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
A political spectrum is a system of classifying different political positions upon one or more geometric axes that represent independent political dimensions. Most long-standing spectra include a left wing, which referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament after the Revolution. On a left–right spectrum and socialism are regarded internationally as being on the left, Liberalism can mean different things in different contexts: sometimes on the left; those with an intermediate outlook are sometimes classified as centrists. That said and neoliberals are called centrists too. Politics that rejects the conventional left–right spectrum is known as syncretic politics, though the label tends to mischaracterize positions that have a logical location on a two-axis spectrum because they seem randomly brought together on a one-axis left-right spectrum. Political scientists have noted that a single left–right axis is insufficient for describing the existing variation in political beliefs and include other axes.
Though the descriptive words at polar opposites may vary in popular biaxial spectra the axes are split between socio-cultural issues and economic issues, each scaling from some form of individualism to some form of communitarianism. The terms right and left refer to political affiliations originating early in the French Revolutionary era of 1789–1799 and referred to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France; as seen from the Speaker's seat at the front of the Assembly, the aristocracy sat on the right and the commoners sat on the left, hence the terms right-wing politics and left-wing politics. The defining point on the ideological spectrum was the Ancien Régime. "The Right" thus implied support for aristocratic or royal interests and the church, while "The Left" implied support for republicanism and civil liberties. Because the political franchise at the start of the revolution was narrow, the original "Left" represented the interests of the bourgeoisie, the rising capitalist class.
Support for laissez-faire commerce and free markets were expressed by politicians sitting on the left because these represented policies favorable to capitalists rather than to the aristocracy, but outside parliamentary politics these views are characterized as being on the Right. The reason for this apparent contradiction lies in the fact that those "to the left" of the parliamentary left, outside official parliamentary structures represent much of the working class, poor peasantry and the unemployed, their political interests in the French Revolution lay with opposition to the aristocracy and so they found themselves allied with the early capitalists. However, this did not mean that their economic interests lay with the laissez-faire policies of those representing them politically; as capitalist economies developed, the aristocracy became less relevant and were replaced by capitalist representatives. The size of the working class increased as capitalism expanded and began to find expression through trade unionist, socialist and communist politics rather than being confined to the capitalist policies expressed by the original "left".
This evolution has pulled parliamentary politicians away from laissez-faire economic policies, although this has happened to different degrees in different countries those with a history of issues with more authoritarian-left countries, such as the Soviet Union or China under Mao Zedong. Thus the word "Left" in American political parlance may refer to "liberalism" and be identified with the Democratic Party, whereas in a country such as France these positions would be regarded as more right-wing, or centrist overall, "left" is more to refer to "socialist" or "social-democratic" positions rather than "liberal" ones. For a century, social scientists have considered the problem of how best to describe political variation. In 1950, Leonard W. Ferguson analyzed political values using ten scales measuring attitudes toward: birth control, capital punishment, communism, law, theism, treatment of criminals and war. Submitting the results to factor analysis, he was able to identify three factors, which he named religionism and nationalism.
He defined religionism as belief in God and negative attitudes toward birth control. This system was derived empirically, as rather than devising a political model on purely theoretical grounds and testing it, Ferguson's research was exploratory; as a result of this method, care must be taken in the interpretation of Ferguson's three factors, as factor analysis will output an abstract factor whether an objectively real factor exists or not. Although replication of the nationalism factor was inconsistent, the finding of religionism and humanitarianism had a number of replications by Ferguson and others. Shortly afterward, Hans Eysenck began researching political attitudes in Great Britain, he believed that there was something similar about the National Socialists on the one hand and the communists on the other, despite their opposite positions on the left–right axis. As Hans Eysenck described in his 1956 book Sense and
1993 Greek legislative election
Parliamentary elections were held in Greece on 10 October 1993. The Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Andreas Papandreou, was elected with 170 of the 300 seats, defeating the conservative New Democracy party of Constantine Mitsotakis
Georgios Papandreou was a Greek politician, the founder of the Papandreou political dynasty. He served three terms as prime minister of Greece, he was deputy prime minister from 1950–1952, in the governments of Nikolaos Plastiras and Sofoklis Venizelos and served numerous times as a cabinet minister, starting in 1923, in a political career that spanned more than five decades. He was born in the Achaea region of the northern Peloponnese, he was the son of an Orthodox archpriest. He studied law in political science in Berlin, his political philosophy was influenced by German social democracy. As a result, he was adamantly opposed to the monarchy and supported generous social policies, but he was extremely anti-communist; as a young man, he became involved in politics as a supporter of the Liberal leader Eleftherios Venizelos, who made him governor of Chios after the Balkan War of 1912. One of his brothers, was killed in the Battle of Kilkis-Lachanas, he married twice. His first wife was Sofia Mineyko, a Polish national, daughter of Zygmunt Mineyko and paternal granddaughter of Stanislaw Mineyko.
