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Pireikí Dimokratía (Piraese)
Motto: «Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος»
Elefthería í Thánatos
"Freedom or Death"
Anthem: "Ύμνος προς την Ελευθερίαν"
Piraea (dark green) in Euclea (dark grey).
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages||Novalian|
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Unitary parliamentary republic|
• 1st Piraean Empire
|639 - 884|
• 2nd Piraean Empire
|1012 - 1368|
• Grand Duchy of Alikianos
• Kingdom of the Piraese
• First Republic
• Second Republic
• 2019 estimate
• 2017 census
|86/km2 (222.7/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2019 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2018)|| 29.7|
|HDI (2017)|| 0.835|
|Currency||Drachma (PRD (₯))|
|Time zone||Euclean Central Time|
|ISO 3166 code||PRA|
Piraea (Pireás: Πειραιάς, tr. Peiraiás), officially the Piraean Republic (Piraese: Πειραιηκή Δημοκρατία, tr. Pireikí Dimokratía) is a country located in Southern Euclea located along the Padarian Sea. It borders Amathia to the north and Etruria to the east. Alikianos is the capital and largest city, followed by Kissamos. Piraea has an area of 86,679 square kilometres (33,467 square miles) and as of 2017 has a population of approximately 7.4 million, most of whom belong to the Amathian Rite Episemialist Church.
Starting in the 8th century BCE, Piraea was organized into independent city-states that spanned through the greater Aurean region. Lasithi emerged as the leading power and establish its own empire starting in the 5th century B.C.E. Lasithian power collapsed in the 3rd century BCE and the region was conquered by Solaria. This was a period of major developments in governance, philosophy, and the arts and for its influence Piraea is considered the origin of Eastern civilization. During the Middle Ages, the Piraeans established the First Piraean Empire which came to dominate much of Southeast Euclea. It lasted from its establishment in 639 until its disintegration in 884. The empire collapsed following the invasion of the Tagames. It was divided into several kingdoms ruled over by the Tagames. A successful revolt in 1012 resulted in the establishment of the Second Piraean Empire. A number of costly wars and internal strife led to the disintegration of the Second Empire in 1368. Piraean territory fell under foreign control for nearly four centuries, mostly under the Poveglian and Amathian authority.
The modern Piraean state emerged following the end of the Pereramonic Wars. Under the Treaty of Savona, the Grand Principality of Alikianos was established. The October Uprising saw ethnic Piraeans revolt against Vespasian rule under the Kingdom of Vespasia. Following the diplomatic intervention of the Euclean powers, the Kingdom of the Piraese was established in 1857. During the Great War, Piraea declared support for Gaullica and the Entente. It was defeated and lost Tarpeia to Etruria, resulting in long-lasting tensions over the disputed territory. King Georgios II was forced to abdicate and a regency was established under Prince Paulos. During the regency a low-intensity civil war began between the government and collectivist rebels. The country was unprepared for the Solarian War and the military intervened to oust the Paulos government. The Solarian War significantly impacted the Piraean population, resulting in over a million refugees. The first republic was established after the war but democratic rule ended following a military putsch in 1961. Leftist paramilitary groups began to confront the government again in 1967, resulting in a period of increased violence and government crackdowns. Following protests from student and labor groups over worsening economic conditions, the military government fell and the democratic governance was reestablished in 1981.
Piraea is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country high standard of living. The current president is Pavlos Kassapidis, who serves as a largely ceremonial head of state. The government is led by the premier, currently Maria Maria Theopeftatou. The supreme legislative authority in Piraea is the Piraean Senate. Since democratization began in 1981, the Piraese Socialist Workers Union (PSEE) has consistently been the largest party in the legislature. The country is a member of the Community of Nations, International Council for Democracy, Euclean Defence Treaty Organisation, Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs, and the International Trade Organisation. It has twice been a candidate for membership in the Euclean Community, but both bids have failed. Piraea is not actively pursing membership.
