Nikolaos Kotzias, GCM is a Greek diplomat and politician who served as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece from 23 September 2015 until his resignation on 17 October 2018. Nominated by SYRIZA, he was sworn in as a member of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in January 2015. Kotzias studied Economics and Political Science and Philosophy in Athens and Law and Politics of European Integration at the University of Giessen in Germany. According to his online biography worked as a researcher and taught at the Universities of Marburg and Cambridge and he holds from 2008 on the position of Professor of Political Theories and International and European Studies at the University of Piraeus, he has specialized in issues of policy and political systems and foreign policy of Brazil and Russia. He has been a member of many globally recognized international research teams on contemporary issues. In addition to numerous other publications, he wrote 24 scientific books, published the German philosopher in the tradition of critical theory Jürgen Habermas in Greece and released a collection of poems.
Kotzias was active as a student in the Lambrakis Democratic Youth and during the right-wing military dictatorship in Greece was a member of the Communist Youth of Greece. He was a secretary of the Federation of Greek Fraternities in Germany as well as the coordination point of the anti-dictatorship student organizations, he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece and was condemned by military courts. During his years in the Greek Communist Party, he became the party's ideological instructor, he was praised for his masterful rhetoric and his profound knowledge of Marxist philosophy. During the 1980s, he praised the Polish government's crackdown on the Solidarity movement. Kotzias broke with the Communist Party after the majority's decision to co-ally with the conservatives in order to bring Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou to trial for corruption. Along with other party members, he characterized that decision as an "unholy alliance" and declared their resignation which subsequently led to the creation of a new leftist group.
He is a founding member of Nikos Poulantzas leftist think tank, named after a Franco-Greek, Marxist oriented sociologist and political philosopher. From 1993 to 2008, he was in the diplomatic service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the rank of ambassador beginning in 2005; as a chief diplomat, he was involved in negotiations on the Amsterdam Treaty, Agenda 2000, the Greek-Turkish relations and the European Constitution. Kotzias played an important role during the "spring" of the Greek-Turkish relations in 1999, implementing the "earthquake diplomacy" at the time when the two countries were struck by catastrophic earthquakes, he has supported the Greek-Turkish rapprochement as a new policy doctrine and introduced the confidence-building measures. He was the Greek representative in the 2002 Helsinki agreement which regulated Turkey's candidacy status for EU membership and paved the way for Cyprus' accession in 2004. In September 2012, Kotzias founded the progressive and democratic political movement named Pratto, whose purpose is "to form a radical, patriotic and social movement, advocating the interests of the country, the Greek people, the workers and the Greek natural environment".
Current Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection and MP Nikos Toskas is a founding member of Pratto. In one of his interviews in Spiegel Online on 9 February 2015 he noted, he speaks Greek, German as native and fluent English. Since January 2015 Kotzias is Foreign Minister in a cabinet in coalition with Independent Greeks, a right wing conservative party that opposes austerity. Nikos Kotzias is an advocate of a multidimensional and democratic attitude towards foreign policy, he supports the view that a small state, in terms of economic power, can take advantage of the changes that occur in a global context and increase its capacities to allow it to exercise an autonomous foreign policy according to the national interest. Supporting the view that the world has begun to move towards multipolarity, Kotzias believes that states that wish to increase their influence and capacities should seek to forge concrete relations with the emerging powers. In one of his latest books "The Colony of Debt", Nikos Kotzias claims that the European Union is developing empire characteristics, as it perceives markets, the bureaucracy in Brussels and Germany as focal elements of its structure.
In this way, he argues, the EU is rendering in a two-tier region of a rich poor South. On 27 January 2015, Nikos Kotzias was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs, despite not being a member of parliament. During the ceremony of the handing of the ministry, Kotzias gave a notion of his political approach stating: "We look forward to bridges with the new emerging world. We do not see our membership in European institutions as conflictual to our relations with emerging powers."In the same night of Kotzias's appointment, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement, issuing Greece's unwillingness to agree to key passage of statement, delaying agreement for further EU sanctions against Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine, before the extraordinary meeting of the EU Council of Foreign Ministers, scheduled on 29 January 2015 in Brussels. The new minister argued that "certain of our partners attempted to present us with a fait accomplis before the new government had been sworn", he underlined that Greece "would not relinquish its sovereignty a
September 2015 Greek legislative election
The September 2015 Greek legislative election was held in Greece on Sunday, 20 September, following Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' announced resignation on 20 August. At stake were all 300 seats in the Hellenic Parliament; this was a snap election, the sixth since 2007, since new elections were not due until February 2019. The election resulted in an unexpectedly-large victory for Alexis Tsipras' Coalition of the Radical Left, which fell just six seats short of an absolute majority and was able to reform its coalition government with the right-wing Independent Greeks. Opposition center-right New Democracy remained stagnant at 28% and 75 seats, despite pre-election opinion polls predicting a tie with Syriza or opening the possibility of a ND government. Far-right Golden Dawn remained the third political force in the country rising to 7%, while the PASOK-DIMAR Democratic Coalition rose to 4th place nationally, as a result of the Communist Party of Greece failure to increase its vote tally and Potami's collapse.
