General Information:Capital: Athens
Political system: a parliamentary republic with a prime minister (prime minister), who has the highest political power, and a head of state - a president who performs primarily representative roles.
Population: 10.7 million
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Official language: Greek
EU single emergency number: 112
Rescue service: 166
Cultural differences and advice from Intercultural Communication Coach:
The Greeks are an example of family coexistence, where several generations live together and often meet at family celebrations. Respect and esteem for the elderly or traditional family values determine the way in which Greeks spend their free time. This might be the reason why tourists love family hotels in Greece, their pleasant atmosphere and the hospitality of the Greeks, which cannot be compared with any other country according to tourists. If a problem arises, it is solved by the whole family, including grandparents and uncles.
Ikaria is an area of Greece where people live the healthiest and longest. Greek people are proud of their history and culture. Greece is often referred to as the cradle of the European civilization. The first Olympic Games took place in Athens. Today, an important part of private and professional life takes place over coffee.
Other nations perceive the Greeks as very noisy and communicative. There is always a topic they can talk about for hours. However, the most popular topic and activity is eating and drinking their favourite frappe drink.
Respect, esteem and flexibility are 3 key values of the Greek business culture. The status is related to the age and the achieved position within the hierarchy. This is also reflected in business meetings or negotiations, which are usually led by senior managers. Oral agreements are of the same importance as written contracts.
The Greeks also prefer personal contact and telephone conversation to impersonal email communication. Email communication is not a suitable way to handle urgent situations. Small talk belongs to the introduction of a business meeting or initial contact with new colleagues. Even if other cultures may perceive the Greeks as unsystematic, they seem to consider events as a flexible working atmosphere during which questions are asked and answers are sought. “Aúpio”, translated tomorrow, is their most popular answer to many urgent questions and problems.
Emotional discussion and jumping into someone’s speech is not a demonstration of rude behaviour. On the contrary, it is an expression of interest and involvement in the discussion.
Recommendations for Co-operation with Colleagues from Greece:
The Greeks expect flexibility from their colleagues and business partners.
In work situations, it is important to be prepared for many sudden changes and adjustments.
Punctuality is expected, but in practice it is not a problem if the meeting does not take place on time. Time should be the servant of man, not the other way round.
A sincere interest in a colleague is the beginning of building professional and effective working contacts.
The Greeks are most productive at the eleventh hour. The same things which are stressful for the cultures that plan everything mean the space for new solutions in the case of the Greeks.