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Greece consists of 13 administrative regions known as Peripheries of Greece, which are further subdivided into 3 super-prefectures and 54 prefectures or nomes (Greek: νομοί, νομός, nomoi, singular – nomos).

According to the Constitution of Greece the prefectures are mainly a second-degree organization of local self-government. They are not however hierarchically superior to the Communities and Municipalities of Greece. After the legislative reform of 1994 most of the administrative duties of the prefectures were transferred to the peripheries. Nevertheless, they still keep certain administrative duties attributed to them by the central government (sanitary committees, urban-planning services etc.) and they are thus also legally regarded as administrative units of the central government.

The first prefectural elections took place in 1994. The prefects were previously appointed by the government.



The current "Prefectural Self-Governments" were formed in 1994[1] and replaced the previous prefectures, whose councils and prefects were appointed by the government.

Prefectures are governed by a Prefectural Council (νομαρχιακό συμβούλιο) made up of 21 to 37 members,[2] led by the Prefect (νομάρχης) and presided by a Council President (πρόεδρος).

Other organs of the prefectures are:

  • The Prefectural Committee, consisted of the Prefect or an assistant appointed by him and 4 to 6 members, elected by the Prefectural Council.[3]
  • The Provincial Council and
  • The Eparchos (Sub-prefect, έπαρχος).

Super-prefectures have their own organs (Council, Committee and Super-prefect).

Prefectural councillors are elected via public election every four years. Three-fifths of all seats go to the combination winning a majority and two-fifths of the seats go to remaining parties based on a proportional system. Prefect becomes the president of the victorious electoral combination. Electoral is a combination which attains more than 42% in the first round of the prefectural elections. If no combination passes this threshold, a second round takes place between the two combinations that took the most votes in the first round[4]


The State ultimately oversees the actions of local governments, including the prefectures, but the Constitution of Greece[5] and the Code of Prefectural Self-Government[6] still provide communities and municipalities with legal control over the administration of their designated areas.

The Code of Prefectural Self-Government does not include a non-restrictive list of prefectural duties, but a general rule, according to which the newly formed Prefectural Self-Governments have all the duties of the previous prefectures, which are related to their local affairs.[7] Nonetheless, the affairs of "(central) state administration" belonging to the prefects before 1994 are now exerted by the Presidents of the Peripheries (περιφερειάρχης).[8] The current Prefectural Self-Governments have kept the "local affairs of prefectureal level" not belonging to the "(central) state administration".[9]

With certain laws specific affairs of certain ministries were transferred to the Prefectural Self-Governments (sanitary committees, urban-planning services etc.).[10]

List of prefectures

  1. (see below)
  2. Euboea
  3. Evrytania
  4. Phocis
  5. Phthiotis
  6. Boeotia
  7. Chalkidiki
  8. Imathia
  9. Kilkis
  10. Pella
  11. Pieria
  12. Serres
  13. Thessaloniki
  14. Chania
  15. Heraklion
  16. Lasithi
  17. Rethymno
  18. Drama
  19. Evros
  20. Kavala
  21. Rhodope
  22. Xanthi
  23. Arta
  24. Ioannina
  25. Preveza
  26. Thesprotia
  1. Corfu
  2. Kefallinia Prefecture
  3. Lefkada
  4. Zakynthos
  5. Chios
  6. Lesbos
  7. Samos
  8. Arcadia
  9. Argolis
  10. Corinthia
  11. Laconia
  12. Messinia
  13. Cyclades
  14. Dodecanese
  15. Karditsa
  16. Larissa
  17. Magnesia
  18. Trikala
  19. Achaea
  20. Aetolia-Acarnania
  21. Elis
  22. Florina
  23. Grevena
  24. Kastoria
  25. Kozani

a Mount Athos


Prefectures of the Periphery of Attica

The periphery of Attica (labelled 1 in the map above) consist of the following prefectures:

  1. Athens
  2. East Attica
  3. Piraeus
  4. West Attica

List of landlocked prefectures

(Of the above, Florina and Kastoria are doubly landlocked.)

List of prefectures consisting solely of islands or parts of islands

List of primarily mainland prefectures that also include islands

List of exclaves

  • Troizina is an exclave of the prefecture of Piraeus on the northern coast of geographical Argolis, bordering the prefecture of Argolis on the south

List of prefectures bordering foreign countries

(traversing the border of Greece in an east-to-west direction)

List of prefectures whose territorial sea abuts that of a foreign country

with Albania
with Turkey

List of geographically extremal prefectures

  • Prefecture with the longest distance between two of its points ("longest diameter"): Dodecanese
    (draw a line from Anidros, an islet NW of Patmos, to the islet of Stroggyli, the easternmost place in Greece, just east of Kastellorizo)
  • Prefecture with the shortest distance between two of its points ("shortest diameter"): Lefkas

List of prefectures that share a name with their capital

List of prefectures whose capital is not their largest city

List of prefectures with the least populous capitals

  1. Chalkidiki (capital: Polygyros with a population of 6,232)
  2. Samos (capital: Vathy with a population of 6,275)
  3. Evrytania (capital: Karpenisi with a population of 6,775)
  4. Phokis (capital: Amfissa with a population of 6,946)
  5. Lefkas (capital: Lefkas with a population of 7,548)
  6. Thesprotia (capital: Igoumenitsa with a population of 9,104)
  7. Kefallinia Prefecture (capital: Argostoli with a population of 9,522)
  8. Grevena (capital: Grevena with a population of 10,447)
  9. Lasithi (capital: Agios Nikolaos with a population of 10,906)
  10. Zakynthos (capital: Zakynthos with a population of 11,224)

