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Home: History - Post Dictatorship - Revisiting of Priorities


The restoration of democracy signified a new era for KYP and was supplemented by efforts to repair its reputation both at home and abroad.

At home, the efforts focused on the abolishment of all those responsibilities of KYP relating to the persecution of “dissident” Greek nationals.

The primary aim of the post-dictatorship, newly formed government was the amendment of the Presidential Decree[1] in order to abolish the responsibility for the “security of the state apparatus”. As a result of this abolishment, the Service and its personnel ceased to have “responsibilities” which were contrary to the spirit of democracy, human rights and constitutional liberties. Under that Presidential Decree, KYP continued to be directly subordinate to the Prime Minister, whereas its responsibilities included providing information to the competent Authorities, so as to take counter measures against external threats, targeting the country’s interests at home and abroad.

Parallel to the amendment of the legislation stipulating the functioning of KYP, there were also internal reforms, which contributed to the modernization and future evolution of the Service. The first indication of this reform was the recruitment of civilian, University graduates in July 1974[2].This fact, combined with the realization of special educational programs for existing personnel would prove to be highly beneficial with visible results, reflected in the efficiency of the Service, vis-à-vis adapting to the new conditions and meeting the new requirements, as a result of the internal and international social, political and economic developments[3].

Political, economic and energy-related issues, such as the developments in the Middle East and the nuclear infrastructure in central and eastern Mediterranean[4], are included in the agenda of the Service (1977). These topics demonstrate the necessity to deal with such issues, as well as the capability of the Service to successfully meet the new requirements, which will persist in the long run in the domestic, as well as in the international security environment. There is a new approach to the issue of the ‘Balkan Peninsula and developments’, as a result of the then perception on matters of foreign policy[5], which –apart from other priorities- aimed to approach neighboring countries, on the basis of reciprocity and common interests in South-eastern Europe, regardless of ideological and political orientation.

On the international stage, the orientation of the Service, given the Cold War[6]and the political choices and obligations of the country towards the existing alliances (initially NATO and later EEC), remained stable and in direct relation to the Cold War as well as to the enhancement of national security and territorial integrity[7].

The country’s effort to dynamically incorporate within the system of international balances[8]is reflected by the attempt to approach the then socialist countries as well as the so called Third World[9],countries. This effort determines the orientation of KYP, which is required to function under these new conditions, contributing to the realization of the twofold “security/national integrity – extroversion of the country”.
Within this framework and under the general, as already mentioned, political perception of that time - of normalizing relations with neighboring countries - the Service held the first ad hoc cooperation with the respective Services of the neighboring countries, with the primary aim to deter potential developments that could cause tension in the region, due to the differing political and economic orientation of the countries involved.

Greece, as a NATO member-state, further developed its relations with the respective Services of the US as well as with those of other western countries, focusing mainly on military affairs. Within this framework, the main responsibility of KYP was to monitor the movement of the Naval Forces of the Warsaw Pact[10].

As far as the domestic operational sector is concerned, the Service focused on the clandestine activity of foreign elements, who under various covers (diplomatic, professional etc) and through the use of various modus operandi forms, aimed at collecting intelligence for their own interests, at the expense of Greece and its obligations towards the allies.

Furthermore, within the framework of the negative image and predisposition against the then KYP, due to its activity during 1967-1974 [11], the Service initiates the end of its introversion. This is initially manifested through the participation of its personnel (1979), either as trainees or trainers in seminars on national security, as well as through the continuous training of its personnel on various fields, which required specialization and expertise.

[1] See Official Government Gazette 267, V. a 727, 1974, N.D. 75/1974.
[2] Administrative Archives of EYP.
[3]It was the end of nuclear competition between the two superpowers. Within the framework/ under the light of the implementation of a new doctrine which was equally competitive, the first nuclear attack approach which persisted for several years, is being replaced by the “contained war” doctrine, whereas the US indulged into a strategy/tactic of economic/financial overwhelming/elimination of the Soviet Bloc, which was manifested, particularly in the 80s, by the coercive/ compulsory arms races. As per that new Soviet strategy and the overall Soviet espionage policy, see Bonco Angelov, Razuznavaneto ot drevnosta do nasi dni (Espionage form Ancient until Contemporary Times), Sofia, 2003, pages 83-102, 137-153.
[4]Archive of EYP.
[5] As per foreign policy of Greece during 1974-1987, see K. Svolopoulos, The Greek Foreign Policy…, p.205 etc, also relevant bibliography, History of the Greek Nation, V. XVI, Athens Publishing, Athens 2000, Ch. Rozakis, Greek Foreign Policy, 1974-1981, Thessaloniki 1986, D. Konstas - C. Tarnanidis, Contemporary Greek Foreign Policy, 1974-1987, V I-II, Athens-Komotini 1988-1989.
[6] On the Cold-War and the US-USSR competition, see H. Kissinger, Diplomacy, Athens 1995, pages. 474-895.
[7]On the Greek-Turkish relations during that period, see relevant bibliography in K. Svolopoulos, The Greek Foreign Policy…., pages 296-298.
[8]This policy was imposed by the international situation mainly the change of strategy and tactics by the USSR, which implemented/pursued the policy of rapprochement and peaceful co-existence with the West and the use of members of diplomatic representations for espionage and other intelligence collection. On this, see Bonco Angelov, Razuznavaneto ot drevnosta do nasi dni, (Espionage form Ancient until Contemporary Times), Sofia, 2003, pages 83-102, 137-153.
[9] On the regional policy of Greece, see K. Svolopoulos, The Greek Foreign Policy…., pages 226-258 and relevant bibliography in pages 293-295.
[10]Archive of EYP.
[11]For the prior to 1974 KYP, see Parliament Proceedings, 1.2.84, pg 3.583