The Piraean economy is dominated by service and industrial sectors. The country also has a strong agriculture sector, with cotton, tobacco, olives, and wine being lead exports. Another significant component of the economy is tourism. Piraea regularly ranks among the most popular tourist destinations in Euclea and in the world. The government controls a portion of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The Euclean Community is Piraea's most important trading partner. The state provides social security and universal health care systems in addition to tuition-free primary and secondary education. The state supports the advancement of Piraean culture through a number of public institutions, especially found in media and publications. The country has a declining population as a result of rising levels of emigration,fewer births, and a low immigration rate.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Politics
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economy
The name Piraea comes from the Ancient Piraese name Πειραιεύς (Peiraieús), which roughly means 'the place over the passage'. Over time the Ancient Piraese evolved into the modern Πειραιάς (Piraeus). Piraea is the embricized version of Piraeus.
Starting in the 8th century BCE, independent city-states began to emerge throughout modern-day Piraea. These cities were known as poleis (singular polis). Kingdoms formed alongside these city-states. Their influence spread throughout Southeastern Euclea and the north coast of Coius. The various states and their colonies throughout the greater Aurean region reached high levels of prosperity. This resulted in an unprecedented period of culture. This manifested in advancements in architecture, drama, science, mathematics, philosophy, and politics. Many of the foundation texts of Eastern literature are written during this time. During the 6th century, the first democratic government was established in Lasithi.
Conflicts between the Piraean city-states were common due to a lack of political unity. The two dominant city-states were Lasithi and Aptera who fought the most devastating of the intra-Piraean wars. The Sitia War (448 - 415 BCE) was won by Lasithi and its allies and resulting in the collapse of the Apteran kingdom. Lasithi was able to consolidate power among the Piraean states as a result of the victory of its anti-Aptera alliance. This resulted in the beginning of the Lasithian Hegemony. Lasithi held territory between what is now modern day Amardia in the west and Ardiris in the east. In the east, it held territory as far northern as Gaullica and as far south as in Tsabara. Cultural achievements continued under the Lasithian Hegemony.
Despite Lesithi's dominance, the Piraean states remained largely fragmented. Many of Lasithi's smaller allies benefited little from the Lasithian Hegemony. Lasithi's power was also significantly reduced when its principal port was destroyed in a volcanic eruption known as the Eruption at Juktas. This significantly reduced Lasithian power and tensions within its empire continued to grow. This eventually resulted in a civil war known as the War of the League of Maleme (272 - 259 BCE). Lasthi was defeated and its empire collapsed. It was succeeded by the kingdom of Prassa as the leading Piraean state. However, as the Lasthian empire collapsed external rivals conquered its holdings in the Aurean region and beyond. The Prassan Hegemony saw Piraean influence significantly reduced. A civil war in 217 BCE brought the Prassa's dominance to an end. The Piraean world was not united under a single power until conquest by the Solarian Empire.
Solarian Rule and High Piraese Period
- Considerable portions of Piraean come under Solarian control
- Territory is re-organized into the Solarian province of Piraia
- The cultural achievements of the High Piraese Period are significant, but are largely attributed to Solaria until more recent historians separated them
- Rise of the First Piraean Empire
- Invasion of the Tagames, fall of the First Empire, and establishment of the Tagame kingdom
- Tagame expulsion, rule by Amathian entity
- Rise of the Second Piraean Empire
- Wars with Poveglia, fall of the Second Empire and start of the Poveglian Period
Grand Principality of Alikianos
Kingdom of the Piraese
Industrialization, the Great War, and the Regency
The peace of the Great War presented the government with a number of challenges. The first was the increasingly unpopular monarch. Georgios II maintained an active role in pre-war foreign policy. The alliance with Gaullica was attributed to his desire to curtail liberal and left-wing ideologies in reaction to the failed 1917 revolution in Etruria and the successful revolution against the Sunrosian monarchy in 1921. Piraea's defeat in the war and the loss of Tarpeia turned the country's post-war government against him, and pressure from the Grand Alliance resulted in his forced abdication in January 1936. His successor, the seven-year-old Prince Michaíl, was too young to take the throne. His great uncle, Paulos, was chosen as regent and ruled in his place. Paulos had little experience with government or with foreign policy, presenting challenges to a system that gave the monarch significant executive authority. Successive governments under Paulos struggled to help the Piraean economy recover and it failed to return to pre-war levels. The functionalist coup d'teat in Etruria presented a renewed threat, with many in the Piraean government objecting to the policies of Etrurianization in Tarpeia. Left-wing guerrilla groups began to target the government in 1938 and a low-intensity conflict began between the central government and the rebels.
