Pireikí Dimokratía (Piraean)
«Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος»
"Elefthería í Thánatos"
"Freedom or Death"
Anthem: «Ύμνος προς την Ελευθερίαν»
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages||Etrurian,|
|Religion||See Religion in Piraea|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic|
• 1st Piraean Empire
|639 - 884|
• 2nd Piraean Empire
|1012 - 1368|
• Grand Duchy of Alikianos
• Third Republic
|86,553.60 km2 (33,418.53 sq mi)|
• 2017 census
|86/km2 (222.7/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2019 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2020)|| 29.7|
|HDI (2020)|| 0.870|
|Currency||Piraese Lira (₺) [a] (LIR)|
Piraea (Pireás: Πειραεάς, tr. Peiraeás), officially the Piraean Republic (Pireás: Πειραιηκή Δημοκρατία, tr. Pireikí Dimokratía) is a country in Southern Euclea located along the Acheloian Sea. It borders Amathia to the north, Etruria to the east and the disputed territory of Tarpeia to the south. Piraea has a population of approximately 7.4 million, which are concentrated in urban areas along the coast. Alikianos is the capital and largest city of the country, and is followed by Kissamos, Hersonissos and Tylissos.
Piraea is recognised as one of the oldest civilisations in Euclea, its presence along the Acheloian and Solarian seas as well as Aurean Straits is well documented in numerous texts that highlight the extent of the Piraese city-states along both sides of the straits from at least 600 BCE. This form of political organisation was crucial for Piraea in the development of the first forms of democracy and innumerable mathematical advances. However, between the year 300 and 200 BCE, city-states will progressively fall under Solarian influence, with the fall of Prassa marking the end of the period. Developments that characterised city-states in the areas of literature, philosophy, medicine and mathematics were later used as inspiration during the Solarian period in a moment of massive advances particularly in the arts. The collapse of Solaria in 424 forced the formation of the First Piraean Empire, which centralised and unified different territories across what is today Piraea; the empire would last several centuries until the invasion of the Tagamic hordes. A Second Piraese Empire was re-established, although a weakened army and internal turmoil due to a lack of identification took it to the collapse, which was used by neighbouring foreign powers to rule over Piraese during several centuries.
In 1820, under the control of the Kingdom of Vespasia, ethnic Pirese joined in what is known as the October Uprising, which led to a War of Independence that lasted five years and proved effective in building a national narrative for Piraese identity. The revolution will last until 1925, when diplomatic intervention of Euclean powers concluded with the effective establishment of the Kingdom of Piraea and the crown of a foreign monarch. At the burst of the Great War, Piraea joined the Entente, supporting Gaullica and declaring war on Etruria; however, the high costs of the war amid poor living conditions questioned the continuity of the monarchy and put the government under pressure with different internal conflicts. At the end of the war, the Entente was defeated and Piraea faced the invasion of Etruria, which forced it to hand in the territory of Tarpeia, committing in the subsequent years, the Piraean Genocide. During 1938, Nikolaos II of Piraea was forced to abdicate and fled the country in exile proclaiming the First Piraese Republic, which saw the creation of the first anarchist communes and the leadership of socialist and workers' political parties. The period was characterised by a relative stability, which served for progressive reforms, wealth redistribution and the industrialisation of the country; however, in 1948, a coup d'etat ignited a short civil war, which faced conservatives and socialists. Backed by far-right militias and armies in Etruria and Amathia, the Second Piraese Republic was proclaimed under the authoritarian rule of Konstantinos Athanopoulos and his military junta. The regime led the country until 1979, having introduced several economic and social reforms that exalted conservative values and ties with the Episemialist Church, but nearing the 1970s, the regime faced a period of social discontent, economic downturns and regional isolation, concluding in 1979 with a plebiscite that sought to renew the junta's power. The defeat of the regime ignited the democratic transition, which concluded a year later with the election of Ioannis Apostolou as Premier of Piraea, who later handed in power to Leonidas Palaiotis, first socialist Premier since 1948.
Today, Piraea is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with a high standard of living. It tends to rank high in metrics like women participation, press freedom, civil liberties and overall quality of life. 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; as of 2021, the country has formalised its intentions to be a member state of the Euclean Community and is a recognised candidate.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Classical period
- 2.2 Solarian rule and High Piraese Period (300 BCE-500 AD)
- 2.3 First Empire and Tagamic invasion (500 AD-1368)
- 2.4 Second Piraese Empire and Iconoclast Wars (1300-1441)
- 2.5 Duchy of Alikianos and Kingdom of Piraea (18th century)
- 2.6 Revolutionary period and modernisation (1830-1899)
- 2.7 Industrialisation and Great War (20th century)
- 2.8 First Republic (1938-1948)
- 2.9 Military rule (1948-1979)
- 2.10 Fall of the regime (1961-1979)
- 2.11 Third Republic and contemporary history (1979-present)
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics and government
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
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.
The classical period of Piraese history is believed to have started around the 7th and 8th century BC, when records of Piraese presence documents the presence of colonies in Galenia and most of the Solarian Sea, the Aurean Straits, Rahelia and Satria. In most of these places, life became organised in different independent kingdoms or city-states commonly called "polis" (πόλις). Spread across the south of Euclea, Piraese polis reached unprecedented levels of prosperity that enabled cultural transformations proved crucial in the development of the eastern world. During the classical period, ideas of beauty were found in architecture, literature, philosophy and mathematics, with Piraese intellectuals reuniting valued knowledge from their diverse colonies, advancing also in medicine and agriculture. Moreover, Lasithi, which rapidly became the most enshrined polis, introduced the notion of democracy as a system of government
The exponential growth of Lasithian expansionism took it to gain territories in Gaullica and Satria, and marked a long period of peace and stability that was later followed by the rise of conflicts between city-states. Fights commonly saw the growth of the Lasithi and Aptera rivalry, which was usually documented in art, poetry and different narratives. The Sitia War (448 - 415 BC) was going to prove crucial in the consolidation of the Lasithian hegemony and Piraese cohesion, with the creation of a polis alliance against Aptera. However, the volcanic eruption of the Juktas broke the stability of Lasithian dominance, left its port destroyed and took it to its defeat and collapse following the War of the League of Maleme (272 - 259 BCE). Lasithi was succeeded by Prassos as the dominant Piraese kingdom, but the collapse of the former provoked the lost of lands in Gaullica and the Aurean Straits to Piraese kingdoms, reducing the scope of their dominance in Euclea and Coius. In 217 BC, Prassos fell on a civil war that costed its collapse and the annexation of Piraese city-states by the Solarian Empire.
