Council of State (Greece)
In Greece, the Council of State is the Supreme Administrative Court of Greece. The Council is headed by its president, chosen from among the members of the Council by the Cabinet of Greece for a term of four years; the court comprises the presiding board, 42 Privy Councillors, 48 Associate Judges and 50 Reporting Judges, all graduates of the National School of Judges. The Council is seated in the Arsakeion building in the centre of Athens; the Council executes its jurisdiction in six Chambers-Judicial Formations. Each Chamber may have two compositions: seven-member; the jurisdiction of the Plenary Session is determined by the law, while the competence of the Chambers is determined by the law and the presidential decrees, proposed by the Minister of Justice after an opinion of the Council. After the Constitutional Amendment of 2001 the Plenary Session is the only competent to judge the constitutionality of laws; the Plenary Session is competent: a) for cases of general interest that the President introduces directly into it, b) for cases that one of the Chambers submits to it.
These cases are submitted by the Chambers to the Plenary Session for two reasons: either because they are cases of general interest or because the applicable legislative provision is judged unconstitutional. The Council was first founded in 1835 and it constituted an imitation of the French Conseil d'État, it had advisory competence with respect to the draft decrees and administrative jurisdiction, issuing irrevocable decisions. The Council was suppressed by the Constitution of 1844. Following the deposing of King Otto in 1862, the National Assembly, convened decided to re-establish the Council in order to "prepare and deliberate on law proposals"; the new 1864 Constitution provided for a revision of this in the forthcoming parliamentary session, provided that a 3/4 majority voted against it. On 25 November 1865 a law was passed. Although the Constitution of 1911 provided for its re-establishment, it was not refounded until 1928, after the adoption of the Constitution of 1927, its first president, from 1928 until 1935, was Konstantinos Raktivan.
Its jurisdiction and composition is now provided for in the Constitution of 1975/1985/2001, the Law 170/1973 and the Presidential Decree 18/1989. The administrative competence of the Council, as one of the three Big Bodies of the Public Administration is regulated by the article 95 of the Constitution of 1974/1985/2001 and consists in the elaboration of all the regulative decrees, namely of all the decrees that include impersonal legal rules. Competent for this elaboration is the fifth Chamber of the Council, for such cases, of three or five members; the Chamber may, at its option, submit the case to the nine member Plenary Session. The submission is obligatory for the Chamber, when the constitutionality of the relevant to the decree legal provisions is judged; the Administration is obliged to send the regulative decrees to the Conseil for elaboration but it is not obliged to follow the consultory response of the Council. Nonetheless, the Administration abides by the Council's opinion. A promulgated regulative decree, if not sent to the Council for elaboration before its promulgation, shall be annulled, if a recourse is submitted to the competent court.
The elaboration of the decrees by the Council is limited to the lato sensu legality of the decrees, while the respective control of the French Conseil d'État goes to the substance of the context of the elaborated decree. The Council is the head of the system of administrative justice and it constitutes the Supreme Administrative Court. A case is introduced into the Council with the following legal means or remedies: the recourse, with which the annulment of an administrative act is pursued; the Council judges only the legal aspects of the case and not the true facts. Its decision includes a judgement about not a control upon the merits; the writ of certiorari against the decisions of the lower administrative courts, which judge recourses and their decisions include a control upon the merits. The writ of certiorari is constitutionally consolidated and places the Council at the top of the administrative branch of justice, because it has the last word in the legal aspects of every administrative litigation.
The clerical recourse, with which disputes between the State and the civil servants are introduced into the Council. The decision of the Council includes a judgement both about the legality and upon the merits of the case; the appeal against the decisions of the Administrative Court of Appeals, which judges at first instance certain writs of annulment. In this case, the Council judges as a court of appeals and the Administrative Court of Appeals as a court of first instance. Following the jurispredence of the French Conseil d'État, the Council refuses to examine the legality of certain administrative acts, which a
George II of Greece
George II reigned as King of Greece from 1922 to 1924 and from 1935 to 1947. George was born at the royal villa at Tatoi, near Athens, the eldest son of Prince Constantine of Greece and his wife, Princess Sophia of Prussia. George pursued a military career, training with the Prussian Guard at the age of 18 serving in the Balkan Wars as a member of the 1st Greek Infantry; when his grandfather was assassinated in 1913, his father became King Constantine I and George became the crown prince. After a coup deposed King Constantine during the First World War, Crown Prince George, by a Major, followed his father into exile in 1917. George's younger brother, was installed as king by prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos, an avowed Republican; when Alexander I died following an infection from a monkey bite in 1920, Venizelos was voted out of office, a plebiscite restored Constantine to the throne. Crown Prince George served as a colonel, a major general in the war against Turkey. During this time he married his second cousin, on 27 February 1921 in Bucharest, Princess Elisabeth of Romania, daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania.
