THE CONSTITUTION OF GREECE
- The form of government of Greece is that of a presidential parliamentary democracy.
- Popular sovereignty is the foundation of government.
- All powers derive from the nation, exist for the nation and shall be exercised as specified by the Constitution.
- Respect for and protection of human dignity constitute the primary obligation of the state.
- Greece, adhering to the generally recognised rules of international law, pursues the strengthening of peace of justice and the fostering of friendly relations between peoples and states.
- All Greek women and men are equal before the law. They have equal rights and equal obligations.
- Measures to promote equality, especially between men and women, and to remove actually existing inequalities are permitted.
- A Greek citizen is he/she who possesses the qualifications prescribed by law.
- Greek citizens contribute without distinction to public charges in proportion to their means.
- Every Greek is obliged to contribute to the defence of the fatherland. Alternative forms of service for conscientious objectors are provided by law.
- Provisions applying to a specific category of individuals may not under any circumstances be extended by judicial decision to other categories.
- All persons shall have the right to develop freely their personality and to participate in the social, economic and political life of the country.
- All persons living within the territory of Greece shall enjoy full protection of their life, honour and liberty without discrimination, particularly on grounds of race, gender, language and religious or political beliefs. Exceptions are permitted in cases specified by international law.
Extradition of aliens prosecuted for their action as freedom-fighters shall be prohibited.
- Personal liberty is inviolable. No one shall be prosecuted, arrested, imprisoned or otherwise confined except when and as the law provides.
- All persons may settle and move within and outside of the country. Restrictive administrative measures may be imposed on Greek citizens only by judicial decision.
- No person shall be arrested or imprisoned without a reasoned judicial warrant which must be served at the moment of arrest or detention pending trial, except when caught in flagrante.
- A person arrested shall be brought to justice no later than twenty-four hours from arrest and, at any rate, within the time maximum time required. The competent judge must, within three days from the day the person was brought to justice, either release him/her or issue a warrant for his/her imprisonment. Upon application of the person brought before him/her or in case of force majeure confirmed by decision of the competent judicial body, this time-limit shall be extended by two days.
- Should either of the time-limits referred to in the preceding paragraph elapses before action has been taken, any warden or other officer, civil or military servant, responsible for the detention of the arrested person must release him/her immediately. Violators shall be punished for illegal detention and shall be liable to restitution of any loss suffered by the victim and to pay him/her monetary compensation for pain and suffering, as specified by law.
- The maximum duration of detention pending trial shall be specified by law; such detention may not exceed the maximum limits on detention pending trial by successively applying the measure to separate crimes in the same case.
- There shall be no crime, nor shall punishment be imposed, unless specified by a law in force prior to the perpetration of the act which defines the constitutive elements of the crime. All accused persons shall be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty by a court. In no case shall punishment be inflicted which is more severe than that specified at the time of the perpetration of the act.
- Torture in any form is prohibited and shall be punished as specified by law.
- The death penalty is prohibited.
- The state is obliged, following a judicial decision, to pay full compensation to persons convicted, detained pending trial or otherwise wrongly or illegally deprived of their liberty.
No person shall be deprived against his will of the judge assigned to him by law.
- Every person’s home is a sanctuary. The private and family life of the individual is inviolable.
- No home search shall be made, except with a warrant issued by a judicial authority and always in the presence of representatives of the judiciary.
- The protection of personal data shall be ensured by an independent authority, constituted and operating as the law provides.
- Each person, acting on his own or together with others, shall have the right to petition in writing public authorities, who shall be obliged to take prompt action and give a reasoned reply.
- Prosecution of the person who has submitted a petition for punishable acts contained therein shall be permitted only after notification of the final decision of the authority to which the petition was addressed has taken place.
Everyone shall have the right to assemble peaceably and unarmed.
- Everyone shall have the right to form non-profit associations and unions, in compliance with the law, which, however, may never subject the exercise of this right to prior permission.