Solarian rule and High Piraese Period (300 BCE-500 AD)
The fall of Prassa plunged Piraea into a period of high political fragmentation, which was used by the Solarian Empire to gain influence in the kingdoms. Increasingly influential and with an enormous military capacity, Solaria rapidly gained the control of Piraea, unifying it once again into the province of Piraia. Under the empire, Piraea continued to be the creative centre of inventions, literature and philosophy, and Solarians became largely influenced by Piraeans and their developments in different areas. Although scholars refer to it as the "High Piraese Period" that marks the end of antiquity, most of these inventions were largely attributed to Solaria.
Developments in the land and maritime connections with Rahelia and the rest of the Empire, rapidly introduced Piraeans to new religions. Atudism was first recorded during the fourth century BC and is considered the oldest religion with continuous presence in the territory; however, under Solarian rule, the construction of advanced systems of roads and aqueducts ignited the spread of Sotirianism, which although was persecuted as a religious sect during its initial years, it was later recognised as the faith of the Empire by Emperor Honorious. Piraea proved crucial in the development of Sotirianity, with most texts being written first in Piraese script and language; moreover, the religious letters and lectures in religious texts and dogma often attest the importance that Piraese populations and religious leaders held during the development of the religion. Paganism coexisted during this period, although growingly isolated in the regions of difficult access to missionaries, with the latest conversions being documented to happen between the 4th 6th centuries AD.
The continuity of Solaria was started to be put into question after Weranic tribes threatened the Empire's borders on the north and the eruption of Mount Vecuvia left much of Solaria destroyed. The Empire finally collapsed in 424, leaving Piraea and most of South Euclea without authority, which forced the creation of several kingdoms that fought for the territories.
First Empire and Tagamic invasion (500 AD-1368)
With the fall of the Solarian Empire, Piraea was left fragmented during a short period, until it was unified in the First Piraean Empire, a short-living political union that remained under heavy influence of the Crown of Arciluco. The period was marked by the distancement with the Verliquoian Empire and the alignment of Alikianos with the Empire of Arciluco, to which it recognised as the successor of the Solarian Empire. This union between Alikianos and Arciluco was conceived in the importance that the former held to Solaria, and held a crucial role in the early development of the Episemialist Church, which was going to be conceived much later in the schism of 1385.
The period of the First Piraean Empire is considered to have been a prosperous time of urban expansion, towns revivals and artistic exploration. Archaeological findings prove that during most of the life of the Piraese Empire, cities like Alikianos and Hersonissos became booming centres of trade, with connections to Satrian and Rahelian ports, which increased the transits of people and trade. In the cities, constructions were increased with monasteries, walls and other defensive buildings being put in place during the period, such as the Kissamos Tower, Voula and the Walls of Hersonissos.
Rumours of Tagamic hordes were first spread during 877 AD, when they first crossed from Rahelia to Paretia. However, most defensive constructions proved inefficient as the hordes overwhelmed armies and destroyed numerous cities leaving a trace of raids and devastation. In 878, the Tagamics met the Piraese resistance in the Battle of Tylissos, which left the Piraese severely harmed and put the empire in a situation of weakness that was used by the Tagames to gain the complete control of the territory in a few months. The Piraean Empire saw its future terminated by the invasion of South Euclea that remained between 878 and 884 AD, period in which they exercised control over Piraese lands under the Tagame Kingdom. Towards the eight century, Piraeans and Amathians regained the control of the area with the expulsion of the Tagames, leaving Alikianos under the direct rule of the Amathian entity until its collapse in 1340, which forced the rise of a Second Piraean Empire to rule over a unified Piraea.
Second Piraese Empire and Iconoclast Wars (1300-1441)
The expulsion of Tagamic hordes in Euclea provoked a new period of relative stability and reconstruction. In Piraea, liberation left the territory in hands of Arciluco and Alikianos remained under its direct control until the fall of the Amathian Empire. The development of an Orthodoxy in the years prior to the Tagamic invasion and afterwards, soon provoked the rise of tensions between the Solarian Catholics and Episemialists, which concluded in the schism of 1385. However, the lack of a central figure and the continuity of conflicts over the use and veneration of religious icons also provoked internal conflicts across the Episemialist world, and churches were soon going to be divided between iconoclasts and iconodules.
By 1385, tensions and conflicts destroyed the unity of the Empire of Arciluco and provoked the establishment of the Second Piraese Empire. The rising fights over the use of icons was rapidly spread across the Episemialist world, with the Empire of Tengaria playing a crucial role in the crusades against iconoclasts. Piraean nobles, general population and Episemialist churches were soon going to be divided over the icons discussion; in Amathia, the establishment of the Realm of Thorns increased the tensions by its religious fanatic leadership and aggressive nature, which raised the alarms of the Piraese crown over an invasion. Theodore I of Piraea remained on the side of Lenovo and did not acknowledged the Spinar state as the continuity of the Amathian Empire. Tensions between the two crowns and inside Piraea between churches soon led to bloody internal strifes that concluded with the disintegration of the Piraese crown. Alikianos finally fell on Novalian and Spinar hands until the Tengarian offensive concluded with the Realm and by the time of the conclusion of the Iconoclast Wars in 1441, Piraeans had already fell under the Unio Trium Nationum and Alikianos was going to continue through most of the Middle Ages under foreign authorities in Amathia and Poveglia.
