Prime Minister of Greece
The Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, colloquially referred to as the Prime Minister of Greece, is the head of government of the Hellenic Republic and the leader of the Greek cabinet. The incumbent prime minister is Alexis Tsipras, who took office on 21 September 2015; the prime minister's official seat is the Maximos Mansion in the centre of Athens. The office is described as Prime Minister or President of the Government; this is the reason why the prime minister is addressed as "Mr. President"; the prime minister is appointed by the President of Greece. According to Article 37 of the Greek Constitution, the President shall appoint the leader of the political party with the absolute majority of seats in the parliament as prime minister. If no party has the absolute majority, the president shall give the leader of the party with a relative majority an exploratory mandate in order to ascertain the possibility of forming a government enjoying the confidence of parliament. If this possibility cannot be ascertained, the President shall give the exploratory mandate to the leader of the second largest party in Parliament, if this proves to be unsuccessful, to the leader of the third largest party in parliament.
Each exploratory mandate shall be in force for three days. If all exploratory mandates prove to be unsuccessful, the President summons all party leaders, if the impossibility to form a cabinet enjoying the confidence of the parliament is confirmed, he shall attempt to form a cabinet composed of all parties in parliament for the purpose of holding parliamentary elections. If this fails, he shall entrust the president of the Supreme Administrative Court or of the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court or of the Court of Auditors to form a cabinet as accepted as possible to carry out elections after he dissolves Parliament. Therefore, the election of members of a certain party to parliament is the equivalent to a vote for that party's leader for prime minister. Before taking office, the Prime Minister is sworn-in at a religious ceremony inside the Presidential Mansion. Prime Ministers are sworn in by the Archbishop of Athens, the head of the Church of Greece; the Archbishop begins with a few prayers and the Kyrie Eleison, the Prime Minister-Elect places his hand on the Bible placed in between two lit candles, all on a table between him and the Archbishop.
Following after the Archbishop, the Prime Minister-Elect recites the oath: The Archbishop recites a few more blessings, the participants make the sign of the cross three times. The Archbishop congratulates the new Prime Minister, who shakes hands with the President before the pertinent documents are signed. In 2015 Alexis Tsipras, a self-proclaimed atheist, became the first Prime Minister to opt for a secular affirmation instead of the traditional religious oath, he was sworn in by President Karolos Papoulias instead of the Archbishop of Athens, and, in place of the above oath, recited the affirmation: He shook hands with the President, who congratulated him, before proceeding to sign the official documents as normal. When Tsipras assumed the premiership again, on 21 September 2015, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos decided that the affirmation had to be more formal, as it follows: The Maximos Mansion has been the official seat of the Prime Minister of Greece since 1982, it is located near Syntagma Square.
Although the building contains the offices of the Head of the Greek Government, it is not used as the residence of the Prime Minister. During the Greek War of Independence, different regions of Greece that were free of Ottoman control began establishing democratic systems for self-government, such as the Peloponnesian Senate. Meanwhile, a series of overarching National Assemblies, such as the First National Assembly at Epidaurus, met from time-to-time to provide overall coordination; the First Assembly elected a 5-member executive council, headed by Alexandros Mavrokordatos. The Executive continued to govern Greece until 1828, when Ioannis Kapodistrias assumed the governance of the state as "Governor of Greece"—simultaneously head of state and of the government. Kapodistrias was assassinated in 1831 and his government, presided over by his brother Augustinos, collapsed the following year, it was replaced by a series of collective governmental councils, which lasted until 1833, when Greece became a monarchy.
In 1832, Greece's nascent experiment with democracy was ended and a monarchy was established with the underage Bavarian Prince Otto as king. The government was led by a regency council made up of Bavarians; the president of this council, Count Josef Ludwig von Armansperg was the de facto head of government under Otto. Otto dismissed his Bavarian advisers and wielded power as an absolute monarch as head of state and his own head of government. King Otto's reign as an absolute monarch came to an end when agitators for a constitution rose up in the 3 September Revolution in 1843. Otto was forced to grant a constitution and Andreas Metaxas took power. However, two factors maintained significant power for the crown: the Greek party structure was weak and client-based and the monarch was free to select any member of parliament to form a government. In 1862, Otto was deposed and the Greek
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Greece)
The Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a government agency of Greece. The Minister for Foreign Affairs controls the agency; the ministry has its headquarters in Athens. Georgios Katrougalos holds the Foreign Ministry post, succeeding Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who held the post from 20 October 2018 until 15 February 2019; the Ministry for Foreign Affairs was first established in 1822 by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus as the Secretariat for External Affairs. In 1844 it was designated the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Minister for Foreign Affairs: Georgios Katrougalos Alternate Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs: Sia Anagnostopoulou Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs: Markos Bolaris and Terence Quick Secretary General: Dimitrios Paraskevopoulos Secretary General for European Affairs: Panagiotis Pavlopoulos Secretary General for International Economic Relations: Ioannis Brachos Deputy Secretary General for International Economic Relations: Nikolaos Exadaktylos Special Secretary for Religious and Cultural Diplomacy: Efstathios C.