- Associations and unions of persons may not be dissolved for violation of the law or of a substantive provision of its statutes, except by judicial decision.
- Freedom of conscience is inviolable. The enjoyment of civil rights and liberties does not depend on the individual’s religious and philosophical beliefs.
- All religions are free. The dissemination of religions and the practice of rites of worship shall be under the protection of the law.
- The state is neutral in religious matters. Relations between the state and religious communities shall be regulated by law, having regard to the historical presence of each one in the country.
- Freedom of expression is inviolable.
- The press is free. Censorship and all other preventive measures are prohibited.
- Radio and television are free. They are subject to exclusive control by an independent authority which seeks to safeguard the diversity of broadcasting and ensures that the youth and vulnerable groups are protected. The issuing of licences, where specified, and the imposition of administrative sanctions lies within the exclusive remit of that authority.
- The right to respond and the restitution of persons offended by inaccurate or insulting publications or broadcasts is safeguarded in accordance with the provisions of the law.
- Ownership and financial status of mass media enterprises shall be disclosed as specified by law.
- Everyone is entitled to education. Compulsory education is provided free of charge.
- The state ensures equal opportunities in education. It also ensures that each person has the ability to educate himself/herself without being impeded by economic barriers.
- Everyone is entitled to establish and run private schools at any level, in compliance with the laws of the state.
- Art, science, research and teaching shall be free. The state is obliged to promote and advance them.
- Academic freedom is inviolable. Both public and private universities are self-administered.
- Plots of land may be granted to foreign Universities by law enacted with an absolute majority of all Members of Parliament, in order for them to set up University Branches in Greece. The investments made shall be protected for at least fifty years and shall enjoy the guarantees afforded by Article 88 para. 3. The rules adopted by such branches of foreign Universities relating to management and to the regulation of their academic affairs shall prevail over the provisions of domestic law.
- Property and other assets are protected.
- No one shall be deprived of his property or other proprietary rights except for public benefit and without compensation corresponding to the value of the expropriated property at the time of expropriation as such value has been determined by a court. The expropriation shall be automatically reversed if the compensation is not paid within three years of being ordered. No compensation is owed for restrictions on ownership imposed for town planning, urban planning or environmental reasons, unless they prohibit rebuilding or otherwise materially impede the exercise of the rights this Article relates to. The compensation is exempt from any taxes, withholdings or duties.
- In case of execution of works for the public benefit or of general importance to the country’s economy, a law may allow the expropriation of wider zones beyond the areas necessary for the construction of the works.
- By means of a formal statutory law enacted not later than 31 December each year the maximum permissible level of taxes and duties on real estate properties, as a percentage of the potential revenues from exploitation thereof in the subsequent year, shall be enacted. In the case of properties used as primary residences, the maximum annual change in the percentage rate of taxes and duties which applied at the time the property was acquired may not exceed the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for the previous financial year, even if the Index leads to a reduction in taxes and duties. Where the Consumer Price Index rises, the increase in taxes and duties may not exceed 2%.
- Special laws shall regulate issues associated with:
- Requisitions for the needs of the armed forces and public services in the event of war or to redress pressing social needs.
- The ownership and disposal of mines, quarries, caves; archaeological sites and treasures; spa, running and underground waters; and the subterranean wealth in general.
- The ownership, exploitation and administration of lagoons and large lakes, as well as disposal in general of areas resulting from the draining of such.
- The consolidation of farm land to enable it to be more beneficially exploited, and the taking of measures to avoid the excessive parcelling of farm properties.
- The disposal and exploitation of abandoned areas of land.
- Forced joint ownership of adjacent properties in urban areas in order to rebuild them or improve the look of existing properties.
- Secrecy of letters and all other forms of free correspondence or communication is inviolable. The guarantees under which the judicial authority shall not be bound by this secrecy shall be specified by law.
- Matters relating to the constitution, the operation and the functions of the independent authority ensuring the secrecy referred to in paragraph 1 shall be specified by law.
- Use of evidence acquired in violation of this Article and of Article 8 is prohibited.
