Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Greek passports are issued to Greek citizens for the purpose of international travel. Biometric passports have been issued since 26 August 2006, with old-style passports being declared invalid as of 1 January 2007. Since June 2009, the passport's RFID chip includes two index fingerprints as well as a high-resolution JPEG image of the passport holder; every Greek citizen is a citizen of the European Union. The passport, along with the national identity card allows for free rights of movement and residence in any of the states of the European Union and European Economic Area; the Greek passport follows the standard European Union passport design, with a burgundy red cover and the national emblem emblazoned on the centre of the front cover. The word ΔΙΑΒΑΤΗΡΙΟ is inscribed below the coat of arms, while ΕΥΡΩΠΑΪΚΗ ΕΝΩΣΗ and ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ appear above. A Greek diplomatic passport has the same size and design as the standard one, but it features a black cover and the text ΔΙΠΛΩΜΑΤΙΚΟ ΔΙΑΒΑΤΗΡΙΟ inscribed below the coat of arms.
Greek passports are valid for 5 years. All fields on the bearer's page are indicated in Greek and in English, with the translation in the other EU-languages elsewhere in the passport; the main information of the bearer are transcription from the Greek to the Latin script. The following fields are shown: Type Passport number Country Surname [Greek/Latin script) Name [Greek/Latin script) Nationality Date of Birth Place of birth Sex Issue Date Expiry Date Issuing Office The bearer's page contains a machine readable strip starting with P<GRC. The latest version of Greek passport meets international standards as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization. New features include secure lamination, color-shifting ink, pages with intricate designs, watermarks, security threads, images visible only with ultraviolet light, raised printing, a chip; the data stored on the chip are protected by using advanced digital encryption techniques. Greek passports are issued by the National Passport Centre.
Applicants have to apply in person—in case of a child under 14, accompanied by a parent—at the local police department or at a Greek Consulate Authority. Upon submitting all the requirements, the police department begins the issuing procedure. All passports are manufactured centrally at the N. P. C main building in Athens. Depending on the circumstances, passports are issued in 3 to 9 business days and must be picked up at the police department in which the issuing request was made. For this, an applicant must carry with her/him a special receipt. Standard passports are valid for a period of 5 years for people 14 years old and older, 3 years for children under 14. Greek passports cannot be extended. A holder has to make a request for a new one if his/her passport expires within the next six months of the request and he/she plans to use it after the expiry date; the issuing of a standard adult passport costs €84.40, while that of a child costs €73.60. Reissuance of an existing and still-valid passport with no blank pages is possible with a validity date equal to the previous passport and a cost of €53.
Visa requirements for Greek citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Greece. As of 3 July 2018, Greek citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 183 countries and territories, ranking the Greek passport 6th in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index. Additionally, Arton Capital's Passport Index ranked the Greek passport 3rd in the world in terms of travel freedom, with a visa-free score of 162, as of 3 July 2018. Greek identity card Visa requirements for Greek citizens Visa policy of Greece Greek Nationality Law Passports of the European Union Greek passport on PRADO Video presentations of the new Greek biometric passportInformation from the Greek Foreign Ministry
Konstantinos G. Karamanlis anglicised to Constantine Karamanlis or just Caramanlis, was a four-time Prime Minister and twice President of the Third Hellenic Republic, a towering figure of Greek politics whose political career spanned much of the latter half of the 20th century. Karamanlis was born in the village of Proti, part of the Ottoman Empire, he became a Greek citizen in 1913, after Macedonia was annexed by Greece and Serbia, in the aftermath of the Second Balkan War. His father was Georgios Karamanlis, a teacher who fought during the Greek Struggle for Macedonia, in 1904–1908. After spending his childhood in Macedonia, he went to Athens to attain his degree in law, he practised law in Serres, entered politics with the conservative People's Party and was elected Member of Parliament for the first time in the 1936 election at the age of 28. Health problems made him not participate in the Greco-Italian War. After World War II, Karamanlis rose through the ranks of Greek politics, his rise was supported by fellow party-member and close friend Lambros Eftaxias, who served as Minister for Agriculture under the premiership of Konstantinos Tsaldaris.
Karamanlis's first cabinet position was Minister for Labour in 1947 under the same administration. In 1951, along with most prominent members of the People's Party, Karamanlis joined the Greek Rally of Alexandros Papagos; when this party won power in 1951, Karamanlis became Minister of Public Works in the Papagos administration. He won the admiration of the US Embassy for the efficiency with which he built road infrastructure and administered American aid programs; when Papagos died after a brief illness, King Paul of Greece appointed the 48-year-old Karamanlis as Prime Minister. The King's appointment took the Greek political world by surprise, as it bypassed Stephanos Stephanopoulos and Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, two senior Greek Rally politicians who were considered as the heavyweights most to succeed Papagos. After becoming Prime Minister, Karamanlis reorganized the Greek Rally as the National Radical Union. One of the first bills he promoted as Prime Minister implemented the extension of full voting rights to women, which stood dormant although nominally approved in 1952.