The centrist EK entered Parliament for the first time in history, while Syriza-splinter group Popular Unity fell short of the required 3% threshold and did not win parliamentary representation. Turnout was exceptionally low at 56.6%, the lowest recorded in a Greek legislative election since the restoration of democracy in 1974. Post-election analysis determined that voters' apathy and dissaffection with politics and weariness after being continuously called to the polls were the most causes for the low turnout. Several days after the bailout referendum, on 12 July 2015, the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras came to an agreement with lenders for a new ESM program. Greece will receive a loan of up to €86 billion, which will be received from 2015 until June 2018, including a buffer of up to €25 billion for the banking sector. In return, Greece will have to streamline the VAT system and broaden the tax base to increase revenue, reform the pension system, safeguard the full legal independence of the Hellenic Statistical Authority, automatically cut public spending to generate primary surpluses, reform justice with a view to accelerate the judicial process and reduce costs, implement all OECD toolkit I recommendations, modernise labour market legislation and strengthen the Greek administration, revoke the laws passed by the Tsipras government counter to the February 20 agreement—except for the one concerning the "humanitarian crisis"— or identify clear compensatory equivalents for the vested rights that were subsequently created, recapitalize the banks, privatize 50 billion of state assets.
To help support growth and job creation in Greece up to 2020, the European Commission will help mobilise up to €35 billion to fund investment and economic activity, including in SMEs. The Investment Plan for Europe will provide funding opportunities for Greece. On 14 August, after a rancorous all-night debate, the Hellenic Parliament backed the country's new bailout deal, although more than 40 MPs from Syriza either voted against the deal or abstained, Tsipras had to rely on the support of three opposition parties: New Democracy, To Potami and PASOK. Following the Parliament's decision, the Eurogroup welcomed the agreement between Greece and its lenders, initiated the launching of the national procedures required for the approval of the new ESM program; these national procedures were concluded by 19 August, Greece received the first disbursement of the initial tranche of up to €26 bn. Although Tsipras passed the bailout agreement through the Parliament and did not face a no-confidence motion, the fact that 43 of Syriza's 149 MPs had either opposed the bailout or abstained meant that he had lost his parliamentary majority.
Therefore, on 20 August, following the first disbursement of the initial tranche of the third bailout agreement, Tsipras submitted the resignation of his government to Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the President of Greece. Tsipras asked Pavlopoulos for the earliest possible election date, publicly argued that "the present Parliament cannot offer a government of majority or a national unity government." In a televised address to the Greek people, Tsipras recognised that he did not achieve the agreement he expected before the January elections. Following Tsipras' resignation, the Constitution required Pavlopoulos to ask the second- and third-largest party in Parliament to form a government; some analysts' expectations that these two parties—and New Democracy—could waive their three-days exploratory mandate right to accelerate the procedures were not confirmed. Vangelis Meimarakis, the Leader of the Opposition, received the first exploratory mandate on 21 August, stating that he has the "political obligation and responsibility to exhaust all the options".
