The 1975 constitution restored the large measure of local self-government initially provided for in the constitution of 1952 and reemphasized the principle of decentralization, although local units must depend on the central government for funding. Under the military regime of 1967–74, local units had been closely controlled by the central authorities.
Greece is divided into 13 regional governments ( periferiarchis ), which are subdivided into 51 prefectures or nomarchies ( nomoi ), in addition to the autonomous administration of Mt. Áthos (Aghion Oros) in Macedonia. Each prefecture is governed by a nomarch who is nominally appointed by the minister of the interior. Nomoi are further divided into two or more provinces or eparchies , of which there were 147 in 2002. There are also 272 municipalities or demoi (cities of more than 10,000 inhabitants), administered by mayors; communes (with 300 to 10,000 inhabitants), each run by a president and a community council; and localities.
The rocky promontory of Mt. Áthos, southeast of Salonika, is occupied by 20 monasteries, of which 17 are Greek, one Russian, one Serbian, and one Bulgarian. Mt. Áthos is governed by a 4-member council and a 20-member assembly (1 representative from each monastery). The special status of Mt. Áthos was first formalized in the 1952 constitution.