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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Political and economic situation


1.Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

1.4Political and economic situation

Last update: 27 November 2023

Political situation

Greece is a parliamentary constitutional republic, with the Prime Minister as head of the government and a multi-party system.  The legislative power is vested in the Greek Parliament.  The judiciary branch is independent of the executive and the legislative branches.

Greece applies the New Architecture of Local Authorities and Decentralised Administration – "Kallikratis" Programme (2011).  "Kallikratis" re-formed the administrative division of Greece and re-defined the boundaries of self-government units, the method of election of competent bodies and their powers.

Further reforms in the institutional framework of Local administration were put in place with the recent Law 4555/2018  which aims to strengthen Democracy,  reinforce participation and improve the funding mechanisms and the development of the local government, by virtue of the programme  "Kleisthenis".  Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic.Mitsotakis has led “New Democraty” to victory in the Greek parliamentary elections in July 2019.

Economic situation

Economic Problems relating to poverty, social exclusion and economic inequality have always been present in Greece even before the beginning of the economic crisis, when Greek economy was achieving high growth rates for over a long period of time.  Since late 2009 - early 2010, due to both international and domestic factors, Greece confronted serious economic hardships.  The country faced the second largest budget deficit and the second highest fiscal debt in the European Union.  In May 2010 Greece signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union (EU) and the European Central Bank (ECB) in order to receive assistance for reducing its debt. August 2018 marked the typical exit from the Memorandum.

Investment and expenditure

The information below may be updated after the results of the 2021 Census are finalised.

The following table presents investment and expenditure data regarding education.

Education Expenditure as % of GDP (In current Prices)
  2000 2005 2009 2015 2016

Total expenditure

- private

- public
















Investment on education 1,462 1,598 1,396 1,191 1,172

Total expenditure on education

(consumption and investments)

7,670 11,352 13,562 10,179 9,877
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 141,247 199,242 237,534 176,312 174,199
Expenditure on Education as % of GDP 5.43% 5.70% 5.71% 5.77% 5.67%

Source: ELSTAT 2016

Education and training services in Greece have been profoundly affected by lower public expenditure due to fiscal consolidation measures.  Expenditure in education as a share of GDP is one of the lowest in the EU.  The ratio of general government expenditure to GDP remained fixed during this period of time, but considering the 25% cumulative GDP decrease, expenditure in education presented a decrease at the same ratio.

Educational attainment level

The information below may be updated after the results of the 2021 Census are finalised.

The following figure presents adult population attainment levels for years 2000, 2005 and 2015.

Educational Attainment Level
  2000 2005 2015
Population 18 years and over 8,393,359 8,948,252 8,906,024
ISCED 0 774,738 645,158 391,583
ISCED 1 2,916,054 2,713,965 2,152,403
ISCED 2 787,995 866,225 826,724
ISCED 3 2,362,678 2,717,542 2,943,339
ISCED 4 436,657 548,827 595,370
ISCED 5 1,106,361 1,433,789 1,956,829
ISCED 6 8,876 22,746 39,776

Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), Population and Labour Market Statistics Division, 2016