List of prefectures with the most populous capitals

  1. Athens (capital: Athens with a population of 745,514. Note: the Athens metropolitan complex transcends the boundaries of the Athens prefecture, and has a cumulative population of 3,7 million)
  2. Thessaloniki (capital: Thessaloniki with a population of 363,987 ; metropolitan area population at approximately 809,457)
  3. Piraeus (capital: Piraeus with a population of 175,697 ; part of the wider Athens metropolitan complex)
  4. Achaea (capital: Patras with a population of 161,114)
  5. Heraclion (capital: Heraclion with a population of 133,012)
  6. Larisa (capital: Larisa with a population of 124,786)
  7. Magnesia (capital: Volos with a population of 82,439)
  8. Ioannina (capital: Ioannina with a population of 61,629)
  9. Kavala (capital: Kavala with a population of 60,802)
  10. Serres (capital: Serres with a population of 54,666)

List of largest cities that are not prefecture capitals

  1. Peristeri (population: 137,918; prefecture: Athens)
  2. Kallithea (population: 109,609; prefecture: Athens)
  3. Nikaia (population: 93,086; prefecture: Piraeus)
  4. Kalamaria (population: 87,255; prefecture: Thessalonica)
  5. Ilio (population: 80,859; prefecture: Athens)
  6. Glyfada (population: 80,409; prefecture: Athens)
  7. Zografou (population: 76,115; prefecture: Athens)
  8. Keratsini (population: 76,102; prefecture: Piraeus)
  9. Ilioupoli (population: 75,904; prefecture: Athens)
  10. Acharnes (population: 75,341; prefecture: East Attica)
  11. Egaleo (population: 74,046; prefecture: Athens)
  12. Nea Smyrni (population: 73,986; prefecture: Athens)
  13. Chalandri (population: 71,684; prefecture: Athens)
  14. Amarousio (population: 69,470; prefecture: Athens)
  15. Korydallos (population: 67,456; prefecture: Piraeus)
  16. Nea Ionia (population: 66,017; prefecture: Athens)
  17. Agios Dimitrios (population: 65,173; prefecture: Athens)
  18. Paleo Faliro (population: 64,759; prefecture: Athens)
  19. Vironas (population: 61,102; prefecture: Athens)
  20. Galatsi (population: 58,042; prefecture: Athens)
  21. Evosmos (population: 52,624; prefecture: Thessalonica)
  22. Petroupoli (population: 48,327; prefecture: Athens)
  23. Chaidari (population: 46,276; prefecture: Athens)
  24. Iraklio Attikis (population: 45,926; prefecture: Athens)
  25. Agrinio (population: 44,030; prefecture: Aetolia-Acarnania) [the largest non-capital that is not a suburb of Athens, Piraeus, or Thessalonica]

List of prefectures that border a single other prefecture

  1. Chalcidice (borders Thessaloniki; also borders Mount Athos, which is not a province stricto sensu)
  2. Chania (borders Rethymno)
  3. Lasithi (borders Heraklion)
  4. Evros (borders Rhodope)

List of prefectures that border the most (seven, 7) other prefectures

(prefectures bordered ordered in an anti-clockwise manner)

  1. Kozani (borders Imathia, Pella, Florina, Kastoria, Grevena, Larisa, Pieria)
  2. Larisa (borders Pieria, Kozani, Grevena, Trikala, Karditsa, Phthiotis, Magnesia)
  3. Phthiotis (borders Magnesia, Larisa, Karditsa, Evrytania, Aetolia-Akarnania, Phokis, Boeotia)

List of prefectures that are part of the Greek state since independence


  1. Many of the prefectures were originally combined in pairs:
    1. Attica and Boeotia formed Attica-Boeotia
    2. Phthiotis and Phocis formed Phthiotis-Phocis
    3. Corinthia and Argolis formed Argolia-Corinthia
    4. Achaea and Elis formed Elis-Achaia
  2. Aetolia-Acarnania originally also included Evrytania. Unlike the rest mentioned above, the prefecture never broke up into two prefectures, thus being the only one left with a composite appellation.
  3. Messinia originally included the southern half of what is now Elis.
  4. Laconia originally included the southern-eastern half of what is now Messinia.
  5. Eboea originally included the islands of what is now Magnesia.
  6. The territory of Phthiotis did not originally include the province of Domokos, which was part of Thessaly (under Ottoman rule until 1881). The area currently constituting the Domokos province of the prefecture of Fthiotis only became a part of the Greek state in general, and of Fthiotis in particular, after the annexation of Thessaly to Greece in 1881.
  7. Arcadia and the Cyclades are the only prefectures to have their borders unchanged since independence.
  8. The capital of Argolis, Nafplion was the first capital of the modern Greek state (1828-1834), before the moving of the capital to Athens by King Otto.

List of former prefectures of Greece

See also

External links


  1. ^ Law 2218/1994
  2. ^ Articles 13 and 14 of the "Code of Prefectural Self-Government" (Presidential Decree 30/1996)
  3. ^ Article 15 of the Code of Prefectural Self-Government
  4. ^ According to the legislative reform of 2006 (Law 3463/2006). See also the circular 12 of the Ministry of Interior Affairs about the upcoming local elections.
  5. ^ Article 102 of the Constitution
  6. ^ Articles 1 and 8 of the Code of Prefectural Self-Government
  7. ^ About the meaning of local affairs see the Decision 888/1997 of the Council of State.
  8. ^ Articles 3 and 8 of the Code of Prefectural Self-Government
  9. ^ See the Decision 3441/1998 of the Council of State.
  10. ^ See the Law 2647/1998 for instance.


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