Lianos Liantis List of foreign ministers of Greece Minister for Foreign Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs Official website
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
Foreign relations of Greece
As one of the oldest Euro-Atlantic member states in the region of Southeast Europe, Greece enjoys a prominent geopolitical role as a middle power, due to its political and geographical proximity to Europe, the Middle East, Africa. Its main allies are the United States, Italy, the other NATO countries, the European Union. Greece maintains strong diplomatic relations with Cyprus, Armenia, Egypt and Israel, while at the same time focuses at improving further the good relations with the Arab World and China; as member of both the EU and the Union for the Mediterranean, Greece is a key player in the eastern Mediterranean region and has encouraged the collaboration between neighbors, as well as promoting the Energy Triangle, for gas exports to Europe. Greece has the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor. Prominent issues in Hellenic foreign policy include the claims in the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean by Turkey and the Turkish occupation of Cyprus. Greece has diplomatic relations with all the countries in the world, as shown in the map below.
Representation through: embassy – Greek embassy in another country general consulate – liaison office – no representation – Greece Greece continues to reject the use of the term Macedonia or "Republic of Macedonia" to refer to its northern neighbour. The Greek government opposes the use of the name without any qualification such as'Republic of Northern Macedonia' to the post-1991 constitutional name of its northern neighbour, citing historical and territorial concerns resulting from the ambiguity between the terms Republic of Macedonia, the Greek region of Macedonia and the ancient kingdom of Macedon, which falls within Greek Macedonia. Greece objects to the use of the terms "Macedonian" to denote ethnic Macedonians and the Macedonian language, as these terms have a different meaning in Greece; the dispute has escalated to the highest level of international mediation, involving numerous attempts to achieve a resolution, notably by the United Nations. The provisional reference the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is still used in relations involving states which do not recognise the constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia.
All the United Nations member-states have agreed to accept any final agreement resulting from negotiations between the two countries. The ongoing dispute has not prevented the two countries from enjoying close trade links and investment levels, but it has generated a great deal of political and academic debate on both sides. On 13 September 1995 the two countries signed the Interim Accord, whereby Greece recognized the Republic of Macedonia under its provisional reference; as of August 2011 negotiations aimed at resolving the dispute are ongoing. Under Greek pressure, the European Union and NATO agreed that in order for the Republic of Macedonia to receive an invitation to join these institutions the name dispute must be resolved first; this resulted in a case at the International Court of Justice against Greece for violation of the Interim Accord. The Court deemed Greece was wrong to block its neighbour's bid to join NATO. No penalties were imposed but it is now politically more difficult for Greece to object to its neighbour's any future application to either NATO or the EU.
On 12 June 2018 the Prespes agreement was signed between the two countries which changed the constitutional name of "Macedonia" to Republic of North Macedonia. Opposition arose in both countries but in the end the agreement was mutually ratified; as the island of Cyprus was heading towards independence from the United Kingdom the Greek and Turkish communities became embroiled in bitter inter-communal fighting sponsored by the two "motherlands". EOKA-B and the Turkish Resistance Organization were responsible for many atrocities which resulted in cementing tensions and led to total isolation of the communities with Turkish Cypriots withdrawn into enclaves. In 1974 the US-backed Greek junta – in power since 1967 – in a move to draw attention away from internal turmoil and unsatisfied with Makarios' policy in Cyprus, on 15 July attempted a coup to replace him with Nikos Sampson and declare union with Greece. Seven days Turkey launched an invasion of Cyprus to reinstate the constitution but which resulted in blooded conflict, partition of the island and mass ethnic cleansing.
