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State Department: Greece - Consular Information Sheet, September 15, 1994


Greece - Consular Information Sheet
September 15, 1994

Country Description: Greece is a developed and stable democracy with a modern economy. Tourist facilities are widely available.

Entry Requirements: A passport is required. A visa is not required for tourist or business stays up to three months. An AIDS test is required for performing artists and students on Greek scholarships; U.S. test results are not accepted. For further information concerning entry requirements to Greece, travelers can contact the Embassy of Greece at 2221 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 939-5800, or the nearest Consulate General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, New York, or San Francisco.

Medical Facilities: Medical facilities are available. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Travelers have found that in some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage has proved to be useful. Further information on health matters can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control's international travelers hotline on (404) 332-4559.

Crime Information: Greece has a low rate of crime, but some pickpocketing, purse-snatching, and luggage theft does occur in Greece at popular tourist areas. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. It provides useful information on guarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad.

Terrorist Activities: Civil disorder is rare. However, there are several active terrorist groups, including the "17 November" organization, which at times has targeted U.S. Government and U.S. commercial interests. Between 1975 and 1991, "17 November" assassinated five Americans assigned to U.S. diplomatic or military installations in Greece. Terrorists in Greece have seldom targeted tourists.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. In Greece, penalties for possession, use, and trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines. Arrestees may spend up to 18 months in pretrial confinement.

Penalties for Customs Violations: Unauthorized purchase or removal from Greece of antiquities, including pieces of archaeological sites, is strictly forbidden. Penalties range from fines of several hundred dollars to prison terms.

Dual Nationality: U.S. citizens who are also considered to be Greek citizens could be subject to compulsory military service and other aspects of Greek law while in Greece. Those who may be affected can inquire at a Greek Embassy or consulate to determine status. In some instances, dual nationality may hamper U.S. Government efforts to provide protection abroad.

Driving: Visitors to Greece must be prepared to drive defensively. Greece has the third highest fatal accident rate in Europe. High casualty rates on Greek highways led to a recent toughening of traffic laws and new increased traffic policepresence on major roads. The use of motorbikes on the islands can be dangerous because of heavy traffic and difficulty of the terrain. The majority of U.S. citizen traffic casualties in Greece have involved motorbikes. Owners of rental motorbikes are not required to carry insurance coverage; the renter is liable for damages caused to the rental vehicle and to property of third parties.

Registration: U.S. citizens who register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can obtain updated information on travel and security in Greece.

Embassy and Consulate Locations: The U.S. Embassy in Athens is located at 91 Vasilissis Sophias Boulevard, telephone (30)(1) 721-2951. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy may be reached at (30)(1) 721-8561. The U.S. Consulate in Thessaloniki is located at 59 Leoforos Nikis, telephone (30)(31) 242-905.

No. 94-218

This replaces the Consular Information Sheet issued April 29, 1993, to provide information on the penalties for removing antiquities from Greece.

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