The decentralized administrations are run by a general secretary appointed by the Greek Government.
The Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain, as an autonomous self-governing entity, is exempt from these reforms.
The first level of government is constituted by the municipalities (δήμοι dímoi sing. δήμος dímos), which have resulted from merging several former municipalities and communities (themselves the subject of a previous reform with the 1997 Kapodistrias plan).
They are run by a mayor (δήμαρχος dímarchos) and a municipal council (δημοτικό συμβούλιο dimotikó symvoúlio), popularly elected every 5 years.
The municipalities are further subdivided into municipal units (δημοτικές ενότητες dimotikés enótites) and finally into communities (κοινότητες koinótites).
Although communities have their own councils, their role is purely advisory to the municipal-level government.
The second level is composed of the regions (περιφέρειες, sing.
περιφέρεια), run by a regional governor (περιφερειάρχης) and a regional council (περιφερειακό συμβούλιο perifereiakó symvoúlio), popularly elected every 5 years.
The regions are divided into regional units (περιφερειακές ενότητες perifereiakó enótites), usually but not always coterminous with the former prefectures.
Each regional unit is headed by a vice-regional governor (αντιπεριφερειάρχης antiperifereiárchis), drawn from the same political block as the regional governor.
The third level is composed of the new decentralized administrations (αποκεντρωμένες διοικήσεις apokentroménes dioikíseis), comprising two or three regions (except for Attica and Crete), run by a government-appointed general secretary, assisted by an advisory council drawn from the regional governors and the representatives of the municipalities.