- Every person shall be entitled to receive legal protection from the courts and may plead before them his views concerning his rights or interests.
- The right of a person to a prior hearing also applies in any administrative action or measure adopted at the expense of his rights or interests.
- The state shall ensure that it functions as a welfare state, and in particular shall ensure a system of social insurance and shall protect the needy and the vulnerable.
- General terms and conditions of employment shall be laid down in law. They shall be supplemented by collective labour agreements between employer and employee organisations, which are concluded through free collective bargaining procedures, and if they fail, based on rules determined by arbitration following a request made by both sides.
- All forms of forced labour are prohibited. The requisition of personal services shall be permitted in case of war or to address pressing social needs.
- Local government authorities may ask their citizens to offer personal work to cover unforeseen local needs, as specified by law.
- The state shall be entitled to demand that all citizens discharge their debt of social and national solidarity.
- Freedom of trade unions is safeguarded.
- Strike is a right and may be exercised by lawfully established trade unions in order to protect and promote the financial and labour interests of their members. Lock-out is also a right.
- Strikes or refusal to provide services in any form are prohibited for members of the judiciary, and persons serving in the armed forces and the security corps. It is not permitted to impede the uninterrupted administration of justice. Violators shall be punished as specified by law.
- The right of employees of the state, the public sector and undertakings offering services and goods of vital importance for the public to go on strike shall be subject to specific restrictions, as specified by law.
- All persons are entitled to enjoy the natural and cultural environment. They also have a duty to protect it.
- The state protects the environment and ensures the rational use of natural resources, while respecting the principle of sustainability. The compilation of a forest registry constitutes an obligation of the state. Change in the use of forests and forested areas is not permitted, save in the cases where this is dictated by the public interest.
- The state is responsible for determining the spatial layout of the country.
- In order to carry out public or private works which may bring about a material change or deterioration in the natural or man-made environment, public administration as well as individuals concerned may request a prior opinion from the Supreme Court, as specified by law. The Supreme Court’s opinion shall be rendered after experts’ presentations. The Supreme Court’s opinion shall be limited to the issues presented to it.
- When performing their jurisdictional functions courts may not extend the scope of environmental and planning law provisions.
- Human rights are guaranteed by the state. All agents of the state shall be obliged to ensure the unhindered and effective exercise thereof. The law may limit human rights without affecting their core, subject to the principle of proportionality.
- The recognition and protection of the fundamental human rights by the state aim at social progress through freedom and justice.
STRUCTURE OF THE STATE
- The legislative power shall be exercised by the Parliament and the President of the Republic.
- The executive power shall be exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government.
- The judicial power shall be exercised by the courts whose decisions shall be enforced in the name of the Greek people.
No change in the boundaries of the country can be made without a law passed by an absolute majority of all Members of Parliament.
- The generally recognised rules of international law, as well as international conventions from the time they are ratified by law and enter into force in accordance with the conditions laid down in each one shall be an integral part of Greek domestic law and shall prevail over any contrary provision of the law.
- In order to promote cooperation with other states in the context of European or other international organisations, the imposition of restrictions on national sovereignty shall be permitted by treaty or agreement. Competences specified by the Constitution may moreover be vested in agencies of European organisations. An absolute majority of all Members of Parliament is required in order to enact the law which ratifies a treaty or agreement.
- The establishment and functioning of political parties is free.
- The way in which political parties are organised and act must serve the free functioning of the democratic system of government. The competent court to declare the eligibility of political parties to take part in parliamentary elections may, acting by its own motion or on request by the Minister of the Interior, prohibit the participation of a political party whose leadership systematically urges or tolerates the use of violence. The decision shall be taken in judicial council and may relate to specific candidates in each case, as specified by law. The ban may also be extended to local government authority elections and European Parliament elections.
