uncertainties and an oversupply of properties on the market. Buyers can therefore currently invest in real estate in Greece at relatively low cost. However, it is important to note that there are regional differences, and properties in popular resorts such as Santorini or Mykonos tend to be more expensive than those in lesser-known areas.

As far as renting real estate is concerned, prices are generally lower than in other European countries. However, there are regional differences here as well, and rents in the larger cities such as Athens or Thessaloniki can be relatively high. However, there are opportunities for tenants here as well, especially in lesser-known regions.

Overall, the real estate market in Greece is currently relatively stable and there are opportunities for both buyers and renters. However, it is important to research carefully and seek professional advice before making a decision.

We will be happy to assist you in your search for an apartment or house. Klicken Sie hier für unsere Immobilienangebote.

Company foundation

In Greece, there are various forms of company formation, including:

  1. Sole proprietorship (Ενιαία Επιχείρηση – Einiaia Epixeirisi): This is a sole proprietorship established and operated by one person.
  2. Limited liability company (Εταιρεία Περιορισμένης Ευθύνης – EPE): an EPE is a limited liability company in which the liability of the shareholders is limited to their contribution.
  3. Joint stock company (Ανώνυμη Εταιρεία – AE): an AE is a joint stock company in which the company is divided into shares and the liability of the shareholders is limited to the value of their shares.
  4. Limited partnership (Εταιρεία Περιορισμένης Ευθύνης – EPE): an EPE is a limited liability company in which there are both limited partners and general partners. The limited partners are liable only up to their contribution, while the general partners have unlimited liability.
  5. Branch (Υποκατάστημα – Ipokatastima): A branch is a branch office of a foreign company operating in Greece.

Foreigners can start a business or acquire an existing company in Greece. There are no special restrictions or requirements for foreigners to establish or acquire a business in Greece. The formation of a business can usually be completed within a few weeks, and it is advisable to consult an experienced attorney or tax advisor to select the proper form of business formation and to assist with registration and compliance with local regulations and tax obligations.

Visa

There are different visa requirements for staying in Greece, depending on nationality, purpose of stay and length of stay. Here are some of the main visa requirements in Greece:

  1. Schengen Visa: A Schengen visa is required for citizens of many countries outside the EU/EFTA to travel in Greece and other Schengen countries. This visa allows a stay of up to 90 days within a period of 180 days and is intended for tourist or business purposes.
  2. Long-term visa: If you want to stay longer than 90 days in Greece, a long-term visa is required. This applies to employees, students, researchers or people who have a family in Greece.
  3. Work Visa: Foreigners who wish to work in Greece require a work visa issued by their employer or an authority in Greece.
  4. Study Visa: Foreigners who wish to study in Greece require a study visa issued by a university or other educational institution in Greece.
  5. Family reunification: foreigners who have a family in Greece can apply for a family reunification visa issued by a Greek authority.

It is important to note that visa requirements may differ depending on nationality and purpose of stay. It is therefore recommended to find out in advance about the exact requirements and the application process and, if necessary, to seek professional help in applying for the visa.

Security in the country

Greece is generally considered a safe country for travelers and tourists. However, as with any country, there are some safety concerns to watch out for in Greece.

One of the main security concerns in Greece is pickpocketing and robberies, especially in busy tourist areas such as Athens, Thessaloniki and some islands. It is recommended to always keep valuables such as money, passports and electronic devices safe and to be extra vigilant in busy areas.

In recent years, there have also been sporadic terrorist attacks in Greece, mainly by anarchists and leftist groups. It is recommended to stay updated on current security concerns in the country and pay attention to instructions from local authorities and security forces.

In terms of overall crime, Greece is average compared to other European countries. The rate of violent crime is relatively low, and the police are generally well-equipped and effective in maintaining public safety.

However, it is always advisable to take basic precautions and be aware of what is happening in the environment around you. Tourists and travelers should also check with local authorities and tour operators for specific safety concerns in certain areas and regions.

German representations in Greece

Address:

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Athens
Karoli & Dimitriou 3
106 75 Athen-Kolonaki.
Phone: +30 210 728 51 11
Website: www.athen.diplo.de

Address:

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany Thessaloniki
Leoforos Megalou Alexandrou 33,
54641 Thessaloniki
E-Mail: info@thessaloniki.diplo.de
Phone: +30 2310 2511 20

Address:

Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Corfu
Leoforos Alexandras 12
49132 Korfu
E-Mail: korfu@hk-diplo.de
Phone: +30 266 10 498 74

Address:

Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany Patras
Trion Navarchon 65
26222 Patras.
E-Mail: patras@hk-diplo.de
Phone: +30 26 10 31 02 10

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