Their son Andreas Papandreou was born in Chios in 1919. His second wife was the actress their son was named George Papandreou. During the political crisis surrounding Greece's entry into World War I, Papandreou was one of Venizelos's closest supporters against the pro-German King Constantine I; when Venizelos was forced to flee Athens, Papandreou accompanied him to Crete, went to Lesbos, where he mobilised anti-monarchist supporters in the islands and rallied support for Venizelos's insurgent pro-Allied government in Thessaloniki. In 1921 he narrowly escaped assassination from royalist extremists. In the 1920 general election, Papandreou unsuccessfully ran as an independent liberal in the Lesvos constituency. From January to October 1923, he served as interior minister in the cabinet of Stylianos Gonatas. In the December 1923 elections, he was elected as a Venizelist Liberal Party member of parliament for Lesvos, served as finance minister for just 11 days in June 1925, education minister in 1930–1932 and transport minister in 1933.
As minister of education he reformed the Greek school system and built many schools for the children of refugees of the Greco-Turkish War. In 1935, he set up the Democratic Socialist Party of Greece. A lifelong opponent of the Greek monarchy, he was exiled in 1936 by the Greek royalist dictator Ioannis Metaxas. Following the Axis occupation of Greece in World War II, he joined the predominantly Venizelist government-in-exile based in Egypt. With British support, King George II appointed him as PM and under his premiership took place the Lebanon conference and the Caserta agreement, in an attempt to stop the crisis in Greece and the conflicts between EAM and non-EAM forces, a prelude of the civil war. After the evacuation of Greece from the Axis powers, he entered Athens as Prime Minister of the Greek government-in-exile with some units of the Greek army and the allied British. During the same month, he became prime minister in the Greek government of National Unity, which had succeed the Greek government-in-exile.
He tried to normalize the polarized situation between the EAM and non-EAM forces, collaborating with the General Ronald Scobie, under treaty responsible for all the Allied forces. Although he resigned in 1945, after the Dekemvriana events, he continued to hold high office. From 1946–1952 he served as labor minister, supplies minister, education minister, finance minister and public order minister. In 1950–1952, he was deputy prime minister; the 1952–1961 period was a difficult one for Papandreou. The liberal political forces in Greece were gravely weakened by internal disputes and suffered electoral defeat from the conservatives. Papandreou continuously accused Sofoklis Venizelos for these maladies, considering his leadership dour and uninspiring. In 1961, Papandreou revived Greek liberalism by founding the Center Union Party, a confederation of old liberal Venizelists and dissatisfied conservatives. After the elections of "violence and fraud" of 1961, Papandreou declared a "Relentless Struggle" against the right-wing ERE.
His party won the elections of November 1963 and those of 1964, the second with a landslide majority. His progressive policies as premier aroused much opposition in conservative circles, as did the prominent role played by his son Andreas Papandreou, whose policies were seen as being left of center. Andreas disagreed with his father on many important issues, developed a network of political organizations, the Democratic Leagues to lobby for more progressive policies, he managed to take control of the Center Union's youth organization, EDIN. Papandreou had opposed the Zürich and London Agreement which led to the foundation of the Republic of Cyprus. Following clashes between the Greek and Turkish communities, his government sent a Greek army division to the island. King Constantine II opposed Papandreou's government, there were frequent ultra-rightist plots in the Army, which destabilised the government; the King engineered a split in the Centre Union and in July 1965, in a crisis known as the apostasia or Iouliana, he dismissed the government following a dispute over control of the Ministry of Defence.
After the April 1967 military coup by the Colonels' junta led by George Papadopoulos, Papandreou was arrested. Papandreou died under house arrest in November 1968, his funeral beca
2019 Greek legislative election
The 2019 Greek legislative election will be held on or before 20 October 2019, in accordance with the Constitution of Greece. At stake will be all 300 seats in the Hellenic Parliament. Unless an early election is called before that date, it will be the first parliamentary session since the 2004 election which exhausted the parliamentary mandate of the previous election, it will be the first national election in Greece where the voting age will be lowered to 17, the number of parliamentary constituencies was increased from 56 to 59. Athens B, the largest constituency with 44 seats before the 2018 reform, was broken up into smaller constituencies, the largest of which has 18 seats. All voters are called up to vote, with registration voting being mandatory. However, none of the existing penalties or sanctions have been enforced. A number of changes to the electoral system were introduced since the September 2015 election. Greece lowered its voting age from 18 to 17 in July 2016, the 2019 election will be the first national election in which this law will take effect.
Additionally, the same law abolished the majority bonus system system, used in previous elections, which gave a 50-seat bonus to the largest party, replacing it with a simple proportional representation system in which all 300 seats are awarded proportionally. However, this law will not come into effect for the 2019 elections, as it was not approved with the required supermajority; the Syriza-led government expressed support for the introduction of the new system in the 2019 elections as well. The number of parliamentary constituencies was modified in December 2018, with Athens B being split into Athens B1, Athens B2, Athens B3, while Attica was split to East Attica and West Attica; the extension of the franchise to Greeks living outside of Greece is under discussion, but it is unclear if it will be approved in time for the 2019 election. In the 2019 elections, 250 seats will be distributed on the basis of proportional representation in the constituencies, with a threshold of 3% required for entry into parliament.