Duchy of Alikianos and Kingdom of Piraea (18th century)
The end of the Iconoclast Wars left the territory of Piraea as part of neighbouring kingdoms, with Vespasians and Amathians holding most of it for the longest period of time. However, ethnic Piraeans continued exercising cultural influence and the territory remained organised under several forms of Duchies and Principalities, with the largest of them, the Grand Duchy of Alikianos comprising an important part of the historical territory of the Piraeans. Nevertheless, reigning monarchs were usually part of Vespasian, Novalian and Amathian noble houses.
During most of this period, Piraeans continued reclaiming their own nationality, although their intensity varied and was not always constant. During the 18th century, the end of the Ten Years' War provoked the spread of liberal and republican ideals; in Piraea, a modern enlightenment of Piraese intellectuals led to the revival of the notion of a Piraese nation, which met both liberal and nationalistic ideas that were explored in the rest of Euclea. However, most of these notions were not favourably seen by Vespasians, which suppressed most places of Piraese thought to avoid a revolt and civil clash; tensions grew towards the end of the century, when Piraese intellectuals became organised in different secret organisations that sought to reclaim the Piraese nation and Episemialist faith, until the October Uprising in 1815. Led by Piraese merchants against Vespasian authorities in the city of Kissamos, numerous protests were ignited with enormous popular support, forcing the start of a civil war for the independence of Piraea that would last several years. The conflict rapidly escalated and remained active with thousands killed and displaced. With a less numerous army and machinery, Piraeans counted with the support of most of the Western Episemialist world, which balanced their offensive against Vespasians.
The conflict had remained without the direct attention of Eucleans until the rumours of a mass killing in Lampi forced the action of Euclean powers, which in order to avoid a longer conflict that could provoke a new devastating war in the continent, met in Verlois to negotiate the cease of fire and the creation of a Piraean nation. In 1829, Etruria, Gaullica, Werania, Paretia, Estmere and Amathia finally agreed to put an end to the conflict by granting Piraeans with a sovereign kingdom. In November 1830, the Kingdom of Piraea was established under the reign of the Weranian Karl Theodor von Kotzauberg.
Revolutionary period and modernisation (1830-1899)
The reign of a foreign monarch was seen with disapproval at first by the majority of the Piraese population; however, the impossibility of having a Piraese monarch forced the popularity of Karl Theodor von Kotzauberg, but to most of the Piraeans, the monarch was a position to simply assert the grat powers' influence in the country. Karl Theodor was at first, reticent to introduce important legislation, and the initial years of his reign were met with enormous freight relations with the bourgeois, which led the 1836 Revolution together with intellectuals.
The revolution was a pivotal event in the course of Piraese history during the 19th century, as Karl Theodor acceded to the demands of Piraese and agreed on drafting a constitution and ending the absolutist reign through the composition of a bicameral Assembly. The childless marriage of Karl Theodor and Frederica von Elbenweis gave birth to a boy shortly after, which pushed the popularity of the couple and gave a future to the House of Kotzauberg in Piraea. The changes in the political life of the country were soon approved by the Great Powers, which continued exercising enormous influence in the country to prevent Amathian and Etrurian incursions into the territory. However, the premature death of Karl Theodor put Piraea once again in a situation of instability, until the Assembly pronounced Frederica as regent of Piraea until her child had enough age to assume the throne. Through her reign, Frederica became increasingly popular to the Piraean population after having accelerated the devolution of powers to Piraeans rather than to foreign officials; shortly after the death of her spouse, political pressure and the fear of a new revolution, took Frederica to resign to her Solarian Catholic faith and become Episemialist, which was seen as favourable to both her reign and approach to the Piraean society.
The conversion to Episemialism by Federica ignited several reforms in the religious world of Piraea. In 1840, a reform established the Episemialist Church as Piraea's national church and created the Metropolitanate of Piraea under the sphere of the Patriarchate of Arciluco. The return of Episemialist monarchs to Piraea was also significant in the reinforcement and construction of a national Piraean identity.
Industrialisation and Great War (20th century)
The social transformations led by Frederica left an important mark in the Piraean society, which became increasingly interested in emulating Euclean trends. Industrialisation, while slow in its spread to the south of Euclea and across Piraea, enabled the gradual formation of a middle class of businessmen and industrialists, which became notoriously influential in political and economical decisions. Through the early years of the 20th century until his death in 1924, the King Nikolaos I of Piraea was instrumental in the economic and social modernisation of the country. Through his reign, parliamentarianism finally set its roots, giving origin to an authentic political culture in Piraea.
With the vote still exclusive to landlords and and male taxpayers, revolts demanding universal suffrage soon appeared across the country being led by the new middle class of university professionals, merchants and other groups that grew in influence and sought to gain representation in the political life of the country. In 1911, Nikolaos I enabled the vote to all literate men and a year later, to literate men and women, becoming Piraea into one of the first countries to do so. The period of the first years of the 20th century was also marked by an enormous rural exodus and the increase of the Piraese diaspora in the Asterias, most particularly Rizealand; through this period, Alikianos duplied its population and underwent several reforms that introduced new Euclean architectural styles. In 1924, Nikolaos I died and his son, Nikolaos II assumed the throne with a more conservative character; this put the monarchy against the newly founded trade unions, Piraese Section of the Workers' International and PSEE, which reclaimed better conditions to workers and representation.
But by 1927, the Great War exploded in Euclea and Piraea soon aligned itself with the Holy Amathian State and the Entente. The war proved disastrous for the future of Piraea, as most of its industrial capacity resulted destroyed and its territory invaded by the Allied power of Etruria, to which was ceded the Tarpeian territory. These events and the empoverished situation of most of the population were going to be crucial in the growth of socialist forces and republicanism in Piraea. Unpopular and seen as a traitor, Nikolaos II was forced to abdicate and Piraeans established the First Piraean Republic.
