Mine Ban Policy
The Hellenic Republic (Greece) signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified on 25 September 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2004.
Ratification makes the Mine Ban Treaty part of Greek domestic law. Greece has specified the parts of its existing criminal codes that provide penal sanctions for any violations of the treaty.
Greece has been in violation of the Mine Ban Treaty since March 2008 when it missed its stockpile destruction deadline (see section on Stockpiling and Destruction below).
Greece regularly submits annual Article 7 transparency reports.
Greece attended the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018 and the intersessional meetings in May 2019. At both meetings, Greece provided an update on its stockpile destruction progress. Greece has previously attended most Meetings of States Parties and intersessional meetings, in addition to the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014.
Greece is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Greece is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and has submitted its annual report for calendar year 2018 in early 2019. Greece is not party to CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.
Production and trade
Greece is a former producer of antipersonnel mines; it also formerly imported them from Germany and the United States (US). Prior to becoming a State Party, Greece had a moratorium on the production and export of antipersonnel mines for a number of years.
Stockpiling and destruction
Greece failed to meet its 1 March 2008 Article 4 deadline for destruction of its stockpiled antipersonnel mines and remains in violation of the treaty. In its report submitted in 2019, Greece reported that it had 396,452 antipersonnel mines remaining in stockpiles. It reported the destruction of 244,309 antipersonnel mines in 2018 (502 M2; 492 DM31; 242,729 M16; and 586 M14 mines).
On 1 October 2014, an explosion at the Midzhur munitions destruction plant owned by VIDEX in Gorni Lom, Bulgaria killed 15 workers and halted Greece’s stockpile destruction program. The Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, attributed the Midzhur plant blast to “arrogant non-observance” of rules of procedure. In a statement released on 31 December 2014, Greece stated that “it was reviewing all possible options in an effort to adhere to its initial intention to complete the destruction of all stockpiled anti-personnel mines by the end of 2015.”
At the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in November 2018, Greece reported that the transfer of antipersonnel mines from Bulgarian storage facilities was complete. At the intersessional meetings in May 2019, Greece reported that its stockpile had been reduced to 343,413 antipersonnel mines and that at least 33,526 additional mines were anticipated to be destroyed in the near future. The ICBL has repeatedly expressed concern at Greece’s failure to begin the destruction process early enough to meet its destruction deadline. It has urged Greece to set a firm deadline for completion, to devote the necessary resources for destruction, and to report progress to States Parties on a monthly basis.
Mines retained for research and training
In 2019, Greece declared a total of 5,599 mines retained “for training soldiers in mine detection and clearance and canine detection.” This consists of M14 (3,008), DM31 (1,282), M2 (1,001), and M16 (308) mines. It initially retained a stockpile of 7,224 antipersonnel mines.
 Interview with Lt.-Col. Vassilis Makris, Defence Policy Directorate, International Law Section, Hellenic Defence General Staff, Ministry of Defence, Athens, 13 May 2005.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2006. The information has been repeated in all subsequent Article 7 reports. See also, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 446.
 Statement of Greece, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 29 November 2018; and statement of Greece, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 24 May 2019.
 Greece has reported, “Upon ratification of the Ottawa Convention, there were not any anti-personnel mine production facilities whatsoever in Greece.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, April 2012.
 On 19 February 2010, a Greek news agency reported that US forces seized a ship heading for East Africa carrying a cargo of weapons, including a “large quantity of mines” with serial numbers indicating they were US-manufactured mines purchased by the Greek army, allegedly sent to Bulgaria for destruction. Both Bulgaria and Greece conducted investigations into the incident and concluded that the allegation was unfounded.
 Bulgaria stated that 6,986 mines were being destroyed at the Midzhur plant in Gorni Lom at the time of the explosion. A total of 130 of the mines had been recovered, but were not going to be transferred due to their damaged condition. The remaining 6,856 mines were either destroyed during the initial plant explosion or are still scattered throughout the processing facility, and these mines will be destroyed upon discovery according to Bulgaria’s statement. Statement of Bulgaria, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, June 2015.
 Stoyan Nenov and Tsvetelia Tsolova, “Blasts kill 15 people at Bulgaria explosives plant,” Reuters, 2 October 2015.
 Preliminary Observations of the President of the Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 23 June 2015.
 Statement of Greece, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 29 November 2018.
 Statement of Greece, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 24 May 2019.
 Statement of ICBL, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011; statement of ICBL, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 29 November 2010; and statement of ICBL, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 2 December 2009.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 2019.