In 1942, the Piraean government was taken by surprise when Etruria declared war on its neighbors. The country was unprepared for the Solarian War and maintained a small, poorly equipped military. Etruria made significant gains and occupied over thirty-percent of Piraean territory within three months. The military staged a bloodless coup against the Paulos government and Piraea came under military rule. However, the military government struggled to resist the Etrurian army and Alikianos fell in April 1943. Over ninety-percent of Piraean territory was under Etrurian by the end of 1943. The Etrurian army a number of committed war crimes during the occupation. Ethnic Piraeans and Marolevs were targeted in ethnic cleansing. The conflict and nature of the occupation resulted in the displacement of over a million civilians, resulting in the Piraean diaspora. During the occupation, left-wing groups conducted a guerrilla campaign against the Etrurians. Piraea was liberated by the Community of Nations intervention force in 1945 and Etruria was defeated in 1946. In the peace, Etruria was forced to return parts of Tarpeia to Piraea. While the Piraean government wanted the full territory returned, the treaty only saw the parts that remained majority Piraean ceded back to Piraea. The Solarian War had devastating effects of Piraea, leaving an estimated 800,000 dead and over 1.5 million displaced. With the war over, the military agreed to return the country to civilian rule.
First Republic and military rule
Following the defeat of the Etrurian Revolutionary Republic in the Solarian War in 1946, το ζήτημα της μοναρχίας (The Question of the Monarchy) dominated post-war Piraean politics. Many reformists and liberals were opposed to restoring the monarchy, which had remained mired in controversy and a prolonged regency following the Great War. However, conservatives and Episemialists supported the continuation of the monarchy under the House of X. Interest in a foreign monarchy, especially one from Werania, had subsided. Despite the plans to put a junior member of the House of Schwarzollen-Brücken on the Piraese throne, Weranian support for Etruria during the Solarian War and its refusal to joint the Community of Nations sponsored intervention made a Weranian monarch unacceptable. A new constitution drafted in 1947 mandated a democratic, representative, and republican government that abolished the monarchy. This angered many conservatives, but the lack of a popular claimant saw minimal public support for the continuation of the monarchy. As such, the First Republic was established. The abolition of the monarchy satisfied the collectivist and republican militias, many of which went became dormant while some evolved into paramilitary groups.
Despite the new democratic constitution, Piraea did not have a strong democratic tradition. This presented problems for the young republic. Suffrage in the kingdom was restricted to landowning males. However, the 1947 constitution expanded suffrage to all men. The majority of the Piraean population was illiterate, meaning many newly enfranchised voters struggled to read the ballots. Electoral fraud became common as a result, as did bribery. The conservative National Democratic Party (EDK) used this to their advantage, often working with the Episemialist clergy to secure victory in elections. They were opposed by the reformist Radical Union (RE), which sought to further liberalize society and build Piraea in the image of other Euclean states. The country attempted to join the Euclean Community in 1955, but is bid was rejected as it did not meet EC standards. Successive governments identified this as a priority and began to implement reforms to meet entry requirements, but where thwarted by corruption and cronyism largely sponsored by the EDK.
The 1960 establishment of the military government in Etruria worried many within the armed forces, who had little faith in the ability of the republic to effectively resist Etruria should another war break out. In 1961, the Etrurian military seized Tarpeia and the Apokoronas Islands. The civilian government, led by Vassilios Michaloliakos of the RE, was unwilling to go to war and instead lodged a series of diplomatic protests against Etruria. Diplomatic attempts failed to resolve the crisis. Now convinced that the civilian government was unable to stand against the Etrurian military dictatorship, senior officers in the Piraean military staged a bloodless pustch, the second in Piraea's Post-War history. The pustch took place while Michaloliakos was abroad in Kesselbourg lobbying foreign governments to support Piraea in the Apokoronas Incident. He refused to resign as premier. In retaliation, the military arrested senior cabinet officials. After this, Michaloliakos resigned and remained in exile in Kesselbourg. The military government began a severe crack down on civil liberties and heavily censored the media, bringing it all under state control. Labor unions were also cracked down on with many forcibly disbanded. Most reformist and leftist parties were outlawed, including the Civic Union, the smaller Piraese Socialist Workers Union, and the People's Collectivist Front. A number of government party officials were arrested and tried by the military government.