First Republic (1938-1948)
On 26 July 1938, the Piraean First Republic was proclaimed in Alikianos. Shortly after the abdication of Nikolaos II of Piraea, an interim government led by the PSEE assumed the administration until the celebration of elections two months later. The government of Stephanos Vitalopoulos was in charge of the introduction of the constitution of the first republic as well as initial reforms aimed to modernise the state from an egalitarian and social view. During the elections of that same year, the coalition formed by the PSEE, the Piraese Section of the Workers' International and several other centre-left and leftists parties, became victorious and led the country during the next five years under the leadership of Themistoklis Ioannopoulos.
Ioannopoulos introduced several deep reforms that put the republican government against the Metropolitanate of Piraea and military authorities, which founded conservative allies on the senate's opposition. Between 1938 and 1943, the Ioannopoulos granted women's vote, expanded the agrarian reform started by Vitalopoulos that benefited cooperatives, granted the right to strike and the activity of trade unions and introduced collective agreements; however, the government faced several crisis when it sought to reform the military and complete the secularisation of the nation. The new republic was born in egalitarianism and the avocation of a strong social state; cooperatives spread anarchist thought across the country and both the GSEP and PSEE were heavily influenced by it. In 1938, the military oath was changed in order to eliminate monarchic connotations and a year later, the government passed a bill that aimed to reduce the number of generals and change the organic composition of the armed forces; a year later, Ioannopoulos nationalised hospitals and cemeteries from the church and reduced the amount of lands without use owned by the Metropolinate.
In 1943, new elections took place in a highly divided and polarised society, which gave the conservative wing a larger role in the Senate. Led by Kyriakos Kanopoulos, the National Party of Piraea became the largest force in the Senate and was allied with other traditionalist and conservative groups on its right to form government. Kanopoulos' main aim and electoral promise was to leave on standby several of the leftist reforms made by the PSEE and recover traditional values throughout the country; as it found strong mobilisation and opposition, it became further aligned with the church and military. At the end of the government, Piraeans found themselves in an algid social situation that favoured the left coalition during elections. The new government of Aristeidis Kontolis, again of the PSEE, lasted a few months before the start of the Piraese Civil War against conservatives.
Military rule (1948-1979)
At the start of 1948, Kanopoulos' cabinet, advised by the return of socialists to government, pushed repressive measures, limiting liberties and starting to persecute trade unions and leftist movements. The elections of 1948 gave another victory to the left coalition, which governed during some months before the burst of the civil war, when military generals upraised against Kontolis' first measures. Conservative forces were largely backed by the Kingdom of Amathia and other paramilitary far-right forces from Etruria, supports that proved decisive in the short civil conflict that ended giving a civic-military junta the government of Piraea. On 19 September 1948, the Second Republic of Piraea was proclaimed by Konstantinos Athanopoulos under a Government of National Reorganisation.
The period was marked by a strong repression of movements associated with the First Republic, the PSEE and trade unions; the use of state terrorism and the systematic abuse of the armed forces and the the introduction of torture of dissidents and political opponents. Throughout its history, the junta rule was led by different figures of strong conservative record from military world, although during the final years, civic members were part of it too. Between 1948 and 1953, the junta was composed by the commanders-in-chief of the three branches of the armed forces, until in 1953, the junta allowed a fourth civic position to take position in an effort to project an image of openness towards the exterior. During the first year, the regime supressed the legislature and imposed strict censorship on press and personal freedom, leading to the closure of several radios and newspapers and the exile of political opponents from the left; in the following years, the junta re-established the close relations with the Episemialist Church, which was in exile in Piraea during the years of the Amathian Equalist and Council Republic, granting it great influence in society.
During the 1950s, the popularity of the regime was increased through economic reforms and developmentalism, with which the junta was able to inaugurate infrastructure projects, highways, railways and dams; most of the construction projects, however, were later denounced to have been funded with corruption and dirty money. The junta, seeking to maintain itself in power, used the popularity to strengthen the regime and secure national integrity against a more aggressive Etruria and hostile international environment led by the condemnation from the Community of Nations and the recently founded Euclean Community. In 1958, Nikolas Zaropoulos became the first and only civic member of the junta, who was tasked with the international relations amid a scenario of increasing tensions with Povelia, which finally burst with the invasion of Tarpeia and the Apokoronas in 1961.
Fall of the regime (1961-1979)
The Etrurian invasion of Tarpeia and the Apokoronas, as well as the misinformation campaign carried by Povelia regarding the presence of Novalian terrorists in Piraea, placed the military junta on a tight position, with minimum international attention and witnessing the start of financial problems. A response to Etrurian forces was long waited, but the all these factors produced a poor mobilisation of Piraean forces; at first, the junta tried to censor the information regarding the lack of valuable force, but several foreign newspapers and radios were able to freely speak about it, igniting discontent towards the regime in Piraea. During most of the 1960s, the regime tried to strengthen even more the repression and censorship in Piraea under the leadership of Konstantinos Athanopoulos; however, this was ineffective and the first signs of serious financial shortcomings took people to the first mass protests in several cities in 1967.
The union between workers, students and political movements functioning in the undergrounds were effective on a social level, but not in the political world. In 1969, the junta started a large-scale liberalisation of the economy in order to receive advise and funding from the International Council for Democracy and Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs; a group of Piraean economists taught in Morwall, Estmere, and known as the Morwall boys became part of the advisors board of the Ministry of Economy, and led the transformation of the Piraese economy, which was heavily marked by the conflict with Etruria, corruption and irresponsible spending during developmentalism years. During most of the 1970s, the economy will see important reforms and experience never seen before growth rates known as the Piraean miracle; however, the country suffered an increasing inequality and political repression was still persistent.
