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19 March, 2001
A nationwide census of households and citizens got underway at 8.30 a.m. on Sunday with 170,000 National Statistics Service officials taking to the streets and expected to complete their task at about 10.30 p.m.
Officials said the census was going smoothly, except for some cases where problems did arise such as in the municipalities of Petroupolis and Ilion, in the Attica prefecture, where some citizens refused to register, claiming that the limits of the two municipalities are vague.
The service's general director, Yiannis Karavitis said all the information Greek citizens will be providing will be treated confidentially and will be protected by legislation, while it cannot be given or communicated to any agency, either private or public.
Census officials took up positions at airports, ports, train stations and inter-city bus stations from early morning to register all travelers.
Greek citizens are obliged to answer questions concerning their household, the members of their family and whether they are employed or are studying or are preoccupied with something else.
Questionnaires contain 26 questions for women, 24 for men and 13 for children. The census is compulsory and people failing to fill in a form are subject to fines similar to those imposed during general elections for abstaining from voting.
People who are not counted for any reason are obliged to go to the police precinct in their area or to the offices of the municipality where they live or to prefectural offices on Monday to fill in a census form.
The last census in Greece was held in 1991 when the country's population was found to be about 10.3 million.
Source: Athens News Agency