The overwhelming Turkish land and air superiority against island's weak defenses led to the bringing of 37% of the land under Turkish control. 170,000 Greek Cypriots were evicted from their homes in the north with 50,000 Turks following the opposite path concluding the de facto division of Cyprus. In 1983 Turkish Cypriots proclaimed independence unilaterally with only Turkey recognizing them; as of today the north is under an embargo as a measure against the illegal partition of the island. Since both countries along with the two communities of the island are engages into a vicious cycle of negotiations which led to little. In 2004 the Annan Plan for Cyprus was put to vote but whilst it was accepted by the north, it was rejected by the Greek-Cypriots as it meant in their eyes, endorsing a confederal state with a weak central government and considerable local autonomy; the Republic of Cyprus is a constitutional democracy which has reached great levels of prosperity, with a booming economy and good infrastructures, part of the United Nations, European Union and several others organizations by whom it is recognized as the sole legitimate government of the whole island.
Greece calls for the removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus
Elections in Greece
Elections in Greece gives information on elections and election results in Greece. The Greek Parliament has 300 members, elected for a four-year term by a system of'reinforced' proportional representation in 56 constituencies, 48 of which are multi-seat and 8 single-seat. Seats are determined by constituency voting, voters may select the candidate or candidates of their choice by marking their name on the party ballot. However, the party receiving the largest number of votes receives a 50-seat premium, filled by candidates of that party not declared elected on the lower rungs. Greek citizens aged 17 and over on the year of the election are eligible to vote, at the age of 25 and over are eligible to be elected to Parliament. Women's suffrage was adopted in 1930. Constituencies in Greece have traditionally been multi-seat, they coincide with prefectures; the number of seats is adjusted once every ten years, following the decennial population census. Prefecture constituencies may not be deprived of representation, nor may they be merged with another prefecture.
Population changes have left eight prefectures with a single parliamentary seat each, whereas some urban or suburban constituencies have seen large increases in their seat allotment over the years. For example, the "Athens B" constituency encompasses 15% of the country's electorate and elects 42 members of parliament; the "Athens A" constituency elects 17 MPs, "Thessaloniki A" elects 16, Attica elects 12, the remaining constituencies elect single-digit numbers of MPs. Polling takes place in school buildings on a Sunday, a festive occasion for students who are given a four-day weekend off; the procedure is run by a presiding judge or attorney-at-law appointed by the local Bar association, secretarially assisted by local citizens selected by lot in a process resembling jury duty. Local police are available too. Local party representatives are allowed to monitor tallying. Traditionally, voting takes place "from sunrise to sunset" but times are rounded to the nearest "top of the hour". Individual precincts may prolong voting time at the judge's discretion, if there are still voters queueing up to vote.
Voters identify themselves by their ID cards and are given the full number of ballot papers for the constituency plus a blank ballot paper and an empty envelope. They withdraw to a secluded cubicle equipped with a lectern and waste basket, where they select the ballot paper of their choice, if any, mark the candidate of their choice, if any. Voters may select specific candidates within the party list of their choice by marking a cross next to the candidate name or names; the maximum allowable number of crosses on the ballot paper depends on the number of seats contested. Signs other than crosses next to a candidate name may mark the ballot as invalid during tallying, as such findings may be construed to violate voting secrecy. Ballot papers with more crosses than the maximum number allowed, or without any cross, are counted in the total party tally but are disqualified during the second part of tallying, i.e. the determination of which individual candidate is elected to a seat won by the candidate's party.
Once on-the-spot tallying is over and the tallies reported the ballots are sealed and transported to the Central Election Service of the Interior Ministry. There ballots are recounted in order to ascertain the validity or invalidity of the few ambiguously marked ballot papers. Any unresolved matters following this recount are referred to the specially convened Eklogodikeion, which adjudicates and officially publishes the names of elected MPs, so that the new Parliament may convene; the Court of Election may reconvene at any time in order to discuss appeals by candidates who failed to be elected, to fill seats that become vacant in the case of death or abdication of an MP. Such seats are filled by going down the preference tally of the party list that won the seat in the first place. Greek citizens permanently living in European Union countries are allowed to vote in European Parliament elections; the Greek electoral system was codified for the first time by Presidential Decree in 2012. The current system is called "reinforced proportionality" in Greece, is a form of semi-proportional representation with a 50-seat majority bonus for the party that wins a plurality of the vote.
There is an electoral threshold of 3% which all parties and individuals need to pass on a national level before being awarded any seats. These provisions are aimed at helping the largest party secure an absolute majority of parliamentary seats, enhancing governmental stability; the majority bonus of 50 seats was abolished in 2016, but will still be applied at the 2019 Greek legislative election because th
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