In 1978, Athnopoulos, who had been the undisputed leader of the military junta since 1950, died in Alikianos leaving an open door regarding the future of the regime. A year later, the junta, lead by the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force Ioannis Christodoulopoulos, sought to renew itself in power through a national plebiscite in which the population was asked if whether they approved the candidate of the junta —Christodoulopoulos— or not; with 56.8% of the population voting no, the junta decided to transition towards a democratic regime, allowing the formation of political parties, talks with the centre-left and setting a date for general elections. In 1980, the first elections since 1948 took place and months later, the first new members of the Senate were swearing oath and granting confidence to the first democratically elected Premier, Ioannis Apostolou, a Sotirian democrat from the People's Party.
Third Republic and contemporary history (1979-present)
Ioannis Apostolou became the first democratically elected Premier in 1979 and his administration dealt with the drafting of a new constitution and the transition towards a liberal democracy of Piraea; politically, Apostolou also faced the re-organisation of the right and centre-right under the People's Party and the legalisation of previously censored parties and organisations from the left, like the Piraese Section of the Worker's International and the General Confederation of Piraese Workers. During his government, the new constitution inaugurated the Third Republic, which granted social rights, press and religious freedom and set aims in the Euclean integration of Piraea.
During 1983, general elections brought back the PSEE to the government, which formed a coalition with the Progressive Federation, a small coalition of parties that grouped an alternative left from the PSEE. Leonidas Palaiotis became Premier of the Republic and led the country through economic and social reforms. In 1985, Palaiotis concluded the trials against the military leaders of the junta and those who committed crimes and abuses; a pardon policy initiated by Apostolou was enlarged to all imprisoned during the dictatorship without trials or due to political reasons. Palaiotis was followed by Theodora Procopiou, first female Premier of Piraea, who counted with broad political support in the the first ever large coalition in Piraea; however, PSEE's aims to become part of ECDTO forced the end of her government in 1991, after the Piraese Section and Progressive Federation stepped down from the coalition. Konstantinos Kondoulis followed Procopiou as the second People's Premier; the government was composed also by centrists and liberals, and was the first to introduce neoliberal reforms in the state to reverse economic stagnation, such as reducing social spending and increasing VAT to induce a reduction of inflation rates. During the administration, a referendum was held in 1995 to conclude the membership of Piraea on the Euclean Common Defence Treaty Organisation; the referendum saw the opposition of the Piraese Section and other left political parties, although the PSEE remained ambiguous, which helped the government to conclude the country's ascension.
Between 2005 and 2009, the country suffered its most important financial crisis, which triggered the implosion of the political scenario, forcing the resignation of Evangelos Polakis due to corruption charges and amid massive protests and repression in the streets. Polakis, who had assumed the People's Party leadership year before becoming Premier, had formed government with the far-right Homeland Party, with which the country moved closer to Samorspi. His government faced severe opposition from centre and centre-left sectors and his resignation was followed by his leaving from the legislature in helicopter. The effects of the crisis were crucial in the future political development of Piraea, forcing the creation of new parties and the comeback of the PSEE to the government during the next 13 years until today. The current Piraese agenda is marked by a strong focus on the Euclean Community followed by most parties and the two main ones, PP and PSEE. As of 2021, the country is a recognised candidate for membership of the Euclean Community.
Piraea extends over a total area of 86,553.60 km2 (33,418.53 sq mi) and it is entirely located in the southern portion of Euclea, bordering Amathia to the north, Etruria to the east and the territory of Tarpeia to the south. The entirity of Piraea's coastline meets the Acheloian Sea to the west. The centre of Piraea tends to be relatively hilly, with valleys providing enough irrigation and sunlight for the formation of vineyards and olive plantations; in the east, south and north, geography presents more difficulties and higher altitudes in what is known as the Tarantines, a sub range of the Aventines that traverse the regions of Foinikas, Lampi and Samariá. The highest point of the country, Mount Zarkos, is part of the Tarantines and is 1,963 mts (6,440 ft) high.
Most of the coastline along the Souda Riviera and Sitia tends to be relatively flat and highly fertile, with only a mild undulation. The country has three main rivers: the Erymanthos, which is born in a Tarantine peak near the border with Amathia, the Parnos, which makes its way through most of Foinikas, and the Arda — the smallest of the three — that is born in Lampi. All of these conclude in the Acheloian and are considered of vital importance to the Piraese eco-system. Nevertheless, the cultural presence of the ocean has always been more prevalent and rivers were not important as in other regions to organise life around them.
Piraea's convergence of climatic and geographical conditions have resulted in a diversity of flora and fauna, with its distinctive regional geographies providing shelter and optimal development conditions for a wide range of species such as the Solarian monk seal, the roe deer the Tarantine lynx and others common of the region. Most, if not all, Piraese flore tends to correlate with that of the Solarian eco-region, although in higher regions, flora tends to assimilate with central Euclean types. The cedar, evergreen oak and olive are some of the most common types.
View of the Larissos Valley.
Rock formations in the coast near Tarpeia.
Urban landscape of the town of Thytos.
Olive plantations in central Sitia.
Most of the climate of Piraea, if not all, falls into the category of Solarian, with slight differences depending on altitude and proximity to the sea. In general terms, Piraea's territory receives moderate precipitation and counts with summers of high temperature. According to the Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification, the coastaline of Piraea and most of Sitia's highlands are described to have hot-summer Solarian climate (Csa) while further inland, summers are milder and are categorised as warm-summer Solarian climate (Csb). A small area east of the region of Lampi bordering Tarpeia is considered by metereologists as the driest spot of the country and is categorised as hot desert climate (BWh).