- Political parties are entitled to receive financial support from the state for their electoral and operating expenses. The level of state aid may not in any fiscal year exceed twice the revenue of each party from private contributions. The guarantees of transparency concerning electoral expenses and the financial management of political parties, Members of Parliament, and parliamentary candidates shall be specified by law. That same law may impose a maximum limit on electoral expenses, ban certain forms of pre-election campaigning and lay down conditions under which violation of the relevant provisions constitutes a ground for removal from the office of an MP or other office. A law may also extend the arrangements in this paragraph to candidates for other elected offices.
- The audit of compliance with the provisions in the previous paragraph shall be carried out by a committee chaired by the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Greece, the majority of whose members are senior members of the judiciary, as specified by law. The chairperson of the Parliament’s Institutions and Transparency Committee shall also sit on this Committee without voting rights.
- Manifestations of any kind in favour of or against a political party by members of the judiciary and by those serving in the armed forces and the security corps, are absolutely prohibited. Manifestations of any kind in favour of or against a political party held by public servants, employees of local government authorities, and in general by employees of public law legal persons when performing their duties, are absolutely prohibited.
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
- The President of the Republic guarantees the rhythm of governance. He/she shall be elected by a special electorate for a period of 6 years.
- The post of President shall be incompatible with any other office, position or function.
- The presidential term in office commences upon the assumption of the President’s duties.
- The same person may not be re-elected as President of the Republic.
Any person who is a Greek citizen for at least five years, is of Greek descent from the father’s or mother’s side, has attained the age of forty and has the capacity to vote may be elected President of the Republic.
- The special electorall college which elects the President of the Republic shall consist of all current Members of Parliament, former Presidents of the Republic, former Prime Ministers, former Speakers of the Parliament and current regional governors and mayors.
- Candidacies for the office of President of the Republic shall be submitted by the political parties represented in Parliament or by at least 50,000 citizens.
- Pre-election campaigns between candidates are not permitted.
- The election of the President of the Republic shall take place on the last Monday of the month prior to the end of the current President’s term in office. The Speaker of the Parliament shall convene the special Electoral College fifteen days before the date of the election.
- The candidate with a two thirds majority of votes at the special Electoral College shall be elected President of the Republic. Where that majority cannot be achieved, the vote shall be repeated two days later and the candidate who attains three fifths of the votes of the special Electoral College shall be elected President of the Republic. Where that majority cannot be achieved, the vote shall be repeated two days later and the candidate who attains an absolute majority of all votes of the special Electoral College shall be elected President of the Republic. Where that majority cannot be achieved, the vote shall be repeated two days later and the candidate who attains the most votes of the special Electoral College shall be elected President of the Republic.
- Where the President of the Republic becomes utterly incapable of performing his duties or resigns, dies or is declared in forfeit of his office, a new President shall be elected within the following sixty day period. In all cases, the election of a President of the Republic shall be made for a full term.
- Where the procedure for electing a new President specified in the foregoing paragraphs is not completed on time for any reason, the current President of the Republic shall continue to perform his duties even after the end of his term in office until a new President is chosen.
- The elected President of the Republic shall assume his duties on the day the term in office of the outgoing President expires, and in all events on the day after he/she is sworn-in in accordance with the paragraph below.
- The President of the Republic shall take the following oath before Parliament: “I do swear on my honour and conscience to safeguard the Constitution and the laws, to ensure they are faithfully observed, to defend national independence and the territorial integrity of the country, to protect the rights and liberties of the Greeks and to serve the general interest and the advancement of the Greek people”.
- If the President of the Republic is abroad for more than ten days, if he/she dies, resigns, is declared in forfeit of his/her office or is unable to perform his/her duties for any reason, he/she shall be substituted temporarily by the President of the Supreme Court.
- Should the President of the Republic’s inability to discharge his/her duties last for more than thirty days, the Parliament shall be convened even if it has been dissolved, for the purpose of deciding, by an absolute majority of all its members, whether there are grounds for electing a new President. In no case, however, may the election of a new President of the Republic be delayed for more than three months in total from the commencement of his replacement due to his incapacity.
