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
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
January 2015 Greek legislative election
The January 2015 Greek legislative election was held in Greece on Sunday, 25 January, to elect all 300 members to the Hellenic Parliament in accordance with the constitution. The election was held earlier than scheduled due to the failure of the Greek parliament to elect a new president on 29 December 2014.21 parties, 4 party coalitions and 1 independent candidate applied for participation in the elections. The supreme court decided that 4 party coalitions could participate; the Coalition of the Radical Left, SYRIZA, won a legislative election for the first time securing 149 out of the 300 seats, 2 seats short of an absolute majority. On the other hand and then-ruling New Democracy lost 53 seats and obtained its worst result in terms of seats won. Social-democratic PASOK, ND's coalition partner, was reduced to just 13 seats, falling to 7th place and becoming the last party to surpass the 3% threshold. Golden Dawn lost some support and was reduced by one seat to 17, yet became the 3rd political force in Greece thanks to the loss of support by both PASOK and the nationalist conservative Independent Greeks party, ANEL.
Stavros Theodorakis' newly-created To Potami party entered parliament with 17 seats and 6.1% of the vote. The Communist Party of Greece won 15 seats, 3 more than it had won in June 2012. DIMAR, a former coalition partner until June 2013, failed to enter parliament after winning a mere 0.5% of the vote, insufficient to be eligible for seats. Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as Prime Minister of Greece on 26 January 2015, after reaching a coalition agreement with ANEL. Greece suffered three distinct economic recessions in the turmoil of the Global Financial Crisis, with private markets becoming inaccessible as a lending source since May 2010, leaving the state to choose between accepting conditional bailout funding from the Troika, or the path of a sovereign default along with being forced to leave the euro; the outgoing government chose to accept the offered conditional bailout funding, outlining a certain level of economic reforms and austerity to be achieved throughout the programme period from May 2010 until March 2016.
In return, Greece was scheduled to receive: €245.6 billion of long-term bailout loans, Greece was rewarded by private creditors accepting a debt restructuring deal - cutting of the debt burden of the state by €127.1 billion in 2012 - while transforming the remaining debt pile from short-term bonds with high interest rates to long-term bonds with low interest rates. The incumbent government was formed after the June 2012 election by New Democracy, Panhellenic Socialist Movement, Democratic Left. Antonis Samaras of New Democracy was Prime Minister. PASOK and DIMAR declined to participate in Samaras' cabinet, thus composed of New Democracy members and independents. By April 2013, the government held 167 seats, down from 179 elected in the 2012 election. Of those, nine were expelled for voting against austerity packages, three left voluntarily. On 21 June 2013, DIMAR chose to withdraw from the governing coalition in protest of the unilateral closure of the state-owned Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, ten days before.
DIMAR's withdrawal left the government with a slim three seat majority of 153 seats. Antonis Manitakis, the Minister of Administrative Reform, Antonis Roupakiotis, the Minister of Justice, both independents submitted their resignation to the government. DIMAR said that while they would still work with the government on a case-by-case basis, following another election the party could work with a SYRIZA-led government. In an interview with Bild on 10 February 2014, Samaras insisted that Greece did not need a new bailout, despite reports in Germany that the Greek Finance Ministry was working on a plan for one; the German Finance Ministry estimated that a third bailout would have a size between 10 and 20 billion euros. Both of the latest bailout programme audit reports, released independently by the European Commission and IMF in June 2014, revealed that after transfer of the scheduled bailout funds and full implementation of the agreed adjustment package in 2012, there was a new forecast financing gap of: €5.6bn in 2014, €12.3bn in 2015, €0bn in 2016.
The new forecast financing gaps, were needed either to be covered by the government's additional lending from private capital markets - or a third additional bailout loan, but could alternatively be countered by additional fiscal improvements through expenditure reductions, revenue hikes or increased amount of privatizations. Due to an improved outlook for the Greek economy, with achievement of a sustained government structural surplus since 2012 - along with both a decline of the unemployment rate and return of positive real GDP growth in 2014, it was possible for the Greek government to return to the bond market during the course of 2014 - for the purpose to fund its new extra financing gaps by additional private capital. A total of €6.1bn was raised from the sale of three-year and five-year bonds in 2014, the outgoing ND led government planned to cover its forecast financing gap for 2015 by a continued additional sale of seven-year and ten-year bonds in 2015. During the second half of 2014, the Greek government again negotiated with the Troika.
The negotiations were this time about how to comply with the programme requirements, to ensure activation of the payment of its last scheduled eurozone bailout tranche in December 2014, about a p
Second Cabinet of Alexis Tsipras
The Second Cabinet of Alexis Tsipras was sworn in on 23 September 2015, following the Greek legislative election in September 2015. Alexis Tsipras, leader of Syriza, was sworn in as Prime Minister of Greece on 21 September, having agreed to re-form the coalition with Panos Kammenos and the Independent Greeks. On 16 June 2018 the Hellenic Parliament rejected motion of no confidence against the government with a 127-153 vote; the First Cabinet of Alexis Tsipras was formed following the legislative election in January 2015, was a coalition of Syriza and the Independent Greeks. Most notably, the government had to deal with the Greek government-debt crisis, but was responsible for the early July bailout referendum. Throughout the duration of their term, their main responsibility was re-negotiating the terms of the third bailout package. During the vote on the third bailout package in the Hellenic Parliament, a number of Syriza MPs voted against the package resulting in the government losing its majority.