The leftist paramilitary groups that did not disband following the war mobilized against the military government, beginning in 1963. The conflict lasted for several years resulting in a number of violent confrontations, kidnappings and terrorist attacks. Global economic downturn in the 1970s presented significant problems for the military government, which collapsed when students began to occupy universities throughout the country. In response, the military government order soldiers to confront the students. However, many of the soldiers were young conscripts and did not wish to fire upon the students, with many conscripts instead declaring loyalty to the students. The Piraese Socialist Workers Union, which had previously gone underground following its prohibition, called for a general strike of all workers. Many workers refused to show up to work or began to occupy their places of work. The military government, fearful of a violent collectivist revolution, collapsed and allowed for civilian rule to continue.
Ioannis Apostolou, who was the once exiled leader of the Piraese Socialist Workers Union (PSEE), returned from exile in Caldia to campaign in the 1981 general election, held under the 1947 constitution. Apostolou's PSEE won a majority of the seats in the election and promised to pursue a new constitution. Despite a push for the restoration of the monarchy from conservative politicians and the Espismalist Church in Piraea, a democratic and republican constitution was promulgated on 1 June 1982.
The socialist PSEE, initially led by Apostolou for over a decade, dominated in government over the next four decades, with occasional interruptions by the conservative Homeland Party (PK). Successive PSEE governments invested significantly in the economy, increasing public spending and social programs. This gave way to significant economic development and helped turn Piraea into a modern Euclean country. Following democratiziation, Piraea saw significant investment from the International Council for Democracy, which further contributed to its economic growth and helped raise its standard of living to previously unprecedented levels. Corruption and cronyism remained a persistent issue, which was combated by different governments. The first PK government was formed under Evangelos Polakis in 1994 and lasted until 1998. During this period, neoliberal economic reform was implemented to fight growing economic stagnation. Polakis was unseated by the PSEE in the 1998 election but led PK to victory in the 2002 election. The 2005 World Financial Crisis significantly impacted Piraea, which saw a housing bubble fostered by Polakis' reforms burst. Polakis was defeated by the PSEE in 2006. The PSEE has governed undisrupted since 2006 and has restored public spending to high levels in order to fight the economic downturn.
Consistent throughout both PSEE and PK governments was the country's second attempt to join the Euclean Community. The process was first initiated in 2002 when Piraea became a candidate to join the EC. Political and economic reform was implemented to bring the country to EC standards, icnluding new anti-corruption legislation. During this period, Piraea saw significant investment from the EC. Following negotiations, it submitted its application alongside Etruria in 2015. Both the Etrurian and Piraean bids were strongly supported by Gaullica, Florena, and Amathia. However, the 2016 Etrurian referendum saw support for enlargement fall and Werania and Estmere effectively blocked Piraea's application. Despite this, Piraea has actively worked to maintain close relations with the EC. Piraea and the nationalist government of Etruria have renewed lingering tensions over Tarpeia and the Apokoronas Islands.
The Piraean Republic is a unitary state governed under a parliamentary system. Elections first began in 1873 when Piraea was a monarchy. Suffrage was restricted to land-owning men over 25 years of age and was unchanged until the abolition of the monarchy in 1947. Suffrage was then expanded to all male citizens over 21 years of age. However, the majority of the Piraean population was illiterate and as a result electoral fraud and bribery were common. Elections were suspended following the 1961 coup and were not held again until the fall of the military government in 1981. Suffrage was made universal with the return of democratic governance. Under the 1981 constitution, Piraea's fourth, government powers are divided between the executive, legislature, and the judiciary.
