A nation in Southeast Europe, Greece is formally known as the Hellenic Republic. It is a part of the European Union. There are about 10.7 million people living there as of 2018. Athens is the biggest and capital city, followed by Thessaloniki and several smaller towns and cities across the country. Grecian is a country in the Balkans that is strategically situated at the intersection of three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa. Its land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast are all on the European side of the Balkan Peninsula. Located to the east of the Greek mainland is the Aegean Sea, with the Ionian Sea to its west and the Cretan and Mediterranean Seas to its south. Greece, with a coastline of 13,676 kilometres (8,498 kilometres) in length and including many islands (of which 227 are inhabited), has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean Basin and the eleventh largest coastline in the world, ranking it first and second, respectively. Mountains cover eighty percent of Greece, with Mount Olympus at 2,918 metres above sea level standing as its highest peak (9,573 ft). Traditionally, the nation may be divided into nine distinct geographical regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnesian area, the Thessaly region, Epirus region, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades islands), Thrace region, Crete region, and Ionian islands.
Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and a developed nation, with a developed high-income economy and a good quality of life, both of which score extremely high on the Human Development Index. It is also a part of the European Union. With the biggest economy in the Balkans, it is also the most significant regional investor in the area. In addition to being one of the United Nations' original member states, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities (the forerunner of the European Union) which has been a member of the Euro since 2001. A number of other international organisations, such as the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), are also affiliated with the country, as are numerous regional organisations (OIF). Greece is considered a medium power because of its rich cultural legacy, huge tourist economy, significant maritime sector, and geostrategic significance.