For this reason and the government resigned on 20 August and called for a snap election to take place on 20 September. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the President of Greece had to allow for all the opposition parties to attempt to form a government of their own, but none of them had sufficient numbers of MPs. Subsequently, a caretaker cabinet led by Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou was formed on 27 August to lead the country into the election. During the election campaign period, opinion polls had suggested that Syriza and New Democracy, led by Vangelis Meimarakis, were neck and neck, with some polls showing New Democracy ahead and others showing Syriza ahead; the exit polls showed that Syriza was on 30-34%, New Democracy was on 28.5-32.5%. At 12:00 GMT on 21 September, Tsipras met with Panos Kammenos, his former coalition partner, at the Syriza party HQ in Athens. At the meeting, they discussed the make-up of the new cabinet. Alternate Ministers are directly assigned special responsibilities and powers by the prime minister, including: full parliamentary powers and, in conjunction with the minister, the legislative initiative the right to issue individual and normative acts, to propose individual and normative decreesFull ministers however retain: the identification of ministerial policy in the cabinet the representation in bodies of the European Union the appointment of administrative agencies, public services and personnelDeputy ministers are assigned with responsibilities and powers by the prime minister and the full minister they report to.
Bold denotes full ministers attending the weekly cabinet council.a Deputy ministers are not members of the cabinet but may attend cabinet meetings. References
House of Glücksburg
The House of Glücksburg, shortened from House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, is a Dano-German branch of the House of Oldenburg, members of which have reigned at various times in Denmark, Norway and several northern German states. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Harald V of Norway, King Constantine II of Greece, Queen Sofía of Spain and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are patrilineal members of cadet branches of the Glücksburg dynasty; the family takes its ducal name from Glücksburg, a small coastal town in Schleswig, on the southern, German side of the fjord of Flensburg that divides Germany from Denmark. In 1460, Glücksburg came, as part of the conjoined Dano-German duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, to Count Christian VII of Oldenburg whom, in 1448, the Danes had elected their king as Christian I, the Norwegians taking him as their hereditary king in 1450. In 1564, Christian I's great-grandson, King Frederick II, in re-distributing Schleswig and Holstein's fiefs, retained some lands for his own senior royal line while allocating Glücksburg to his brother Duke John the Younger, along with Sonderburg, in appanage.
John's heirs further sub-divided their share and created, among other branches, a line of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg dukes at Beck, who remained vassals of Denmark's kings. By 1825, the castle of Glücksburg had returned to the Danish crown and was given that year by King Frederick VI, along with a new ducal title, to his kinsman Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck. Frederick suffixed the territorial designation to the ducal title he held, in lieu of "Beck", thus emerged the extant Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. The Danish line of Oldenburg kings died out in 1863, the elder line of the Schleswig-Holstein family became extinct with the death of the last Augustenburg duke in 1931. Thereafter, the House of Glücksburg became the senior surviving line of the House of Oldenburg. Another cadet line of Oldenburgs, the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp, consisted of two branches which held onto sovereignty into the 20th century, but members of the Romanov line were executed in or exiled from their Russian Empire in 1917, while the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg was abolished in 1918, although its dynastic line survives.
Neither the Dukes of Beck nor of Glücksburg had been sovereign rulers. Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, the fourth son of Duke Friedrich of Glücksburg, was recognized in the London Protocol of 1852 as successor to the childless King Frederick VII of Denmark, he became King of Denmark as Christian IX on 15 November 1863. Prince Vilhelm, the second son of Crown Prince Christian and Crown Princess Luise, was elected King of the Hellenes on 30 March 1863, succeeding the ousted Wittelsbach Otto of Greece and reigning under the name George I. Prince Carl, the second son of Frederick VIII of Denmark, Christian IX's eldest son, became King of Norway on 18 November 1905 as Haakon VII of Norway. Christian IX's daughters, Alexandra of Denmark and Dagmar of Denmark became the consorts of Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexander III of Russia; as a result, by 1914 descendants of King Christian IX held the crowns of several European realms, he became known as the "Father-in-law of Europe".
Christian IX's older brother inherited formal headship of the family as Karl, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. It is his descendants who now represent the senior line of the Schleswig-Holstein branch of the House of Oldenburg. Elimar I, Count of Oldenburg Elimar II, Count of Oldenburg Christian I, Count of Oldenburg Maurice, Count of Oldenburg Christian II, Count of Oldenburg John I, Count of Oldenburg Christian III, Count of Oldenburg John II, Count of Oldenburg Conrad I, Count of Oldenburg Christian V, Count of Oldenburg Dietrich, Count of Oldenburg Christian I of Denmark Frederick I of Denmark Christian III of Denmark John II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg Alexander, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg August Philipp, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Frederick Louis, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Peter August, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Karl Anton August, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Friedrich Karl Ludwig, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg The Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg constitute the senior male line of the branch.
They hold the headship by primogeniture of the cadet house of Glücksburg. The headship by agnatic primogeniture of the entire House of Oldenburg is held by Christoph, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein; the heir apparent is Friedrich Ferdinand, Hereditary Prince of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1853, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg became heir to the Kingdom of Denmark, in 1863, he ascended the throne, he was the third son of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, whose elder brother retained the Glücksburg dukedom. The Danish royal family call itself Glücksborg, using a Danicized form of Glücksburg; the heir apparent is Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, who belongs agnatically to the Monpezat family. See the present line of succession. Although there are no more male members of the dynastic line of Glũcksburgs domici