Karamanlis won three successive elections. In 1959 he announced a five-year plan for the Greek economy, emphasizing improvement of agricultural and industrial production, heavy investment on infrastructure and the promotion of tourism, setting the bases for the so-called Greek economic miracle. On the international front, Karamanlis abandoned the government's previous strategic goal for enosis in favour of independence for Cyprus. In 1958, his government engaged in negotiations with the United Kingdom and Turkey, which culminated in the Zurich Agreement as a basis for a deal on the independence of Cyprus. In 1959 the plan was ratified in London by the Cypriot leader Makarios III. Max Merten was Kriegsverwaltungsrat of the Nazi German occupation forces in Thessaloniki, he was convicted in Greece and sentenced to a 25-year term as a war criminal in 1959. On 3 November of that year, Merten benefited from an amnesty for war criminals, was set free and extradited to the Federal Republic of Germany, after political and economic pressure from West Germany.
Merten's arrest enraged Queen Frederica, a woman with German ties, who wondered whether "this is the way mister district attorney understands the development of German and Greek relations". In Germany, Merten was acquitted from all charges due to "lack of evidence." On 28 September 1960 German newspapers Hamburger Echo and Der Spiegel published excerpts of Merten's deposition to the German authorities where Merten claimed that Karamanlis, the Minister for the Interior Takos Makris and his wife Doxoula along with Deputy Minister of Defense George Themelis were informers during the Nazi occupation of Greece. Merten alleged that Karamanlis and Makris were rewarded for their services with a business in Thessaloniki which belonged to a Greek Jew sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, he alleged that he had pressured Karamanlis and Makris to grant amnesty and release him from prison. Karamanlis rejected the claims as unsubstantiated and absurd, accused Merten of attempting to extort money from him prior to making the statements.
The West German government decried the accusations as calumniatory and libelous. Karamanlis accused the opposition party of instigating a smear campaign against him. Although Karamanlis never pressed charges against Merten, charges were pressed in Greece against Der Spiegel by Takos and Doxoula Makris and Themelis, the magazine was found guilty of slander in 1963. Merten did not appear to testify during the Greek court proceedings; the Merten Affair remained at the centre of political discussions until early 1961. Merten's accusations against Karamanlis were never corroborated in a court of law. Historian Giannis Katris, an ardent critic of Karamanlis, has argued that Karamanlis should have resigned the premiership and pressed charges against Merten as a private individual in German courts, in order to clear his name. Nonetheless, Katris rejects the accusations as "unsubstantiated" and "obviously fallacious". Karamanlis as early as 1958 pursued an aggressive policy toward Greek membership in the EEC.
He considered Greece's entry into the EEC a personal dream because he saw it as the fulfillment of what he called "Greece's European Destiny". He person
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
1973 Greek republic referendum
A constitutional referendum was held in Greece on 29 July 1973. The amendments would establish a republic; the proposal was approved by 78.6% of voters with a turnout of 75.0%. This initiated the first period of the Metapolitefsi; the military junta had ruled Greece since a group of middle-ranking officers, under the leadership of Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos, staged a coup on 21 April 1967. King Constantine II reluctantly endorsed the coup, but started preparing for a counter-coup by elements of the armed forces loyal to him; this counter-coup was launched on 13 December 1967 and failed, forcing the King and most of the Royal Family to flee to Italy. Greece remained a Kingdom, the King's functions were exercised by a Regent, a post held until 1972 by General Georgios Zoitakis, assumed by an dominant Papadopoulos, who held the position of Prime Minister and several ministerial posts. In May 1973, however, a wide-ranging anti-junta movement was discovered and suppressed, just before its outbreak, among the ranks of the royalist Navy.
One ship, the destroyer Velos did mutiny, upon reaching Italy, the captain Nikolaos Pappas and 31 officers and crew disembarked and asked for political asylum, creating worldwide interest. The failed Navy revolt demonstrated that after six years of junta "normality", the opposition had not died off, that it existed amongst large parts of the armed forces, which were the regime's main internal supporter; this revelation created a major crisis for the junta leadership. Papadopoulos was thus forced to act, in a move which would bolster his own authority, get rid of the King, appear as moving into the direction of genuine reforms. On 1 June, a Constituent Act was proclaimed, which declared Greece a presidential republic, with Papadopoulos as President; the Act was to be confirmed by a plebiscite, held on 29 July 1973. The defunct political parties and their leaders urged for a "No" as a sign of opposition to the regime, but the vote was controlled by the junta, the results were predictably favourable to the regime.
General Papadopoulos promised a return to democratic and parliamentary rule, based on the provisions of the new Constitution, appointed Spyros Markezinis as Prime Minister. His attempt at controlled democratisation failed after the Athens Polytechnic uprising and the hardliners' coup under Dimitrios Ioannides that followed; the forms of the Republic were maintained until the final collapse of the junta in August 1974, on 8 December 1974, another plebiscite was held, in which the Greek people confirmed the abolition of the monarchy, the establishment of the current Third Hellenic Republic
The Hellenic Parliament is the parliament of Greece, located in the Old Royal Palace, overlooking Syntagma Square in Athens. The Parliament is the supreme democratic institution that represents the citizens through an elected body of Members of Parliament, it is a unicameral legislature of 300 members, elected for a four-year term. During 1844–63 and 1927–35 the parliament was bicameral with an upper house, the Senate, a lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, which retained the name Vouli. Several important Greek statesmen have served as Speakers of the Hellenic Parliament; the first national parliament of the independent Greek state was established in 1843, after the September 3rd Revolution, which forced King Otto to grant a constitution. The Constitution of 1844 established a constitutional monarchy under the decisive power of the monarch, who exercised legislative power jointly with the elected House of Representatives and the appointed Senate, it established the Ministers' accountability vis-à-vis the acts of the monarch, appointing and suspending them.