When the Turks defeated Greece at the Battle of Dumlupınar, the military forced the abdication of Constantine, George succeeded to the Greek throne on 27 September 1922. Following a failed royalist coup in October 1923, the Revolutionary Committee asked him to depart Greece while the National Assembly considered the question of the future form of government, he complied and, although he refused to abdicate, he left on 19 December 1923 for exile in his wife's home nation of Romania. When a republic was proclaimed on 25 March 1924, he was deposed and stripped of his Greek nationality, his property was confiscated, his wife stayed in Bucharest whilst he spent more and more time abroad visiting Britain, his mother in Florence. In 1932 he moved to Britain. Elisabeth and he had no children, were divorced on 6 July 1935. In Greece between 1924 and 1935 there were 23 changes of government, a dictatorship, 13 coups. General Georgios Kondylis, a former Venizelist who had decided to throw in his lot with the monarchist forces, overthrew the government in October 1935 and appointed himself Prime Minister.
He arranged a plebiscite both to approve his government and to bring an end to the republic. On 3 November 1935 98% of the reported votes supported restoration of the monarchy; the balloting was not secret, participation was compulsory. As Time described it at the time, "As a voter one could drop into the ballot box a blue vote for George II and please General George Kondylis, or one could cast a red ballot for the Republic and get roughed up." George, living at Brown's Hotel in London, returned to Greek soil on November 25. He and Kondylis disagreed over the terms of a general amnesty the King wanted to declare, George appointed an interim Prime Minister, Konstantinos Demertzis. New elections were held in January, which resulted in a hung parliament with the Communists holding the balance of power. A series of unexpected deaths amongst the better-known politicians, as well as the uncertain political situation, led to the rise to power of veteran army officer Ioannis Metaxas. On 4 August 1936, George endorsed Metaxas's establishment of dictatorship – the "4th of August Regime", signing decrees that dissolved the parliament, banned political parties, abolished the constitution, purported to create a "Third Hellenic Civilization."
The King, ruling with Prime Minister Metaxas, oversaw a right-wing regime in which political opponents were arrested and strict censorship was imposed. An Index of banned books during that period included the works of Plato and Xenophon. Despite the nationalist government's strong economic and military ties to Germany, a connection which continued with Nazi Germany, King George was known to have pro-British feelings at the start of World War II. On 28 October 1940 Metaxas rejected an Italian ultimatum demanding the stationing of Italian troops in Greece, Italy invaded, starting the Greco-Italian War; the Greeks mounted a successful defense and occupied the southern half of Albania, but when the Germans invaded from Bulgaria on 6 April 1941 the Greeks and the British Expeditionary Force were overrun, mainland Greece occupied. On April 23 the King and the government left the Greek mainland for Crete, but after the German airborne attack on the island he was evacuated to Egypt. Once again he went into exile to Great Britain at the behest of King Farouk of Egypt and Farouk's pro-Italian ministers.
During the war he remained the internationally recognized head of state, backed by the exiled government and Greek forces serving in the Middle East. In occupied Greece, the leftist partisans of the National Liberation Front and National Popular Liberation Army, now unfettered by Metaxas' oppression, had become the largest Greek Resistance movement, enjoying considerable popular support; as liberation drew nearer, the prospect of the King's return caused dissensions both inside Greece and among the Greeks abroad. Although the King renounced the Metaxas regime in a radio broadcast, a large section of the people and many politicians rejected his return on account of his support of the dictatorship. In November 1943 George wrote to the Prime Minister-in-exile Emmanouil Tsouderos, "I shall examine anew the question of the date of my return to Greece in agreement with the Government". Either deliberately or accidentally, the version
Constitutional history of Greece
In the modern history of Greece, starting from the Greek War of Independence, the Constitution of 1975/1986/2001 is the last in a series of democratically adopted Constitutions. During the Greek War of Independence, three constitutional texts were adopted by the Greek National Assemblies, the national representative political gatherings of the Greek revolutionaries; these constitutions were influenced by: the French Constitutions of 1793 and 1795, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the Draft Constitution of Rigas Velestinlis, the three Constitutions of the Ionian Islands. A year before the adoption of the Greek Constitution of 1822, local Assemblies had ratified the so-called Greek local statutes, such as the Senate Organization of Western Greece, the Legal Order of Eastern Greece and the Peloponnesian Senate Organization. King Otto governed for more than 10 years without any constitutional restrictions, since the "hegemonical" Greek Constitution of 1832 was never implemented.
