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Defense Minister surprisingly replaces Chiefs of Army, Navy, Air Forces

In a surprise move the highest council KYSEA conveyed to change the chiefs of Greece’s Armed Forces on Monday morning. The head of Land Forces, Navy and Air Force were sent to retirement and new generals were appointed.

Media describe the decision as “hasty” and puzzle over the reasons for the replacement just before Defense Minister Panos Kammenos (Independent Greeks) was to leave for the USA.

The Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) is is the supreme decision-making body on issues of foreign policy and national defense of Greece. It comprises of several high-ranking ministers including the Prime Minister.

The meeting on Monday took place without Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias who is currently in Brussels.

from left: Stafenis, Christodoulou, Tsounis

Land Forces: Lieutenant General Alkiviadis Stefanis replaces Lieutenant General Vasilios Tellidis (since Feb 2015)

Navy: Vice Admiral Nikos Tsounis replaces Vice Admiral Giorgos Giakoumakis (since Sept 2015)

Air Forces: Lieutenant General Christos Christodoulou replaces Lieutenant General Christos Vaitsis (since Feb 2015)

The Chief of General Staff remains in his place.

Defense news website ArmyNow comments that the “surprise change of the chiefs of staffs resembles the purge in the Turkish army” conducted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the attempted coup in July 2016.

In a live interview at private Skai TV, Monday morning, Alternate Defense Minister Dimitris Vitsas seemed unaware of the KYSEA meeting at 09:00 am.

The appointed officers are expected to take over their new posts in the next couple of days.


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