Average temperatures in most of Piraea tend to vary between 10.2°C (50.4°F) in the coldest month to 29.3°C (84.7°F) in summers. Snowfalls occur during winter season in the interior of Piraea and in most of the mountainous regions; these usually happen between December and February although they can exceptionally extend from November to March. Coastal urban centres, such as Alikianos, also receive brief snowfalls during these months as temperatures abruptly descend to −10.0 °C (14.0 °F) in the higher regions and −6.5°C (20.3°F) in the coasts. These temperatures have largely contributed, together with insolation hours, to Piraea's tourism industry and primary sector of the economy; in average terms, most of Piraea receives 2300 to 3200 hours of sunshine a year, with 4–6 h in winter and 10–12 h in the summer.
|Climate data for Alikianos-Ioannis Apostolou Air Base Station, Alikianos (1991–2020), Extremes (1890–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.6
|Average high °C (°F)||13.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||10.2
|Average low °C (°F)||7.1
|Record low °C (°F)||−6.5
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||55.6
|Average relative humidity (%)||72.0||70.0||66.0||60.0||56.0||50.0||42.0||47.0||57.0||66.0||72.0||73.0||60.9|
|Source: Piraean National Meteorological Service|
Politics and government
Piraea is a unitary parliamentary republic, which is constituted in the 1979 Constitution of the Third Republic. Exective power is divided between the Head of State and a Head of Government; the first is consolidated in the collective figure of the Presidency, while the second, consists in the figure of Premier, who is appointed by the Chairperson of the Presidency after gaining the confidence of the legislature. As a secular nation, the constitution recognises the preponderant position of the Episemialist Church but grants the state protection of religious freedom; Piraea's constitution recognises important civil and Human Rights, freedom of speech and expression, and the adoption of a social state.
The Premier and members of the Presidency are elected by universal suffrage by all citizens over 18 years old; however, Premiers are required to gain the declared confidence (Piraese: δεδηλωμένη, tr. dedilomeni) to be formally appointed by the chairperson of the Presidency. The Presidency is elected for a fixed term of six years, which is renewable only once, with its three seats being occupied by the two parties with the most votes and a chairperson title rotating every two years; members of the Presidency are tasked with ceremonial activities and usually appoint ministers, dissolve legislatures or sign passed bills. The legislative power of Piraea is vested on the unicameral Piraean Senate, a legislature comprised of 125 members elected every four years through universal suffrage. Members of the Senate grant or not confidence to the Head of Government and can call individual or the whole cabinet to resign, forcing general elections, if a motion of censure achieves the needed majority. The legislature is also tasked with passing laws, supervising the executive and declaring war, among other things. According to the Constitution of the Third Piraese Republic the judicial branch is divided between civil and administrative courts, with the former dealing with ordinary civil and criminal matters and the former with issues regarding institutional competences or individual cases of disputes between the state and citizens, among others. The judicial system is hierarchically structured, with courts of general jurisdiction on first instances and a Supreme Court of Piraea on top of them, below it, both the civil and administrative courts count with their respective Supreme Courts; when contradictory decisions or disputes between the two arise, the Supreme Court of Piraea is in charge of providing an irrevocable statement.
After the return of democracy, the Piraese political world has been dominated by the Piraese Socialist Workers Union (centre-left) and the People's Party (centre-right), which have alternated in power. Coalition governments are common since the 1980s and the existence of minor parties is considered crucial in the governability of Piraea supporting executives through confidence. The current legislature, led by the PSEE as the largest force is also composed by 8 political parties.
Piraean relations have been constrained to its political past and geopolitical location in the south of Euclea. Over the years, it has shifted its main foreign policy axis, gaining pragmatism that has given it a wide range of nations with which it holds close relations. During the military junta period, Piraea saw an important alignment with other authoritarian and nationalist regimes, like ASUR; however, during the final years of the dictatorship, Piraea's junta was immersed in a state of isolationism in the Euclean scenario. The return of democracy took it to explore a gradual approach with the Euclean Community after an initial failed attempt to gain access to the bloc; during successive socialist governments, the country became gradually aligned with the socialist world and became an observer of the AESE and the AIS; and although it was never considered a member of any of the two, Piraea still holds close ties with Kirenia and Champania.
Since 2008, the most important political parties have reached consensus about the path of accession to the Euclean Community and Piraea has already held talks with communitarian authorities, being recognised as a candidate. In 1994, it was allowed to become a member of the Euclean Common Defense Treaty Organization and the country aims to become part of the EC by 2024, although a persistent but isolated eucloscepticism and the need of institutional reforms might delay the date. The country's claims over Tarpeia and the Apokornas have long been an obstacle on the relations with neighbouring Etruria, with which Piraea still holds fraught relations as it actively claims the jurisdiction over both territories, granted in 1946 by the Treaty of Morwall.
Although conceived as a unitary republic, Piraea is divided into five regions created through the Statute of Autonomy (Piraese: κράτος των αυτόνομων, tr. Krátos Ton Autónomon), which grants devolved powers, the creation of regional legislatures and cabinets led by regional Minister-Presidents. These regions have the right to discuss and enact policy in their territory in diverse matters, such as education, healthcare, welfare urbanism and budgets, while the State acknowledges regional differences and their nature.
Regions are further divided into provinces and these into municipalities, all of them with their smaller models of governing councils, elected by inhabitants of the area for a fixed term of four years. Piraese is the only official language of the country and all of the regions, although in most of them, there is a range of regionally or provincially recognised second language.
The Piraean Armed Forces —Πειραες Ένοπλες Δυνάμεις— are the military defence of Piraea, they consist in three branches; the Piraean Army, the Piraean Navy and the Piraean Air Force, branches that are overseen by the Ministry of Defence and subordinated to the Chairperson of the Presidency, who acts as Commander-in-Chief. The role of the armed forces is defined by the Constitution of the Third Republic as to safeguard independence, sovereignty and the integrity of its territory from foreign interventions; however, in recent years, Piraese armed forces have also been tasked with peacekeeping missions and emergency relief tasks during national disasters. Conscription remained in place until 1989, when it was eliminated via referendum; Piraea sees an average 194 new trainees every year.
Since the entry of the country to the Euclean Common Defense Treaty Organization, the armed forces have also embraced the protection of international peace as a core value on its joint exercises with foreign forces; currently, there are three different deployments of Piraean soldiers abroad in Rahelia and Bahia. Presence and influence of the military in society is an ongoing discussion among political circles in Piraea, which remained reticent to expand the role of the forces after the end of the junta period. As of 2021, the country attributed 1.2% of its total GDP to the military budget.