In October 1862 a rising wave of discontent led the people and the military to rebel again against King Otto and oust him along with the Wittelsbach dynasty. The revolt marked the end of constitutional monarchy and the beginning of a crowned democracy with George Christian Wilhelm of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sønderburg-Glücksburg dynasty as monarch; the Constitution of 1864 created a single-chamber Parliament, elected for a four-year term, abolished the Senate. Moreover, the King preserved the right to convoke ordinary and extraordinary parliamentary sessions, dissolve Parliament at his discretion, as long as the Cabinet signed and endorsed the dissolution decree. With the revisions of 1911 and 1952 it lasted more than a century, with one of its most important elements being the restoration of the principle of popular sovereignty. In 1911, a revision of the constitution resulted in stronger human rights, the reinforcement of the Rule of Law and the modernization of institutions, among them the Parliament.
With regard to the protection of individual rights the most noteworthy amendments to the Constitution of 1864 were a more effective protection of individual security, equality in taxation, the right to assemble and the inviolability of the domicile. Furthermore, the Constitution facilitated expropriation so that land be allocated to poor farmers, while at the same time guaranteeing judicial protection of property rights, it was the first time that the Constitution made provision for mandatory and free education for all, while the process of Constitutional revision was simplified. The Constitution of 1927 made provisions for a head of state that the Parliament and the Senate would elect to serve a five-year term; this "President of the Republic" would be held unaccountable from a political point of view. It recognized the status of political parties as organic elements of the polity and established their proportional representation in the composition of parliamentary committees; this reform of the Constitution is a part of the Second Hellenic Republic, in reference to the Greek State using a republican democracy as a form of governance.
This constitutional change was initiated in January 1924 and initiated on April 13th, 1924 by the Fourth National Assembly. Following World War II, the development of parliamentary institutions resumed in 1948 and in the beginning of the 1950s; the Constitution of 1952 consisted of 114 articles and to a large extent was attached to the Constitutions of 1864 and 1911. Its central innovations were the explicit institutionalization of parliamentarianism and the consolidation for the first time of the voting rights of women, as well as of their right to stand as candidates for parliamentary office. In February 1963 the government of Konstantinos Karamanlis submitted a proposal for an extensive revision of the Constitution, yet the proposal was never put into practice because only a few months after its submission, the government resigned and Parliament dissolved. After seven years of military dictatorship, on 8 December 1974, a referendum was conducted to decide the nature of the form of government.
By a majority of 69.18%, the Greeks decided against a constitutional monarchy and for a parliamentary republic. The Constitution of 1975 was drafted using those of 1952 and 1927, as well as the draft Constitutional revision proposals of 1963, while numerous clauses were based on the West German Constitution of 1949 and the French Constitution of 1958, it included various clauses on individual and social rights, in line with developments at that time, introduced a presidential/parliamentary democracy, wherein the head of state maintained the right to interfere in politics. Greece's current Constitution has been revised three times, with the first one taking place in 1986, when the responsibilities of the President of the Republic were curtailed. In 2001, a extensive revision took place as a total of 79 articles were amended; the new, revised Constitution introduced new individual rights, such as the protection of genetic data and identity or the protection of personal data from electronic processing, new rules of transparency in politics.
It modernized parliamentary functions, propped up decentralization, elevated the status of fundamental Independent Authorities into Constitutional institutions, adopted its provisions on MPs' disqualifications and incompatibilities to current reality a
Cabinet of Greece
The cabinet of Greece called the Ministerial Council, constitutes the Government of Greece. It is the collective decision-making body of the Hellenic Republic, composed of the Prime Minister and the Ministers. One or more Ministers may be appointed Vice President of the Government, by decree initiated by the Prime Minister. Ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister; the Council defines and directs the general policy of the Country, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the laws. It is regulated by the Constitution of Greece; the Council meets at the building of the Hellenic Parliament. The meetings are chaired by the Prime Minister. After the elections, the President appoints the Prime Minister and hands him the mandate to form a government, he suggests the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers and the new government gets appointed by the President in a swearing-in ceremony with the Archbishop of Athens at the Presidential Mansion in Athens. List of cabinets of Greece "THE CONSTITUTION OF GREECE - As revised by the parliamentary resolution of 27 May2008 of the VIIIth Revisionary Parliament".
Hellenic Parliament. Archived from the original on 2009-11-22. Retrieved 4 June 2010. Greek Government official website General Secretariat on the Greek Government website Vice President on the Greek Government Website