Failing to form a government, Meimarakis returned the mandate to the President on 24 August. The same day, Panagiotis Lafazanis, the president of the third-largest party in Parliament, the newly formed Popular Unity, was handed the third and final exploratory mandate. Popular Unity was founded on 21 August by 25 anti-austerity and anti-bailout MPs, who split from Syriza and were affiliated to the party's Left Platform. After having failed to attract coalition partners for a new government, Lafazanis returned the mandate on 27 August. In a meeting with Pavlopoulos, Lafazanis asked the President to set a date for election no earlier than 27 September and to convene a council meeting of political leaders. However, given that Syriza, the Independent Greeks and the Communist Party had made clear that they had no interest in participating in
History of liberalism
Liberalism, the belief in freedom and human rights, is associated with thinkers such as John Locke and Montesquieu. It is a political movement which spans the better part of the last four centuries, though the use of the word "liberalism" to refer to a specific political doctrine did not occur until the 19th century; the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in England laid the foundations for the development of the modern liberal state by constitutionally limiting the power of the monarch, affirming parliamentary supremacy, passing the Bill of Rights and establishing the principle of "consent of the governed". The 1776 Declaration of Independence of the United States founded the nascent republic on liberal principles without the encumbrance of hereditary aristocracy—the declaration stated that "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among these life and the pursuit of happiness", echoing John Locke's phrase "life and property". A few years the French Revolution overthrew the hereditary aristocracy, with the slogan "liberty, fraternity" and was the first state in history to grant universal male suffrage.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, first codified in 1789 in France, is a foundational document of both liberalism and human rights. The intellectual progress of the Enlightenment, which questioned old traditions about societies and governments coalesced into powerful revolutionary movements that toppled what the French called the Ancien Régime, the belief in absolute monarchy and established religion in Europe, Latin America and North- America. William Henry of Orange in the Glorious Revolution, Thomas Jefferson in the American Revolution and Lafayette in the French Revolution used liberal philosophy to justify the armed overthrow of what they saw as tyrannical rule. Liberalism started to spread especially after the French Revolution; the 19th century saw liberal governments established in nations across Europe, South America and North America. In this period, the dominant ideological opponent of classical liberalism was conservatism, but liberalism survived major ideological challenges from new opponents, such as fascism and communism.
Liberal government adopted the economic beliefs espoused by Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and others, which broadly emphasized the importance of free markets and laissez-faire governance, with a minimum of interference in trade. During 19th and early 20th century in the Ottoman Empire and Middle East, liberalism influenced periods of reform such as the Tanzimat and Nahda and the rise of secularism, constitutionalism and nationalism; these changes, along with other factors, helped to create a sense of crisis within Islam which continues to this day—this led to Islamic revivalism. During the 20th century, liberal ideas spread further as liberal democracies found themselves on the winning side in both world wars. In Europe and North America, the establishment of social liberalism became a key component in the expansion of the welfare state. Today, liberal parties continue to wield power and influence throughout the world, but it still has challenges to overcome in Africa and Asia. Waves of modern liberal thought and struggle were influenced by the need to expand civil rights.
Liberals have advocated for gender equality and racial equality and a global social movement for civil rights in the 20th century achieved several objectives towards both goals. Isolated strands of liberal thought had existed in Western philosophy since the Ancient Greeks and in Eastern philosophy since the Song and Ming period, but the first major signs of liberal politics emerged in modern times. Many of the liberal concepts of Locke were foreshadowed in the radical ideas that were aired at the time; the pamphleteer Richard Overton wrote: "To every Individuall in nature, is given an individuall property by nature, not to be invaded or usurped by any.... These ideas were first unified as a distinct ideology by the English philosopher John Locke regarded as the father of modern liberalism. Locke developed the radical notion that government acquires consent from the governed, which has to be present for a government to remain legitimate, his influential Two Treatises, the foundational text of liberal ideology, outlined his major ideas.
His insistence that lawful government did not have a supernatural basis was a sharp break from previous theories of governance. Locke defined the concept of the separation of church and state. Based on the social contract principle, Locke argued that there was a natural right to the liberty of conscience, which he argued must therefore remain protected from any government authority, he formulated a general defence for religious toleration in his Letters Concerning Toleration. Locke was influenced by the liberal ideas of John Milton, a staunch advocate of freedom in all its forms. Milton argued for disestablishment as the only effective way of achieving broad toleration. In his Areopagitica, Milton provided one of the first arguments for the importance of freedom of speech – "the liberty to know, to utter, to argue according to conscience, above all liberties". Algernon Sidney was second only to John Locke in his influence on liberal political thought in eighteenth-century Britain and Colonial America, was read and quoted by the Whig opposition during the Glorious Revolution.