Piraea is a developed and high-income economy, with a high standard of living, although still behind other Euclean nations. The country has a GDP (PPP) of $207.062 billion and a per capita of $27,664, it also ranks very high in Human Development Index (0.870) and has a comparably low social inequality according to the Gini index (29.7). Piraeans count with a large welfare net built over the years and the country has developed a high rate of home ownership between the 1970s and 80s as well as a highly skilled labour force; however, the country has a high unemployment rate (15.5% as reported in 2020) and an even higher rate of youth unemployent (33.7% recorded the same year) as well as a large diaspora living mainly in other Euclean nations.
The economy of Piraea is driven in its majority by a large services sector, which accounts for a 79.1% of its total output and employs nearly 80% of the total workforce in financial activities, transport and communications, retail and tourism. Piraea receives between 14.7 and 19.4 million tourists per year, which makes of tourism a vital industry in several regions and turns Piraea into one of the most visited countries in the Euclean continent. The secondary sector accounts for 16.9% of the total Piraese GDP and consists mainly in commercial shipbuilding, the production of cement, marble and aluminium, in addition to a recent booming chemical industry. Piraea is also one of the main Euclean contributors of aliments; the the primary sector of the economy accounts for 4.1% of the country's output and employs 12.6% of the total workforce. The country is a leading exporter of pistachios, diary products, olives and oils, and several types of fruits and vegetables as well as its internationally renowned wine industry. Piraea is home to a number of notable companies with presence in Euclea, such as Sarkiades, a leading retailer; Pedio, a cooperatively owned clothing retailer; Tsimpir, one of the world's largest cement producers; ALK Kellakos, a worldwide leading shipbuilding; EDE A.E., the country's largest electricity producer and Air Piraea, the Piraea's flag-carrier and leading airline with links to Euclea, Coius and Asteria Superior.
Although severely damaged from budget cuts during the early 2000s and after the 2005 global recession, Piraean governments have achieved to effectively modernise most the welfare state as the political establishment has actively assured macroeconomic stability. At the end of the 1990s and the new millennium, the Kondoulis and Polakis-Kritikiadis administrations assured large privatisation and demonopolisation packages. The accession process to the Euclean Community has granted Piraean governments with stable flows of foreign investment and led important legislation in labour and other economic aspects. Piraea's official currency is the Lira (Λίρα; ₺), however, the Euclo is widely used and accepted despite the country's not adherence to the Euclozone.
Piraea is considered a leading producer of aliments, wines and oils, and counts with a highly skilled and developed agricultural sector. It accounts for 4.1% of the country's total economic output and employed, in 2020, approximately 12.6% of the total workforce. The regions of Sitia and the Souda Riviera have specialised, over time, in the production of diverse fruits, fine wines and oils; while the mainland of Sitia and Foinikas, owe their large wheat and cereal production to their drier climates and are considered the "bread baskets of Piraea"; Samariá and Lampi are characterised by their contributions to farming, mostly through extensive methods.
Both climatic and topographic conditions contribute to the Piraese specialisation in fine wines, olives and olive oils, pistachios, tomatoes, green vegetables and dairy products. More recently, the pulp and paper industry have also grew significantly, having a powerful impact in both landscapes and rural communities and as a result, these companies are, since 2010, subject to tight environmental controls and legislation. Agriculture in Piraea distinguishes from other Euclean nations in that it is based in family-owned units and cooperatives, which has enabled a more diverse and intense production as well as a comparably low inequality in the countryside. However, in recent years, an intensive farming export-oriented model has been fuelled by some of the largest agrobusinesses conglomerates.
Energy and telecommunications
Transport and infrastructure
The population of Piraea was estimated, during 2021, to be approximately 7.4 million. The country is one of the smallest and less densely populated in Euclea. In addition, the country experiences a low birth rate, increasing longevity and a serious problem of brain drain. The Piraean population is, due to this, one of the oldest, with a median age of 44.6 years old, and a life expectancy of 82.5 years old; several coastal and inland regions are considered to be blue zones due to the preponderance of persons over 90 years old.
Piraea is a relatively homogeneous nation, with several, but small groups, considering themselves to be from other ethnic backgrounds. The registration of citizens with their ethnic background is forbidden by law, thus census do not take this matter into consideration. However several reports consider Piraeans to be the main group, followed by Novalians, Vespasians and Amathians; nearly 9.2% of the population identifies with at least one of these groups while a smaller portion claims to use another language that is not Piraean as their mother tongue. In the regions of Lampi, Samariá, Sitia and Fornikas, some of these languages were given special protection and in Alikianos, the Atudite Quarter, known for its large Atudite community, has been given a special recognition of the language, enabling street signs and teaching in both Piraean and Atudite. Although Piraea receives, to some extent, migrants from other countries, especially from northern Euclea and Rahelia, migration of Piraeans outweigh those that arrive and as a result, the country has one of the largest diaspora in relation to its population. The largest Piraeans communities are usually found in Amathia, Estmere, Werania, Rizealand and Cassier.
Urbanisation in Piraea tends to be high, although there is still a high percentage of persons living in distant outposts in the countryside. The country experienced its latest mass exodus to urban centres during the 1960s and 1970s, when social housing was built to accommodate a growing urban population. The largest city of Piraea is Alikianos (1,380,508), which is a major financial and cultural centre in South Euclea, due to its cosmopolitan character and busy port. Other important cities are Kissamos (324,676), Hersonissos (267,121) and Tylissos (144,046).
Largest cities or towns in Piraea
Piraea is a secular nation and the state has been separated from the church since the establishment of the First Piraean Republic. Nevertheless, the current constitution recognises the preponderant position of the Episemialist Church in the society; the constitution also recognises the religious freedom and gives the state the duty of protecting citizens regardless of the religious community to which they adhere. Although practising Catholics have been in a constant decline since the 1990s, most of the population identifies with the Episemialist Catholic Church (81% of the total population) and are followed by Solarian Catholics (4,3%), with Amendists representing the smallest faction (1%); the rest identify as agnostics or irreligious (8,1%), Atudites (3,1%) and Irfanics (1,5%). A small group that comprises 1% is generally identified as others, which tend to adhere to paganism, Satrian religions and other Coian faiths.
