HELLENIC ORDERS AND DECORATIONS
Admission into an Order and conferment of the relevant insignia constitutes a public acknowledgement of outstanding services provided to Greece, or of exceptional achievements in an area of public life such as in science, commerce, industry, shipping or the arts and letters. The insignia is conferred by the President.
The first Greek order was modelled after the practice of other European countries, and was established in 1829 to express the gratitude of the Nation to those who had played an active role in its liberation.
Since then, 5 Greek Orders have been established
- Order of the Redeemer
- Order of George I (abolished)
- Order of Honour
- Order of the Phoenix
- Order of Beneficence (only for women)
Each Order has 5 classes
- The Grand Cross
- The Grand Commander
- The Commander
- The Officer of the Gold Cross
- The Knight of the Silver Cross
The conferment of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer constitutes the highest distinction of all.
Thus, the conferment of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer constitutes the highest distinction possible granted by the Greek State.
Those who have been awarded any class of an Order are entitled to keep the insignia for life, and to pass it on to their heirs as a keepsake. In the past, the insignia was returned to the State upon the death of the recipient.
The President of the Republic is the Master of all Orders, and enjoys the power to allow admission into the Orders and to confer the respective insignia, in accordance with article 46 paragraph 2 of the Constitution and the provisions of Law 106/1975. The Council of Honorific Orders, which meets at least once a year, submits recommendations to the President of the Republic regarding the persons to whom distinctions may be awarded. In order to confer an award of distinction, the President of the Republic issues a decree, which must then be countersigned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and published in the official Government Gazette.