Sidney's argument that "free men always have the right to resist tyrannical government" was quoted by the Patriots at the time of American Revolutionary War and Thomas Jefferson considered Sidney to have been o
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
2009 European Parliament election in Greece
The European Parliament election of 2009 in Greece for the election of the delegation from Greece to the European Parliament in 2009 took place on 7 June 2009. The election system used in Greece is party-list proportional representation with a 3% threshold for any party; the number of seats allocated to Greece declined from 24 to 22, as a result of new member states joining the European Union. Consistent with EU-wide rules, Greek citizens resident in another of the 26-member states were permitted to vote in the place where they reside. On 24 May, the Greek Court of Cassation, the country's supreme court, accepted the applications of 27 of the 33 parties which applied to contest the elections; the court banned six parties from participating: Alternative Ecologists Party of Responsible Citizenship Dimokratiki Party of Uprising Pensioners of Greece Panagriarian Workers Movement Political Greek-European Animal-Loving Movement Animal-Loving Ecologists of Greece In addition, the court ruled that the following parties could not participate as part of the Coalition of the Radical Left: Democratic Social Movement Movement of Active Citizens Movement for the United in Action Left Kokkino Xekinima Ecosocialists Greece Group Rosa A judicial dispute ensued, when Drasi filed a petition before the Council of State to annul the ministerial decision, through which the time for political advertising spots on the radio and television would be allocated, since it disproportionately favoured established parties.
A preliminary ruling sent the dispute to the Council of State's plenary session, which will hear the petition for annulment on 25 September 2009. Gemenis, Kostas. Election Report—Winning Votes and Weathering Storms: The 2009 European and Parliamentary Elections in Greece. Democracy in Theory and Practice. Routledge. Pp. 99–108
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
President of Greece
The President of the Hellenic Republic, colloquially referred to in English as the President of Greece, is the head of state of Greece. The President is elected by the Hellenic Parliament, his role is ceremonial since the 1986 constitutional reform; the office was formally established by the Constitution of Greece in 1975, but has antecedents in the Second Hellenic Republic of 1924–1935 and the republic established by the Greek military junta in 1973–1974. The incumbent, since 2015, is Prokopis Pavlopoulos, serving his first term in office; the president is the nominal commander-in-chief of the Greek Armed Forces and occupies the first place in the country's order of precedence. Although the Greek Constitution of 1974 vested him with considerable powers on paper, in practice the president took a ceremonial role; the president's role was formally brought into line with actual practice by the 1986 constitutional amendment, which reduced his official powers. According to Article 32 the Greek Constitution, the President is elected for a five-year term by the Hellenic Parliament in a special session at least a month before the incumbent's term expires.
Voting takes place in two phases, each maximally of three ballots, separated by no more than five days. The first and second ballots require a supermajority of 200 out of the 300-strong body, dropping to 180 on the third. In the event of a non-election after the third ballot, the parliament is to be dissolved and a snap election to be called within ten days. After the new parliament convenes, the second phase begins, with the required majority at 180 votes in the fourth ballot and a simple majority of 151 votes in the fifth ballot; the sixth and last ballot is contested between the two candidates with the most votes and decided by a relative majority. Before taking office, the President must recite an oath before Parliament: "I swear in the name of the Holy and Indivisible Trinity to safeguard the Constitution and the laws, to ensure their faithful observance, to defend the national independence and territorial integrity of the Country, to protect the rights and liberties of the Greeks and to serve the general interest and the progress of the Greek People."
The official residence of the President of Greece is the Presidential Mansion the New Royal Palace, in central Athens. The current Third Hellenic Republic was established in 1974 during the period of metapolitefsi, after the end of the Regime of the Colonels which had controlled Greece since the coup d'état of 21 April 1967. On 1 June 1973 the leader of the military junta and regent for the exiled King Constantine II, Georgios Papadopoulos, abolished the Greek monarchy and proclaimed himself President of the Republic. A staged referendum on 29 July 1973 confirmed the regime change, passed a new constitution which established a presidential republic; this attempt at controlled democratization was ended by Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannidis' overthrow of Papadopoulos in November 1973. The republic and its institutions were formally maintained, but was nothing more than a façade for the military regime. Lt. General Phaedon Gizikis was appointed President of the Republic, but power was in the hands of Ioannidis, who ruled behind the scenes.
After the fall of the junta and the return to civilian rule under Konstantinos Karamanlis in August 1974, the legal and constitutional acts of the military regime were deemed invalid, a new referendum was held on 8 December 1974, which confirmed the abolition of the monarchy. In the interim, remained in office as President. After the plebiscite, he was succeeded by Michail Stasinopoulos. A new constitution, promulgated on 11 June 1975, declared Greece a presidential parliamentary democracy; this constitution, revised in 1985, 2001, 2008, is still in force today. There are two living former Greek Presidents: List of heads of state of Greece List of Presidents of Greece by longevity