Greek Agencies

Hellenic Intelligence Service

The EIP [Hellenic Intelligence Service] has recently been reorganized in response to a new Presidential Decree. Before passing the baton of responsibilities for the EIP to Public Order Minister Mikhail Khrissokhoidhis, outgoing Interior Minister Vaso Papandreou signed the Presidential Decree proposed by the Service's management, which was the result of a lengthy elaboration by experts and university professors, chaired by constitutional law expert Spiros Floghaitis. When undertaking the Ministry, the former Interior Minister had promised a radical upgrading of the EIP, which is now being implemented. Besides, EIP staff seem not to be objecting to the Prime Minister's decision to transfer the responsibilities to the Public Order Ministry and is waiting to see proof both of the Service's upgraded role, and also of its active participation in securing a safe environment in light of hosting the 2004 Olympic Games.

The Presidential Decree Introduces Seven Basic Innovations:

1) A Study Centre is created with the purpose of collaborating with scientific organizations, universities and specialized research institutes. It will undertake the drafting of studies and analyses of issues of interest to EIP.

2) A staff [strategy] planning council [steering committee] is created regarding the Service's policy and for crisis management.

3) Emphasis is placed on training with the creation of a Training Directorate, aiming for modern training, education and specialization of personnel.

4) A Sub-Directorate for National Issues is created.

5) A Directorate for International Cooperation is created, for better exchange of information with allied services.

6) A Sub-Directorate for International Terrorism and Organized Crime is being established, for the EIP to be able to answer to the needs of the new era. And

7) The personnel are allowed to carry arms in the execution of special operational duties.

With the Presidential Decree, the provisions of the Civil Service Code are extended to cover the EIP civilian personnel, which includes the personnel in specific beneficial provisions. According to the new organization, there are positions for 1,800 civilian personnel, 54 for Armed Forces personnel from the rank of captain up to brigadier, 58 Greek Police officers from the rank of lieutenant to police brigadier, 15 Coast Guard officers from the rank of ensign to captain and 520 petty officers and privates from the Armed Forces, the Coast Guard or lower-ranking employees from the Police Force, for the EIP security. The new structure indicates a significant reduction in the number of uniformed personnel, which is a development in keeping with the international models in this sector. Aside from the personnel's obligations resulting from their status as civil servants, each member of staff serving in the EIP is obliged, among other points, to inform the service in detail of any travel abroad, the unions or organizations of any category or nature in which he participates, the person with whom he intends to enter into an engagement or marriage (entering into marriage with a person deemed by the service to be dangerous to national security constitutes justification for the employee's transfer). Moreover, the members of the EIP staff are forbidden from coming into contact with persons belonging to the staff of foreign embassies and delegations, just as they are forbidden from entering into relations or maintaining contacts with persons seeking to overthrow the democratic political system, without the service's knowledge or permission.

It should be noted that, according to law 2738/99, it is forbidden for EIP personnel to strike or to form a union groups. It is considered that with the new organization, the EIP will take a step forward in meeting new challenges. Moreover, as Khrissokhoidhis said when welcoming Deputy Minister Vangelis [Evangelos] Malesios to the Ministry, the EIP is being called upon to play a new, significant role in consolidating national security. The government is evidently aware of the increased demands and will secure the requisite funds in light of the debate on the new budget in the Greek Parliament.


Monada Ypovrixion Kastrofon (meaning Underwater Destruction Unit) is the Greek Navy's special warfare unit. MYK is divided into four detachments, or OYKs (Omada Ymourhon Katastophan). MYK has four main missions: Infiltration and sabotage of enemy shipping and bases; Reconnaissance and pre-landing beach clearance an designation; Ordinance disposal; Maritime Counter-Terrorism.

Created in 1957, MYK's initial cadre consisted of two naval officers. The men were sent to Little Creek Amphibious Base near Norfolk, Virginia; where both men undertook the US Navy UDT/R training (the forerunner to today's BUD/S course). Upon completion of training, the two men returned home and trained an additional dozen men. This group was assigned to the Greek Navy's amphibious operations command. In 1959 the unit established its own headquarters and training facilities at Squaramanga Naval Base, but additional training was provided my detachments of USN SEALS and UDT personnel. In 1970 the unit underwent a reorganization and is currently composed of 110 men divided into four operational detachments and a headquarters unit. Each Det is composed of 25 men and specializes in a certain type of mission: OYK1- unconventional warfare/ intelligence missions OYK2- unconventional warfare/ intelligence missions OYK3- beach recon and hydrographic survey OYK4- conducts EOD operations. There is also a reserve OYK called OYK5 that would be activated during wartime.

The MYK training course lasts approximately seven months. Training is divided into three phases, with the completion of the course consisting of a five day long "hell week". Candidates who successfully complete the course go on to attend the Greek Airborne course before being assigned to their unit. During the Gulf War, two OYKs tasked with enforcing the UN embargo against Iraq managed to board and search an astounding 217 ships. They are armed with M-16A2 and MP-11 assault rifles, the MP-5 submachine gun, and the MG-3 7.62 light machine gun.


EKAM is Greece's police counter-terrorist force. They are based in Athens, but have several detachments spread thoughout Greece's major cities. Each officer is a full time member who must have at least five years on the force before being allowed to try out. Their main weapons are the HK MP-5 and HK 9mm class pistol. Many receive training from the Greek Army's Ranger School before going on to the police counter-terrorism school. EKAM officers are trained in shipboard and aircraft assaults as well as the normal bus and train assaults. They are also tasked with stopping smuggling into and out of this island nation


The Hellenic (Greek) military maintains a number of elite units within its ranks. One of the most highly trained, and secretive, of these units is the Army's Idiko Tmima Alexiptotiston, or E.T.A. The E.T.A. (Special Parachute/Airborne Unit) was formed in 1959, as a Long Range Recon Patrol (LRRP) type unit, and is tasked with conducting operations similar to US Special Forces or British SAS units. Some of these missions include: strategic reconnaissance, direct action raids, and sabotage missions. Very little information about the units training, organization, or operations has been released publicly. What little is known is that it's composed of carrier officers and NCO's. ETA's troops undergo some of the most extensive and gruelling training within the Greek armed forces. In addition to completing training at the Army's KEAP (Kentro Ekpedefseos Anorthodoxou Polemou -Unconventional Warfare Training Centre), SERE, and parachute courses, ETA operators have also attended the Greek Navy's MYK course, and the NATO International Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol School in Germany. ETA operators have conducted joint training exercises similar type units from allied NATO countries, excluding Turkey. Reportedly ETA recently been active in the former Yugoslavian republics. ETA is known to use the US produced M-16 assault rifle, M-4 carbines, M-203 40 mm grenade launcher, and Belgian produced Minimi (US M-249 5.56 mm) light machine gun.


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