On 3 September 1843, the infantry, led by Colonel Dimitrios Kallergis and the Revolutionary captain Ioannis Makriyannis, assembled in the square in front of the palace in Athens. Joined by much of the population of the small capital, the rebellion refused to disperse until the king agreed to grant a constitution. Left with little recourse, King Otto gave in to the pressure and agreed to the demands of the crowd over the objections of his opinionated Queen; this square was renamed to Constitution Square to commemorate the events of September 1843. The Greek Constitution of 1844 defined Greece as a constitutional monarchy, providing for a bicameral parliament, consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate; the Greek Constitution of 1864 was somewhat more liberal, transferred most of the real power to the parliament. In 1874 Charilaos Trikoupis published a manifesto entitled "Who's to blame?", naming King George I as the answer. He condemned the king for bypassing parliamentary opinion in his selection of Prime Ministers.
The article landed him in jail, but boosted his popularity significantly. A year on 8 May 1874 he mustered a parliamentary plurality and George reluctantly named him as Prime Minister. Thanks to Trikoupis' article, a new constitutional principle was recognized and implemented: the king was required to give the largest party in parliament first choice of forming a government. In 1911 Eleftherios Venizelos amended 54 of the 110 articles of the Constitution, trying to bring the constitution in line with his Liberal Party's principles; the National schism of 1916 caused a huge constitutional crisis, as two governments were formed: one in Athens and one in Thessaloniki. The Constitution of 1925 provided for a Republic in accordance with the results of the plebiscite of 1924. Nonetheless, on 24 June 1925, officers loyal to Theodoros Pangalos, fearing that the political instability was putting the country at risk, overthrew the government in a coup and violated the Constitution. On 24 August 1926, a counter-coup deposed him and Pavlos Kountouriotis returned as President.
Since the previous Constitution was not implemented, it was the Constitution of 1927 which formally established the Second Hellenic Republic and provided for a ceremonial president as head of state. After the plebiscite of 1935, King George II was restored, but the Third Revisionary Parliament of 1936 did not have the time to replace or amend the Constitution of the Republic. Instead, the Constitution of 1911 was restored, ostensibly on a temporary basis; the elections of 1936 had produced a political deadlock and, George II appointed Ioannis Metaxas to be interim prime minister. Widespread industrial unrest in May allowed Metaxas to declare a state of emergency. On 4 August, he suspended the parliament indefinitely and suspended various articles of the constitution, with the king's approval. For all intents and purposes, Metaxas was now a dictator. No constitutional amendment was adopted before Germany invaded Greece in 1941. After the end of the Second World War, King George II was once again restored by virtue of the plebiscite of 1946.
The implications of the Greek Civil War did not allow the ratification of the liberal Draft Constitution of 1948. A more conservative Constitution was passed in 1952, which imposed restrictions on basic human rights and banned the Communist Party of Greece. On 21 April 1967, a coup took place by right-wing officers, which established a dictatorship known as the Colonels' Regime. An attempted counter-coup by King Constantine II in December failed, forcing him to leave the country, thus there was no government and no Head of State in Athens. Thereby, the Revolutionary Council of Stylianos Pattakos, George Papadopoulos and Nikolaos Makarezos made a brief appearance to cause a Resolution to be published in the Government Gazette, appointing another member to the military administration, Major General Georgios Zoitakis, as Regent. Zoitakis appointed Papadopoulos as Prime Minister. A new constitution was adopted by referendum in 1968. King Constantine was retained as head of state, though he would not be allowed to return until the first parliamentary election unless the government recalled him sooner.
