Michaletos Ioannis
(RIEAS Junior Analyst and South Eastern European Editor in the World Security Network Foundation).


The Greek security sector is being compromised by various civil, police and military agencies that are related to information collection, protection of the state’s infrastructure and generally act as the security apparatus of the Hellenic Democracy. Most of them date back in the early years of the cold war when they were created. During the past 30 years significant changes have occurred due to the reshape of the state after the collapse of the Junta in 1974, as well as, the renewed Turkish threat in the Eastern periphery of the country.

The main security agencies of the Greek state are as follows:

Ethniki ypiresia pliroforion (EYP) -The National Intelligence Service (1)
The original name of the agency was “Kentriki Ypiresia Pliroforion” (KYP) that was established under Article 1 of Legislative Decree 2421/1953.(2) It was organized by the American CIA and had as a main task the counterespionage activities by agents of the Soviet Bloc.(3) Gradually it became involved into the apparatus that encompassed members of the military Junta that took over power in Greece after a coup de etat in 1967. (4) The collapse of the regime in 1974 resulted in widespread changes within the agency.
The Law #1645/1986 meant the end of the KYP and a new agency, the Ethniki Ypiresia Pliroforion (EYP) was established in 1986.(5) A further change was the removal of the military intelligence tasks from the EYP. The military intelligence tasks were transferred to the YEETHA (Armed Forces General Staff) which has formed a military intelligence unit under the Second Branch of the General Staff.

Head of the EYP is the Director General. Several people report directly to him; the Deputy Director A, Deputy Director B, the legal advisor and the heads of the Security department, Audit department and Directorate B.
The heads of Directorates A, C, D, E and the Regional Support Units, all report to Deputy Director A. The heads of Directorates F, G, H, report to Deputy Director B(6)

Head of the EYP and the Prime Minister’s security advisor.

Directorate B coordinates the collaboration between the EYP and foreign intelligence agencies. The directorate is also responsible for education, training and the contacts with bodies like the Intelligence Council and the Joint Steering Committee.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR A. Second in command of the operational sector and head of Directorates A, C, D, E and of the RSU -the Regional Support Units.
Responsible for planning and guiding intelligence collection abroad.
This directorate collects processes and disseminates intelligence with regards to terrorism, traffic in drugs, arms, ammunitions, nuclear weapons, explosive materials, money laundering, illegal immigrants, etc.
Directorate D processes/analyses the collected intelligence.
This is the SIGINT/ELINT branch of the EYP, also responsible for EYP’s telecommunications and coding and decoding.
The RSUs are agencies and bodies established in various regions of the country and abroad.
Second in command of the Administrative, Financial and Technical Sectors and head of Directorates F, G and H.
Technical, secretarial and computer-aided support.
Personnel department.

Logistic support.
The EYP co-operates with other Greek agencies, such as:
The Special Anti-terrorist Unit (EKAM) (7)
The Intelligence Offices and General Staff of the Armed Forces.(8)
The D.A.E.E.B., a special crime fighting directorate, of the Hellenic Police.(9)
The YPEE (Economic Crime Prosecution Agency) (10)
Military intelligence
The “A2? Military Intelligence Units operates under the responsibility of the Ministry of National Defense and handles military intelligence collection and counter-intelligence. Every branch of the Greek Armed Forces has its own unit that collects information relevant to its needs.

In 2000, YEETHA (Armed Forces General Staff) established an independent information collection and processing service which operates under the Second Branch of the General Staff. The new service has planned to use the AWACS ordered by the Greek government from Sweden & Brazil (11) and UAV ordered from France, (12) to fulfill its tasks.

Special Forces
1) Special Mission Unit of the Hellenic Coast Guard (13)
Formed in the 80’s has a main task to respond in situations regarding maritime piracy, anti-terrorist activities and anti-narcotic operations in the Greek marine environment. Its members are recruited by ex Special Forces personnel of the Hellenic Armed Forces. This unit was especially active and successful during the Olympic Games in 2004, (14) and had as a main goal to secure the harbor area in the port of Piraeus as well as guarding important visitors coming via sea routes.

2) Eidiko Tmima Alexiptotiston (ETA)

It is Greek’s primary Special Forces unit. ETA is a highly secret organization that specializes in direct action raids, sabotage missions, reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. It main tasks are the ones assigned too “Pathfinders” and include the deep penetration in hostile land. The members of the ETA unit are trained to perform “free parachute jumps” up to 70 Km. All the personnel is voluntary and trains regularly in the NATO pathfinder school.(15)

3) Monada Ypovrichion Katastrofon (MYK) (16)

The MYK is the underwater demolition unit of the To Hellenic Navy. It was created in 1953 with the assistance of the USA Navy Seals. It main tasks involve unconventional operations in the maritime environment and the intelligence gathering offshore and in the islands. It is a highly specialized unit and it is under the command of the Fleet Headquarters.

Intelligence council

The following description was derived from Law 1645: (17)
1. An Intelligence Council will operate within the EYP, whereof the powers and manner of operation will be specified according to Article 4 (= Statute of Law 1645)
2. The following persons will participate in the Intelligence Council:
  a. The EYP’s Director General as Chairman.
  b. The Director of the Security Sector of the Ministry of Public Order.
  c. The Director of the 2nd Joint Staff Group of the National Defence General Staff.
  d. One representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs being appointed, along with his substitute, by the Foreign Minister.
  e. Up to two persons being appointed along with an equal number of substitutes by the Prime Minister according to the nature of the issues being discussed.
3. The Chairman and the members of the Intelligence Council referred to in sub-paragraphs b and c of paragraph 2 will be substituted for by their lawful substitutes
4. In the Intelligence Council will be entitled to participate without a right to vote, following an invitation by the Chairman, representatives of other public agencies or legal entities belonging to the public sector.

Joint steering committee (18)
Established in 1992 to coordinate the activities of the EYP and to oversee the coordination between the EYP and other government bodies.

Foreign affairs and defense government council (KYSEA) (19)
Successor to the National Security Council and established in 1986. It is compromised by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs the Minister of Defense, the Minister of the National Economy and the head of the Hellenic Armed Forces. In accordance to the issues discussed there can be the permission of ad hoc appointment of other public officials.

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