Administrative regions of Greece
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The administrative regions of Greece (Greek: περιφέρειες, peripheries) are the country's first-level administrative entities, each comprising several second-level units, originally prefectures and since 2011 regional units.
The current regions were established in 1987, replacing the traditional division into broad historical–geographical regions (γεωγραφικά διαμερίσματα), which are still often used in popular discourse and in statistics. Although the post-1987 regions were mostly based on the earlier divisions, they are usually smaller and, in a few cases, do not overlap with the traditional definitions: for instance, the region of West Greece, which had no previous analogue, comprises territory belonging to the Peloponnese peninsula and the traditional region of Central Greece.
The first seven peripheries were established by the then-ruling military regime in 1971, but they were abolished after the fall of Georgios Papadopoulos in November 1973. The current regions were created by Law 1622/1986 and Presidential Decree 51/1987, and were conceived as an auxiliary regional level of the central government. As part of Greece's decentralization process, they were accorded more powers in the 1997 Kapodistrias reform of local and regional government, and were finally transformed into fully separate entities by the 2010 Kallikratis plan (Law 3852/2010), which entered into effect on 1 January 2011, whereby the government-appointed general secretary (γενικός γραμματέας) was replaced with a popularly elected regional governor (περιφερειάρχης) and a regional council (περιφερειακό συμβούλιο) with 5-year terms, while many powers of the prefectures, which were also abolished or reformed into regional units, were transferred to the region level.
Bordering the region of Central Macedonia there is one autonomous region, Mount Athos (Agion Oros, or "Holy Mountain"), a monastic community under Greek sovereignty. It is located on the easternmost of the three large peninsulas jutting into the Aegean from the Chalcidice Peninsula.
Kallikratis Plan administrative divisions
The Kallikratis plan (Law 3852/2010), which entered into effect on 1 January 2011, transformed the modern regions of Greece into fully separate entities by the 2010 with elected regional governors and regional councils.
The previous government-appointed general secretary disappeared at the regional level, and the regional organs of the central government were in turn replaced by seven decentralized administrations (el), which group from one to three regions under a government-appointed general secretary.
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