Many of the guarantees of civil rights were suspended, elections were postponed until the "Revolution of April 21" had reformed the "Greek mentality." Five years during Papadopoulos' attempts at controlled democratization, he abolished the monarchy and declared Greece a republic with himself as president. A plebiscite formally abolished the monarchy on 29 July 1973. A new Constitution
Elisabeth of Romania
Elisabeth of Romania was a princess of Romania and member of the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and by marriage Queen consort of Greece during 1922–1924. Raised by her grand-uncle King Carol I of Romania and his wife Queen Elisabeth, she was an introvert and isolated. Married to Prince George, the heir to the Greek throne in 1921, she felt no passion for him and underwent the political turmoil in her adopted country after World War I; when her husband became King of Greece in 1922, Elisabeth was involved in assisting refugees who arrived to Athens after the disaster of the Greco-Turkish War. The rise of the revolutionary climate, affected her health and with great relief she left the Kingdom of Greece with her husband in December 1923; the royal couple settled in Bucharest, King George II was deposed on 25 March 1924. In Romania and George II's relationship deteriorated and the couple divorced in 1935. Close to her brother, King Carol II of Romania, the princess amassed an important fortune due to financial advice of her lover, the banker Alexandru Scanavi.
After the death of her mother, Queen Marie, in 1938 and the dethronement of Carol II in 1940, Elisabeth took up the role of First Lady of Romania. At the end of World War II, she established close links with the Romanian Communist Party and conspired against her nephew, the young King Michael I, earning the nickname of "Red Aunt" of the sovereign. However, her communist links did not prevent her from being expelled from the country when the Socialist Republic of Romania was proclaimed in 1947. Exiled, the princess moved to Switzerland and to Cannes, in southern France, she had a romantic relationship with Marc Favrat, a man thirty years younger, whom she adopted just before her death in 1956. Second child and first daughter of Crown Prince Ferdinand and Crown Princess Marie of Romania, Elisabeth was born on 12 October 1894 at Peleş Castle, Sinaia. Named after her paternal great-aunt, Queen Elisabeth of Wied, shortly after birth she was removed from her parents. With her older brother Prince Carol, she was raised by his wife.
Over the years, Elisabeth developed a cold character and a volatile temperament which isolated her. Considered "vulgar" by her mother she had, the reputation of being a classical beauty. In 1911, Prince George of Greece second-in-line to the throne and his future wife's second cousin, met Elisabeth for the first time. After the Balkan Wars, during which Greece and Romania were allied, the Greek prince asked for the hand of Elisabeth, advised by her great-aunt, she declined the offer, saying that her suitor was too small and too English in his manners. Disdainful, the princess said on the occasion, that "God began the prince but forgot to finish him". During World War I, Elizabeth was involved in helping wounded soldiers, she made daily visits to the hospitals and distributed cigarettes and comforting words to the victims of the fighting. In 1919, Elisabeth and her sisters Maria and Ileana accompanied their mother, now Queen Marie, to Paris at the Peace Conference; the sovereign hoped that during her stay there she could find suitable husbands for her daughters Elisabeth aged twenty-five.
After a few months in France, the Queen and her daughters decided to return to Romania in early 1920. On the way back, they made a brief stop in Switzerland, where they found the Greek royal family, who lived in exile since the deposition of King Constantine I during the Great War. Elisabeth met again Prince George, who asked again her hand. Now more aware of her own imperfections, Elisabeth decided to accept the marriage. However, at that time the future of the Diadochos was far from certain: displaced from the throne with his father and replaced by his younger brother, now King Alexander I, George was forbidden to stay in his country and without any prospects; the engagement satisfied both Elisabeth and George's parents. Delighted to have found a husband for her eldest daughter, the Queen of Romania soon invited the prince to travel to Bucharest in order to publicly announce the engagement. George agreed but soon after his arrival in the country of his fiancée, he learned of the accidental death of Alexander I and the ensuing political turmoil that erupted in Greece.
On 5 December 1920 a referendum of disputed results called the Greek royal family to return home. King Constantine I, Queen Sophia and Diadochos George therefore returned to Athens on 19 December, their return was accompanied by a significant jubilation. A huge crowd surrounded the sovereign and the heir to the throne through the streets of the capital. Once at the palace, they appeared on the balcony to greet the people who cheered them. However, a few weeks George returned to Romania to marry Elisabeth; the wedding took place with great pomp in Bucharest on 27 February 1921. Shortly after, Crown Prince Carol of Romania, Elisabeth's elder brother, married George's younger sister, Princess Helen of Greece. In Greece, Elisabeth had great difficulty integrating into the royal family, her relationship with Queen Sophia was awkward. From an introverted temperament that could be mistaken as arrogance, Elisabeth felt displaced by her in-laws, who spoke in Greek in her presence, because she had not yet mastered the language.
