Today, Monday, the farewell ceremony of the Deputy Minister of National Defense, Mr. Nikolaou Hardaliain the “Kapodistrias” Hall of the Ministry of National Defense, in the presence of the Minister of National Defense Mr. Nikos Dendias.

They showed up also the Deputy Minister of National Defense, Mr. Ioannis Kefalogiannis, the Secretary General of the Ministry of National Defense, Mr. Antonios Oikonomou, the representative of the Chief of Defense Forces, General Konstantinos Floros, Deputy Chief of Defense Forces, Vice-Admiral Frangiskos Leloudas PN, the Chief of Defense Forces, Vice Admiral (I) Themistocles Bourolias, the Chief o GES Lieutenant General Angelos Houdeloudis, the representative of the Chief of General Staff Vice-Admiral Ioannis Drymousis PN, Vice-Admiral Konstantinos Vlachos PN, as well as other officials.

In his greeting, the Minister of National Defense Mr. Nikos Dendias stated:

“We are here today for something that is both unpleasant and pleasant. I am referring to the resignation of the Deputy Minister of National Defence, Nikos Hardalia, who chose, after the highly honorable proposal of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to claim the Region of Attica, the largest Region of the country.

You will allow me to tell you directly that I cannot be objective. I have been associated with Nikos Hardalia for many years, I have known him since he was the Mayor of Byron, an absolutely successful functionary of the Local Government.

We have collaborated since then in various contexts. We maintain a relationship not only of friendship, but of mutual respect, which, in the context of the last Mitsotakis government, has also become a relationship of close cooperation.

I had the opportunity to establish in this short time, that beyond his known abilities, Nikos Hardalias is a man of duty.

I must tell you that he was assigned a very important piece of work in the Ministry of National Defense, the question of the development of the defense industry. The issue of innovation, the issue of creating in collaboration with Israeli know-how, a new ecosystem which we hoped and hope will create a new reality in this area in our homeland.

Nikos chose to serve the country from another extremely important position. I have to say that for us it is a deficit. This important task should be shouldered by Giannis Kefalogiannis and I, with the help of the General Secretary.

We would prefer, dear Niko, if we all did it together, but we completely understand.

I would like from the bottom of my heart, and I think on behalf of everyone, to thank you warmly for your service here these years, not only the short time we served together, but the longer time you served with our mutual friend, Nikos Panagiotopoulos.

And let me tell you that we are confident not only of your success but also of the way in which you will continue to serve the country, the society, the interest of the place and the people.

Thank you very much.”


The outgoing Deputy Minister of National Defense Mr. Nikos Hardalias stated:

“Mr. Minister, Mr. Deputy Minister, Mr. General, Mr. Generals, Mr. Deputy Chiefs, Mr. Chiefs, friends, dear members of the Armed Forces, I come today to today’s retirement ceremony with mixed feelings.

And the truth is that during all these years of my effort both in the self-governing and in the central political scene, I have always been with the executives, with the people who served each purpose. And I have mixed feelings, because after two exceptional years at the Ministry of National Defense, where a lot was done in collaboration with the previous political leadership and a lot was launched in these few weeks that we serve and co-serve with our Minister, Nikos Dendias, but also with the help of the officers of the Armed Forces and the Staffs.

Mr. Minister, I did not have time to serve with you, but I want to thank you publicly because all these years in our collaborations and from the other posts and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and under critical conditions if you like, you have always been there, your advice they have always been necessary, always important to me and I want you to know that from whatever position I find myself I will try to be useful in the effort made by the Armed Forces of the country.

Mr. Deputy Minister, Mr. General, I think that in my person you will always have a person who can double as a simple active citizen and I also want to publicly thank the Chief of GEETHA, who is currently on a government mission in Evros, and the Chiefs of the Staffs, because next to them I became better as a Deputy Minister, but above all as a person, as an active citizen.

The value system of the Armed Forces is a unique system, which teaches, beyond discipline, beyond respect, the way you should face problems every day, solve them and move on.

Through this synergy, through this collaboration, you will allow me to say that I have also become a better person and these small and large legacies of these four years of my government tenure will accompany me in my next steps.

Steps I expect to continue to be helpful. Steps that concern the neighborhoods where we grew up, that we serve and steps that will bring me even closer to something that I have always loved, which is my contact with people, with citizens, their neighborhoods, under difficult conditions, for to be able to solve problems together.

Once again thank you very much. I want to publicly thank the Prime Minister for his trust during these four years.

I think I tried in every way to meet the difficult tasks and difficult missions he assigned me. Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, because he was there during the difficult times of the first Ministry.

Nikos Panagiotopoulos, because with his guidance we were able to and advanced a lot of things and you, Mr. Minister, because you always embraced me in a special way and with your advice you always helped me.

The last time I was here I said, goodbye. Intuition, if you will, I felt that somehow I would continue this effort.

Now I can’t say goodbye. Say goodbye.


The Deputy Minister of National Defense Mr. Ioannis Kefalogiannis stated:

“Dear colleague, dear friend Nikos, I, in turn, would like to wish you success in the tasks that I am sure you will take up in a short time from now.

I also want to say that I am very lucky that we worked together, not only for that short time from the Ministry of National Defense when we had the honorary proposal from the Prime Minister and assigned us our duties, but of course also much earlier.

I even remember that at the beginning of the pandemic, being the Deputy Minister of Transport at critical moments for our country, we managed and operationally kept the country standing.

And I would like to thank you very much for the constant friendship you treat me with. And of course, I am sure that in the task that you will take up in a few weeks from now, you will respond with the same fervor, in the same warm way that you have done in all your previous tasks and we will be proud of what you will accomplish in Region of Attica.

Be well and I wish you success in the upcoming elections.”

The Secretary General of the Ministry of National Defense Mr. Antonios Economou, stated:

“Mr. Minister, Mr. Deputy Ministers, Mr. Chiefs of Staff, ladies and gentlemen.

I have been in this room many times at similar ceremonies. Today, however, I greet from the bottom of my heart a particularly dynamic and active man, who wrote a very successful self-governing course, later successfully served the central political scene and is now returning to familiar haunts, claiming with an absolute air of victory the nerve-wracking position of the Regional Governor of Attica.

I am sure, my Nikos, that through and from this new beginning you will offer your best, with zeal and dedication to the society that will support you by approving your new venture.

The persistence, dedication and efficiency that distinguishes you will undoubtedly be a guarantee of success in this mission as well, as in the previous ones, which were admittedly successful.

I would like to thank you for the cooperation we had here at the Ministry and above all for the absolute trust you showed me from the first moment and wish you wholeheartedly good success and strength in your new struggle that is now starting.

Let me remind you that at the beginning of such a struggle we met and cooperated and today we renew this cooperation, at the beginning of a similar struggle.

Good luck”.