Atudists are the oldest religious group with continuous existence in the Piraean territory, with their origins being traced back to c. BC, and are considered one of the oldest branches of Atudism in Euclea. Their presence in Piraea is well recorded and played a crucial role in the further development of Catholicism, until the rise of Solaria, which propitiated the spread of Sotirianity. The schism between Tyrrenheus and Episemialists in 1385 forced the conversion of most Piraese churches to the Metropolitanate of Piraea. During the period of the First Republic of Piraea, irreligion became popular and political developments introduced the separation of the state and church, and the expropriation of land and properties; however, the Second Republic reverted this and the junta governed during most of its time in close relation with the Episemialist church. In recent years, the political influence of the Metropolinate has been in decline and religious leaders are increasingly questioned by the younger population due to their controversial position in several social issues.
Piraea counts with a long heritage of educational institutions and prestige. The system of primary and secondary education is considered to be highly developed as the country has one of the largest GDP spendings on education outside the EC, approximately 7% of its total output. The performance levels of students in Piraea are often on the average of other AEDC members; as of 2021, the country counted with 31% of its total population holding a tertiary level degree and 99.2% of literacy. While historically neglected, science and investigation have grown over the past years, although a major problem of brain drain rises as an obstacle for its development.
Compulsory education is comprised by kindergartens (Νηπιαγωγείο, Nipiagogeío), nursery schools (Παιδικός σταθμός, Paidikós Stathmós), primary schools (Δημοτικό Σχολείο, Dimotikó Scholeio) and gymnasium (Γυμνάσιο); however, it is widely seen as compulsory the continuity of formal education either in unified upper secondary schools (Γενικό Λύκειο, Genikό Lykeiό) or technical–vocational educational schools (Τεχνικά και Επαγγελματικά Εκπαιδευτήρια, "TEE"), which are aimed to prepare pupils for further tertiary education or develop skills. Education in these levels is generally provided by the state, although private schooling exist and is usually associated to religious groups. Nevertheless, education in Piraea is free regardless its provider.
Higher education is led by the University of Piraea, which is the largest public tertiary institution in Piraea, with campus in Alikianos and Hersonissos; the institution is one of the oldest in the South of Euclea and has been seen as a continuator of the Piraese heritage of paideia. The university, as well as the other public ones, is autonomous since 1989 and is in charge of its own budget, hosting elections and voting rector and assembly members. Other public universities in Piraea are the Piraese University of Arts and Philosophy and the Piraese University of Technology and Sciences.
Since the establishment of the First Republic, Piraea has counted with a universal healthcare system provided in its majority by the state. The Ministry of Health is responsible of sanitary policy as well as managing the National Health Service (Εθνικό Σύστημα Υγείας, ΕΣΥ) in direct coordination with regional sanitary authorities. In 2020, healthcare spending in Piraea accounted for 9.5% of the GDP; the country maintains a very high bed to patient and psychiatrist to patient ratios, slightly above regional averages.
Piraea has a life expectancy of 82.5 years old in average, one of the lowest adult obesity rates in the developed world and a high median age. Several reports have pointed out to the social importance of home-cooking and Solarian diet as the bases for the health record of Piraeans. Coastal regions in Sitia and mountainous inland areas have been considered blue zones due to the preponderance of adults living above the life expectancy. Smoking continues being a major problem and lacks sufficient legislation in Piraea, although in recent times, restrictions have been put in place to indoor and public smoking. Nevertheless, Piraea has one of the highest rates of smokers in Euclea.
Piraea's public and cultural life are marked by a varied but long standing tradition of paper press. Although heavily restricted during the period of the Second Republic, the constitution of the Third Piraean Republic enshrines press freedom and is committed to protect it from any threat; as such, Piraea has continuously ranked high in press freedom regionally and journalists face little censorship. In 2020, the newspapers with the largest circulation were O Kosmos (newspaper of record generally aligned with the centre-left), Dimokratia (centre-right) and Express (liberal economic newspaper); there are also important newspapers focused in specific issues, Ole (landmark sports newspaper) and political parties usually count with their own outlets. Similarly, newspapers generally count with their magazines.
Cable or satellite TV is well expanded throughout the territory of Piraea, which makes it a valuable market in South Euclea. The country's state-broadcaster, Piraean Radio and Television (Πειραιηκή Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόραση; PRT), is the most viewed television broadcaster and counts with a dominant position in the radio market with its four three television channels and two radios leading prime times every year; it is a member of the Euclean Union of Broadcasting.
Piraea has a long tradition of sporting competitions and social importance. The territory is believed to be home of the Invictus Games and the country generally participates in regional and worldwide competitions, highlighting in basketball and tennis, although the country usually ranks high also in rowing, which tends to be popular in coastal areas, and athletics. Tennis is considered the individual most popular sport of Piraea, with several tennis players having reached top positions in worldwide ranks; currently, Korinna Politopoulou is the most famous Piraean tennis player of the decade. As in most of Euclea, the most popular sport is football and sees Alikianos F.C. and P.A.S. Voula F.C. as the main rivals, which have been banned during 2007 after violent crashes ended in several deaths and injured during the 2006 Super League Piraea incidents.
The football selection of Piraea is not very successful in the Euclean scenario, but usually plays in the world cup. Matches of the selection are a source of nationalism and the population usually sees as main rivals to Etruria, Amathia and Champania, with which has a long tradition of hard-fought matches. Although less spread, winter sports also have a certain popularity among Piraeans, mostly in mountainous regions. During spring, Piraea hosts the traditional Tour of Piraea, a bicycle race across most of Piraea, which has been turned into a highly popular sports event not only in the country but also in South Euclea.