The Presidency of the Republic is a three-member council that serves as head of state and is appointed by the legislature. Members of the presidency serve six-year terms and are limited by the constitution to a single term. The presidency has the procedural duty of appointing the premier with the consent of the legislature. Unlike many countries with a presidency, the presidency does not serve as commander in chief of the armed forces. During peacetime, the office of commander in chief is vacant. During times of war, the presidency appoints a commander in chief with the consent of the legislature. The presidency has some influence over foreign policy. The current chairman of the presidency is Pavlos Kassapidis. He was appointed in 2016 alongside Stella Davakis and Stefanos Xanthos. The government is headed by the premier, who leads a cabinet of 16 ministers in charge of different government agencies. As the executive branch, the cabinet is responsible for proposing legislation, drafting a budget, implementing and upholding the law, and overseeing foreign and domestic policies. Maria Theopeftatou has served as premier since 2014 and comes from the ruling Piraese Socialist Workers Union.
The Piraean Senate is the national parliament located in the Palace of the Republic in Alikianos. The Senate is the supreme legislative body, holding ultimate power over all other political bodies, and represents the citizens through an elected body of Senators. It is unicameral and has 250 members. Elections are held regularly every four years, but may be called earlier. The last election was held in 2018 and the next election must be held no later than 2022. Members are elected by proportional representation. 200 seats are allocated based on vote share, with the remaining 50 are awarded to the largest party.
Political parties and elections
In total, there are seven political parties with representation in the Senate. The two largest are the Piraese Socialist Workers Parry (PSEE) and the Homeland Party (PK). Both parties have formed government since democratization. PSEE is seen as the "party of governance", having only faced two electoral defeats in 1994 and 2002. As a result of PSEE's dominance, Piraea has at times been described as a dominant-party state. The current leader of PK is Nikos Polakis, who leads the official opposition in the Senate.
Other parties in the Senate include the far-right All for the Nation, the Communist Party, the liberal Change!, the Green Alternative, and the Novalian People's Party which represents the ethnic Novalian minority. Additional parties operate at a provincial and municipal level.
Elections to the Senate must be held every four years. When the election is held is up to the discretion of the president, who acts on the advice of the premier. Snap elections cannot be called and a full four-year term must be completed before an election can be called. After an election is held, the president invites the leader of the largest party in the Senate to form a government. The last election to the Senate was held in March 2018 and was won by PSEE. The next election can be held no later than December 2022.
Since the 1981 constitution, Piraea has consisted of five provinces which are further divided into a total of 429 municipalities. Each province has its own government, which is presided over a provincial governor and a provincial council. These devolved governments have authority over matters such as transportation and are responsible for providing healthcare services and education. The five provinces of Piraea are Fonikas, Lampi, Samariá, Sitia, and the Souda Riviera. Samariá is home to a notable Amathian minority while the largest ethnic group living in Lampi are Novalians. A number of additional divisions exist for statistical purposes, but these have no legal authority or status.
Piraea maintains established diplomatic relations with over eighty countries and maintains 42 embassies, 29 consulates, and six permanent missions in other countries. Dozens of foreign countries maintain an embassy in Piraea, all of them are located in the capital, Alikianos. There are also a number of foreign consulates in Piraea. When a new ambassador or consul is sent to Piraea by a foreign nation, they are received by the Presidency to whom they present their letter of credence. Foreign policy is coordinated through the Ministry of External Affairs, currently led by Minister Georgios Gerovassiliou.
Piraea's foreign policy has undergone a series of significant changes since democratization in 1982. Initially, the Piraean government aligned itself with Swetania and other socialist nations. The election of Evangelos Polakis as premier in 1994 and the decline international socialism experienced during the 1980s resulted in a shift. Polakis, an ideological conservative, re-aligned Piraea with Narozalica during his first term. This policy continued during his second administration from 2002 to 2006. After Polakis, Piraean governments shifted foreign policy towards the strategic goal of joining the Euclean Community. Piraea signed an Association Agreement with the EC in 2007, following its withdrawal from Samorspi. An application was submitted in 2008. Alongside Etruria and Slirnia, Piraea was intended to sign a treaty of ascension in 2016. The 2016 Etrurian referendum ended EC plans for enlargement. Since 2016, Piraean foreign policymakers have continued to work towards the strategic goal of EC ascension. The Theopeftatou began to deepen ties with Poliania and Xiaodong, but as of 2020 remains committed to joining the EC.