Only King Constantine I and
Politics of Greece
The politics of Greece takes place in a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Greece is the head of government, of a multi-party system. Legislative power is vested in the Hellenic Parliament. Between the restoration of democracy in 1974 and the Greek government-debt crisis the party system was dominated by the liberal-conservative New Democracy and the social-democratic Panhellenic Socialist Movement; the Judiciary is independent of the legislature. The Constitution of Greece, which describes Greece as a "presidential parliamentary republic", includes extensive specific guarantees of civil liberties and vests the powers of the head of state in a president elected by parliament; the Greek governmental structure is similar to that found in many other Western democracies, has been described as a compromise between the French and German models. The prime minister and cabinet play the central role in the political process, while the president perform some executive and legislative functions in addition to ceremonial duties.
Voting in Greece is not enforced. The Cabinet of Greece, the main organ of the government, includes the heads of all executive ministries, appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister; the President of the Republic is elected by the Parliament for a five-year term, a maximum of two terms in office. When a presidential term expires, Parliament votes to elect the new President. In the first two votes, a 2⁄3 majority is necessary; the third and final vote requires a 3⁄5 majority. If the third vote is fruitless, Parliament is dissolved and elections are proclaimed by the outgoing President within the next 30 days. In the new Parliament, the election for President is repeated with a 3/5 majority required for the initial vote, an absolute majority for the second one and a simple majority for the third and final one; the system is so designed as to promote consensus presidential candidates among the main political parties. The president has the power to declare war, to grant pardon and to conclude agreements of peace and participation in international organizations.
An absolute or a three-fifths majority is required in exceptional cases. The president can exercise certain emergency powers, which must be countersigned by the appropriate cabinet minister; the president may not dissolve parliament, dismiss the government, suspend certain articles of the constitution, issue a proclamation or declare a state of siege without countersigning by the prime minister or the appropriate cabinet minister. To call a referendum, he must obtain approval from parliament; the prime minister is elected by the Parliament and he or she is the leader of the party controlling the absolute majority of MPs. According to the Constitution, the prime minister safeguards the unity of the government and directs its activities, he or she is the most powerful person of the Greek political system and recommends ministers to the President for appointment or dismissal. Greek parliamentary politics hinge upon the principle of the "δεδηλωμένη", the "declared confidence" of Parliament to the Prime Minister and his/her administration.
This means that the President of the Republic is bound to appoint, as Prime Minister, a person who will be approved by a majority of the Parliament's members. With the current electoral system, it is the leader of the party gaining a plurality of the votes in the Parliamentary elections who gets appointed Prime Minister. An administration may at any time seek a "vote of confidence". Conversely a number of Members of Parliament may ask. Both are rare occurrences with predictable outcomes as voting outside the party line happens seldom. On 4 October 2009, George Papandreou, president of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement party and son and grandson of Prime Ministers, was elected as the new Prime Minister of Greece, following five years of government under New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, the nephew of long-time Prime Minister and President Konstantinos Karamanlis. Greece elects a legislature by universal suffrage of all citizens over the age of 18; the Greek Parliament has 300 members, elected for a four-year term by a system of reinforced proportional representation in 48 multi-seat constituencies, 8 single-seat constituencies and a single nationwide list.