Blank and invalid votes, as well as votes cast for parties that fall short of the 3% threshold, will be disregarded for seat allocation purposes. 50 additional seats will be awarded as a majority bonus to the party that emerges with a plurality of votes, with coalitions in that regard not being counted as an overall party but having their votes counted separately for each party in the coalition, according to the election law. Parliamentary majority will be achieved by the party or coalition of parties that will command at least one half plus one of total seats; the next general election cannot be held than Sunday 20 October 2019. According to the Greek constitution, Members of Parliament are elected for terms of four years, with elections required within thirty days of their term's expiration. Alexis Tsipras, on 31st of December 2018, stated that he is searching for a date in October
May 2012 Greek legislative election
The May 2012 Greek legislative election was held in Greece on Sunday, 6 May, to elect all 300 members to the Hellenic Parliament. Under the constitution, it was due to be held in four years after the previous election; the European sovereign debt crisis and the Greek financial crisis, in particular, have led to an escalated political crisis. There was an announcement by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou that a referendum would take place to determine whether Greece would accept the next bailout deal with the European Union, the IMF and the European Central Bank; however such a referendum never took place. The parties of the opposition and politicians from within the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement have demanded an early election since. At the same time and strikes in Greece have been commonplace, with some turning violent. Social unrest in the country is the result of a series of austerity packages passed by the Greek parliament since 2010. On 4 November 2011, there was a vote of confidence in Parliament, narrowly won by the government of George Papandreou by a vote of 153 to 145 in the 300-seat body.
Although a number of Panhellenic Socialist Movement MPs said they would not support the government in the vote of confidence, all 152 did support the government after PASOK's leader Papandreou agreed to step down as Prime Minister in order for a government of national unity to take over. Following the vote of confidence one expelled PASOK member was re-admitted to the party, raising the Papandreou majority to 153 seats. Despite the narrow victory, Papandreou resigned a few days making way for a three-party "grand coalition" caretaker government under Lucas Papademos, a former ECB vice president, with the support of PASOK, ND and LAOS. However, LAOS resigned over further austerity measures. Voting is mandatory. 250 seats will be distributed on the basis of proportional representation, with a threshold of 3% required for entry into parliament. The other 50 seats will be awarded to the party or coalition that wins a plurality of votes, according to the election law. Parliamentary majority is achieved by a party or coalition of parties that command at least one half plus one of total seats.
Blank and invalid votes, as well as votes cast for parties that fall short of the 3% threshold, are disregarded for seat allocation purposes. In a speech to parliament on 4 November, Evangelos Venizelos said that the caretaker government would last until February. In late December 2011, it was decided that the election would be pushed back to late April, in order to allow the technocrat government to pass austerity measures. Five parties were elected at the 2009 election, but during the course of the parliament changes in party memberships, resulted in representation for a further two official parties and two parliamentary caucuses. An additional 18 members sat as independents. Leaders of official parties enjoy certain privileges that permit them equal footing to one another and to the prime minister, both in parliamentary procedure and in pre-election debating. A total of 31 parties participated in the election: Panhellenic Socialist Movement, Evangelos Venizelos New Democracy, Antonis Samaras Communist Party of Greece, Aleka Papariga Coalition of the Radical Left – Unitary Social Movement, Alexis Tsipras Popular Orthodox Rally, Georgios Karatzaferis Democratic Alliance, Dora Bakoyannis Social Agreement, Louka Katseli Independent Greeks, Panos Kammenos Democratic Left, Fotis Kouvelis Action – Liberal Alliance, Stefanos Manos and Grigoris Vallianatos Ecologists Greens, six-member committee Union of Centrists, Vassilis Leventis Liberal party, Manolis Kaligiannis Golden Dawn, Nikolaos Michaloliakos No: The coalition of Democratic Revival and United Popular Front, Stelios Papathemelis and 3-member committee I Don't Pay Movement, Vasilis Papadopoulos Communist Party of Greece / Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Greece, four-member committee Front of the Greek Anticapitalist Left, 21-member committee Organisation of Communist Internationalists of Greece, 3-member committee Workers Revolutionary Party, Savas Matsas Organisation for the Reconstruction of the Communist Party of Greece, 3-member committee National Unity Association, Nikos Alikakos Society – Political Party of the Successors of Kapodistrias, Michail Iliadis Pirate Party of Greece, Ioannis Panagopoulos Recreate Greece, Thanos Tzimeros Panathinaikos Movement, Yiorgos Betsikas Dignity, alliance of independent candidates, Panayiotis Theodoropoulos Greek Ecologists, Dimosthenis Vergis National Resistance Movement, Ippokratis Savvouras Renewing Independent Left, Renewing Right, Renewing Pasok, Renewing New Democracy, No to War, Party of Action, I Give Away Land, I Pardon Debts, I Save Lives, Panagrarian Labour Movement of Greece, Miltiadis Tzalazidis Regional Urban Development, Nikos Kolitsis Four other parties were banned by the Supreme Court of Greece: National Hope
2000 Greek legislative election
Parliamentary elections were held in Greece on 9 April 2000. The ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Prime Minister Costas Simitis was narrowly re-elected, defeating the conservative New Democracy party. Simitis formed his third cabinet