In promulgating the measure, the president warned in a public message posted on the website of the "added responsibilities of the Government, from now on, in directing and guiding an entity whose capital will be entirely public".

According to the message, the president's decision to promulgate it is justified by the "strategic importance of a safe, reliable and effective emergency communications system, even in the most adverse situations, as well as the urgency of decision-making and the concern to avoid longer and more random alternative procedures."

The cabinet had on Thursday approved the €7 million purchase of SIRESP from its private owner-operators, Altice and Motorola.

The issue of ownership of the SIRESP system came to the fore in the wake of devastating forest fires two years ago, when it emerged that it had not functioned as it should, resulting in significantly more loss of life.