288 of the 300 seats are determined by constituency voting, voters may select the candidate or candidates of their choice by marking their name on the party ballot. The remaining 12 seats are filled from nationwide party lists on a top-down basis and based on the proportion of the total vote each party received. Greece uses a complex reinforced proportional representation electoral system which discourages splinter parties and makes a parliamentary majority possible if the leading party falls short of a majority of the popular vote. Under the current electoral law, any single party must receive at least a 3% nationwide vote tally in order to elect Members of Parliament; the largest party gets a 50-seat bonus ostensibly to ensure elections return viable governing majorities. The law in its current form favors the first past the post party to achieve an absolute majorit
Eleftherios Kyriakou Venizelos was an eminent Greek leader of the Greek national liberation movement and a charismatic statesman of the early 20th century, remembered for his contribution in the expansion of Greece and promotion of liberal-democratic policies. As leader of the Liberal Party, he was elected several times, in total eight, as Prime Minister of Greece, serving from 1910 to 1920 and from 1928 to 1933. Venizelos had such profound influence on the internal and external affairs of Greece that he is credited with being "the maker of modern Greece", is still known as the "Ethnarch", his first entry into the international scene was with his significant role in the autonomy of the Cretan State and in the union of Crete with Greece. Soon, he was invited to Greece to resolve the political deadlock and became the country's Prime Minister. Not only did he initiate constitutional and economic reforms that set the basis for the modernization of Greek society, but reorganized both army and navy in preparation of future conflicts.
Before the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, Venizelos' catalytic role helped gain Greece entrance to the Balkan League, an alliance of the Balkan states against the Ottoman Empire. Through his diplomatic acumen, Greece doubled its area and population with the liberation of Macedonia and most of the Aegean islands. In World War I, he brought Greece on the side of the Allies. However, his pro-Allied foreign policy brought him into direct conflict with Constantine I of Greece, causing the National Schism; the Schism polarized the population between the royalists and Venizelists and the struggle for power between the two groups affected the political and social life of Greece for decades. Following the Allied victory, Venizelos secured new territorial gains in Anatolia, coming close to realizing the Megali Idea. Despite his achievements, he was defeated in the 1920 General Election, which contributed to the eventual Greek defeat in the Greco-Turkish War. Venizelos, in self-imposed exile, represented Greece in the negotiations that led to the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne, the agreement of a mutual exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey.
In his subsequent periods in office, Venizelos succeeded in restoring normal relations with Greece's neighbors and expanded his constitutional and economical reforms. In 1935 he resurfaced from retirement to support a military coup, its failure weakened the Second Hellenic Republic. In the 18th century, the ancestors of Venizelos, named Cravvatas, lived in Mystras, in southern Peloponnese. During the Ottoman raids in the peninsula in 1770, a member of the Cravvatas family, Venizelos Cravvatas, the youngest of several brothers, managed to escape to Crete where he established himself, his sons called themselves Venizelos. The family was of Laconic and Cretan origin. Eleftherios was born in Mournies, near Chania in then-Ottoman Crete to Kyriakos Venizelos, a Cretan merchant and revolutionary, Styliani Ploumidaki; when the Cretan revolution of 1866 broke out, Venizelos' family fled to the island of Syros, due to the participation of his father in the revolution. They were not allowed to return to Crete, stayed in Syros until 1872, when Abdülaziz granted an amnesty.
He spent his final year of secondary education at a school in Ermoupolis in Syros from which he received his Certificate in 1880. In 1881 he enrolled at the University of Athens Law School and got his degree in Law with excellent grades, he worked as a lawyer in Chania. Throughout his life he maintained a passion for reading and was improving his skills in English, Italian and French; the situation in Crete during Venizelos' early years was fluid. The Ottoman empire was undermining the reforms, which were made under international pressure, while the Cretans desired to see the Sultan, Abdul Hamid II, abandon "the ungrateful infidels". Under these unstable conditions Venizelos entered into politics in the elections of 2 April 1889 as a member of the island's liberal party; as a deputy he was distinguished for his radical opinions. The numerous revolutions in Crete and after the Greek War of Independence were the result of the Cretans' desire for Enosis — Union with Greece. In the Cretan revolution of 1866, the two sides, under the pressure of the Great Powers, came to an agreement, finalized in the Pact of Chalepa.
The Pact was included in the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin, supplementing previous concessions granted to the Cretans — e.g. the Organic Law Constitution designed by William James Stillman. In summary the Pact was granting a large degree of self-government to Greeks in Crete as a means of limiting their desire to rise up against their Ottoman overlords; however the Muslims of Crete, who identified with Ottoman Empire, were not satisfied with these reforms, as in their view the administration of the island was delivered to the hands of the Christian Greek population. In practice, the Ottoman Empire failed to enforce the provisions of the Pact, thus fueling the existing tensions between the two communities. Throughout that period, the Cretan Question was a major issue of friction in the relations of independent Greece with the Ottoman Empire. In January 1897 violence and disorder were escalating on the island, thus polari