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22/08/2006 18:21 Local Time 
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Greece’s national defence policy does not aim only at the reinforcement of its own security but also at the strengthening of its constructive role as the generating force of positive developments and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans and the wider region.

In the framework of the national defence policy, the Ministry of National Defence formulates the national military strategy which provides the guidelines for the use of the defence power of the country. The military doctrine of the country is defensive, oriented to face any external threat.

Nowadays, the Hellenic Army amounts to 110,000 personnel, from which the Air Force strength is 21,000 and the Navy’s 19,500. Conscription for men is mandatory and from 1/1/2003 the military service lasts 12 months for the army, 14 months for the Air Force and 15 months for the Navy.

Overall expenditure on defence amount to 4.9% of GDP, while recently, towards the aim of a further strengthening, the country’s Armed Forces have undergone a process of reform, as regards their structure, power, training, armaments and infrastructure.

Currently, an armament programme aiming at improving the flexibility, speed and efficiency of the Armed Forces is under way. This programme ensures the greatest possible participation of the Hellenic Defence Industry, which exceeded 40% in the last three years and created many new jobs.

In what concerns domestic security, Greece has one of the lowest levels of criminality among the developed countries. Oriented in maintaining the advantage, Greece has taken important measures to eradicate terrorism by passing legislation providing for all-judge trials for terrorists, DNA testing, effective police powers of surveillance and a witness protection programme.

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