State Department: Greece - Consular Information Sheet, June 30, 1997
Greece - Consular Information Sheet
Country Description: Greece is a developed and stable democracy
with a modern economy.
June 30, 1997
Entry Requirements: A passport is required, but no visa is needed
for tourist or business stays of 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 general
information concerning overall entry requirements to Greece,
travelers can contact the Embassy of Greece at 2221 Massachusetts
Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 939-5800, or the
nearest Greek consulate in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los
Angeles, 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.
The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide payment for medical
services 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 and
Prevention's international travelers hotline at (404) 332-4559;
Crime Information: Greece has historically enjoyed a relatively
low crime rate, but there appears to be increasing crime directed
against tourists, including pickpocketing, purse-snatching, luggage
theft, and mugging at popular tourist areas. Some recent incidents
have involved personal injury to the victims. Travelers should be
cautious, even in daytime, especially when walking alone. The loss
or theft 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, D.C. 20402. It provides useful information on
guarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling
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.
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. Those
arrested 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 forbidden. Penalties range from large
fines to prison terms.
Dual Nationality: U.S. citizens who are also considered to be
Greek citizens may be subject to compulsory Greek 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.
Road Safety/Traffic Conditions: Visitors to Greece must be
prepared to drive defensively as Greece has the highest fatal trafic
accident rate in the European Union. Heavy traffic and rough
terrain on the islands make motorbikes especially dangerous. 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. An international
driver's license is required.
Registration and Embassy/Consulate Location: U.S. citizens are
encouraged to register at the Consular Section and obtain updated
information on travel and security in Greece. The U.S. Embassy in
Athens is located at 91 Vasilissis Sophias Boulevard, tel. (30) (1)
721-2951. The U.S. Consulate in Thessaloniki is located at 59
Leoforos Nikis, tel. (30) (31) 242-905.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated May 17, 1996 to
update information on crime, medical facilities, road safety, and