Greece - Glossary Index
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Glossary -- Greece
- Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)
- Established as an international process in 1972, the group consisted of fifty-three nations in 1994, including all European countries, sponsoring joint sessions and consultations on political issues vital to European security. Charter of Paris (1990) changed CSCE from ad hoc forum to organization with permanent institutions. In 1992 new CSCE roles in conflict prevention and management were defined, potentially making CSCE the center of a Europe-based collective security system. In the early 1990s, however, applications of these instruments to conflicts in Yugoslavia and the Caucasus did not have a decisive impact. In January 1995, renamed Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
- Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE Treaty)
- An agreement signed in 1990 by the member nations of the Warsaw Pact (q.v.) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (q.v.) to establish parity in conventional weapons between the two organizations from the Atlantic to the Urals. The treaty included a strict system of inspection and information exchange and remained in force, although not strictly observed by all parties, in mid-1990s.
- Council of Europe
- Founded 1949, a thirty-three-member (1994) organization overseeing intergovernmental cooperation in designated areas such as environmental planning, finance, sport, crime, migration, and legal matters.
- National currency unit of Greece, with an exchange rate of approximately Dr230 to US$1 in May 1995.
- European Commission
- A governing body of the European Union (q.v.) that oversees the organization's treaties, recommends actions under the treaties, and issues independent decisions on EU matters.
- European Community (EC)
- A grouping of three primarily economic organizations of West European countries, including the
- European Economic Community (EEC), the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom or EAEC) and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
- Founded separately in 1952 and 1957, the three came to be known collectively as the EC. Executive power rested with the European Commission, which implemented and defended the community treaties in the interests of the EC as a whole. Greece gained full membership in January 1981. Members in 1993 were Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Name changed to European Union (q.v.) in December 1993.
- European currency unit (ECU)
- Established 1979 as a composite of monetary systems of European Community (q.v.) member nations, to function in the European Monetary System. Acts as the unit for exchange-rate establishment, credit and intervention operations, and settlements between monetary authorities of member nations.
- European Union (EU)
- Successor organization to the European Community (q.v.), officially established by ratification of the Maastricht Treaty November 1993. Goal is closer economic unification of Western Europe leading to single monetary system and closer cooperation in matters of justice and foreign and security policy. To the members of the European Community (q.v.), the EU added Austria, Finland, and Sweden, effective January 1, 1995.
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- The total value of goods and services provided exclusively within a nation's domestic economy, in contrast to gross national product (q.v.), usually computed over a one-year period.
- gross national product (GNP)
- The total value of goods and services produced within a country's borders plus the income received from abroad by residents, minus payments remitted abroad by nonresidents. Normally computed over one year.
- In the Ottoman Empire's policy for governance of non-Muslim minorities, an autonomous community ruled by religious leaders responsible to the central government.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
- An alliance founded in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and their postwar European allies to counter the Soviet military presence in Europe. Greece joined in 1952 but withdrew from military commitments 1975-80. Until the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact (q.v.) in 1991, NATO was the primary collective defense agreement of the Western powers. Its military and administrative structure remained intact after the threat of Soviet expansionism had subsided. The Partnership for Peace, originated in 1993, offered limited participation in NATO to East European countries and former Soviet republics with the possibility of eventual full membership by some or all of those nations.
- Ottoman Empire
- A Muslim empire, based in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), that controlled southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and most of North Africa between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, and lesser territories between 1300 and 1913. Ottoman occupation was a major influence on all civilizations of southeastern Europe and caused ethnic animosities that remained long after the disintegration of the empire.
- The larger of the two fundamental divisions of Islam, opposed to the Shia (the other main division) on the issue of succession to Muslim leadership.
- value-added tax (VAT)
- A tax applied to the additional value created at a given stage of production and calculated as a percentage of the difference between the product value at that stage and the cost of all materials and services purchased as inputs. The VAT is the primary form of indirect taxation applied in the European Union (q.v.), and it is the basis of each country's contribution to the community budget.
- Warsaw Pact
- Informal name for Warsaw Treaty Organization, a mutual defense organization founded in 1955, including the Soviet Union, Albania (which withdrew in 1961), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and Romania. The Warsaw Pact enabled the Soviet Union to station troops in the countries to its west to oppose the forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, q.v.). The pact was the basis of the invasions of Hungary (1956) and of Czechoslovakia (1968); it was disbanded in July 1991.
- Western European Union (WEU)
- Based on the 1948 Treaty of Brussels and set up in 1955, the council is a forum for coordination of regional defense policy among its members, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Denmark and Ireland have observer status, and Iceland, Norway, and Turkey are associate members. After lying dormant for many years, the WEU was reactivated in 1984 to serve as the European pillar of NATO (q.v.) defenses and the defense component of the European Community (q.v.). In 1993 the WEU and NATO ran a joint arms embargo operation against Yugoslavia in the Adriatic. A Eurocorps of Belgian, French, and German troops was established at the end of 1993.
- World Bank
- Informal name for a group of four affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD); the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The four institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital for credit and investment in developing countries; each institution has a specialized agenda for aiding economic growth in target countries.
NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece Glossary information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece Glossary should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.