The Piraean government actively disputes Etruria's jurisdiction over Tarpeia and the Apokoronas Islands. The government argues that Piraea is the sole entity that is legally recognized with jurisdiction over the region. The 1946 Treaty of Ashcombe awards Piraea de jure authority over Tarpeia, but most governments acknowledge Etruria's de facto control of the region. Tarpeia remains a consist problem for Piraean policymakers and has complicated its goal to join the EC.
Piraea is an active member of the Community of Nations and participates in a number of international organizations, including the Association of South Euclean States, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs, the International Council for Democracy, and the International Trade Organisation. Previously, it was a member of the Association for International Socialism from 1982 to 1994 and Samorspi from 1994 to 2007.
With an estimated population of 7.2 million in 2019, Piraea ranks among the smallest nations in Euclea. At the time of the 2017 census, its population density stood at 86 inhabitants per square kilometer. The overall life expectancy in Piraea at birth was 77.8 years in 2018. The fertility rate of 1.44 children per woman is low and has steadily declined since the 1980s, coinciding with the wider Euclean trend of declining fertility and rapid aging. The population is also decreasing as a result of emigration to nations within the Euclean Community. Slowing economic growth has resulted in an estimated 300,000-375,000 Piraeans emigrating since 2010. As a result of these trends, the average Piraean household is smaller and older than previously.
Largest cities or towns in Piraea
Piraean Statistical Office 2017 census
Piraea is a high-income economy with a GDP per capita of $27,664 (PPP) and $15,137 (nominal). The national currency is the Drachma and the Bank of the Piraean Republic is the country's central bank. The government controls a portion of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. Economic policy is coordinated by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Development. There is a large number of major state-owned companies in Piraea. The Piraean government owns companies that operate across all economic sectors. Cooperatives are also common in Piraean and many have state support.
After decades of steady economic growth, the Piraean economy began to stagnate following the 2005 Global Financial Crisis. The country has a relatively high unemployment rate compared to other developed economies. As of 2019, the 12.7% of the population was unemployed. This had declined from 13.5% in 2018. Corruption, the negative influence of the Mafia, and emigration have all contributed to complications in Piraea's economic development. Economic reforms designed to increase competitiveness in manufacturing and agriculture have contributed significantly to improving economic conditions. Increased spending on infrastructure and financial assistance from foreign governments and international organizations allowed the government to reshape the national economy.
The service and industrial sectors have merged as the most important parts of the Piraean economy. There has also been a modest growth in the financial and telecommunication sectors centered in Alikianos.
The fertile soil of Piraean has resulted in the prominence of agrarian culture since ancient times. The Piraean central plain is especially suitable for wheat farming. Other notable agricultural products include cheese, wine, olive oil, and tomato all of which are major agricultural exports. Olives and grapes are planted and harvested in hilly areas. In recent decades, the production of citrus fruits has begun. Oranges have become a popular Piraean export. Cotton is also a major agricultural export.
Piraea is home to a number of vineyards which are known for their red wines. The best known is the Piraean sweet blend. It is produced from grapes grown and distilled along the coastal regions of the Souda Riviera. Cork oak grows naturally in Piraea and the country produces a significant amount of cork for export. The wine industry also plays an important role for tourism to Piraea.
Meat and seafood are also major sectors of Piraean agriculture. There are over a million sheep that live on the islands. For thousands of years, Piraean farmers have specialized in sheep, goat, and cattle breeding. Piraea also has several important fisheries and has seafood accounts for a significant portion of its agricultural industry.. Sardine, swordfish, and tuna are caught and exported worldwide. Kissamos is the main fishing centre in Piraea.
Industry and manufacturing
Piraea has a robust heavy industrial sector. The country's industry is dominated by petrochemicals and manufacturing. The Sitia region has one of the largest deposits of halite and Piraea one of the largest sea salt producers in Euclea.
Due to the importance of agriculture, there are also food industries throughout Piraea. There is a small electronics industry centered in Tylissos. There are some important shipyards in Alikianos and Kissamos.