- No act of the President of the Republic shall be valid nor be implemented unless countersigned by the competent Minister, who shall be held responsible merely through this signature, and unless published in the Government Gazette.
- Exceptionally, the following acts shall not require countersignature:
- a) the appointment of the Prime Minister,
- b) the release of the government from its duties pursuant to Article 34 para. 1,
- c) the calling of the council of political leaders,
- d) the dissolution of the Parliament,
- e) the return of a bill or proposed law,
- f) the announcement of a referendum,
- g) the issuing of addresses,
- h) the designation of the President of the Supreme Court,
- i) the appointment of the President and the members of independent authorities,
- j) the conferral of honours and
- k) staff appointments for the offices of the Presidency of Republic.
- The President of the Republic, complying with the provisions of Article 31 para. 1, shall represent the state internationally and declare war.
- The government shall conclude international conventions. Conventions which require the amendment or repeal of a law or the enactment of a new law or which burden Greeks individually shall not take effect without ratification by law.
- Details on mandatory publication of international conventions shall be specified by law.
- The President of the Republic shall appoint the Prime Minster and on his/her recommendation shall appoint and dismiss Ministers.
- The person elected by Parliament by absolute majority of all Members of Parliament following a proposal from the President of the Republic shall be appointed Prime Minister. The President of the Republic may, at his/her discretion, request the opinion of the council of leaders of political parties represented in Parliament.
- If the person proposed by the President of the Republic is not elected, the Parliament shall elect a Prime Minister by the same majority within the next thirty days. If this majority is not achieved, the vote shall be repeated within the next fifteen days and the person with the most votes shall be elected Prime Minister. The President of the Republic may either appoint that person as Prime Minister or dissolve Parliament and declare elections, once only during the four-year parliamentary term.
- The President of the Republic shall release the Government of its duties if the Parliament votes it down or it resigns. The provisions of Article 33 shall apply mutatis mutandis in the event of resignation.
- If the Prime Minister resigns, is deceased or is unable to perform his/her duties for health reasons the provisions of Article 33 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
- The Prime Minister’s inability to perform his/her duties for health reasons shall be determined by special resolution of the Parliament taken by absolute majority of all Members of Parliament.
The President of the Republic may convene under his/her chair the council of the leaders of political parties represented in Parliament, whenever he/she considers that necessary.
- The President of the Republic shall convene a regular session of Parliament once a year, as specified in Article 56(1), and extraordinary sessions whenever he/she considers that appropriate. The opening and closing of each parliamentary term shall be proclaimed by him in person or by the Prime Minister.
- On a proposal from the Government, the President of the Republic shall suspend a parliamentary session once only, either by suspending the commencement of its business or adjourning its business.
- Suspension of a session may not be extended beyond a period of thirty days, nor may such suspension be repeated during the same parliamentary session without the consent of the Parliament.
- The President of the Republic may dissolve Parliament once only during its parliamentary term if, in his/her view, the composition of Parliament clearly contravenes popular sentiment or when its composition does not ensure governmental stability.
- Where Parliament is dissolved prior to term expiration, the next Parliament shall be elected for a term equal to the remaining term of the Parliament which was dissolved.
- In all cases, the decree concerning the dissolution of Parliament must contain a proclamation of elections to be held within thirty days and the convocation of the new Parliament within ten days of the elections.
- The President of the Republic shall promulgate and publish the laws enacted by the Parliament within one month of their enactment.
- Within that deadline the President of the Republic may present a bill enacted by Parliament to the Supreme Court on the grounds that it is unconstitutional for procedural or substantive reasons. The Supreme Court sitting in council shall rule on this matter within ten days. If the decision rejects the objections of unconstitutionality, the President of the Republic must publish the bill within five days. In all other events, the President shall refer the bill back to Parliament. The bill shall be brought before plenary session of the Parliament which must comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court. If voted by absolute majority of all Members of Parliament, the President of the Republic must promulgate and publish the law within five days of it being enacted.
- On a proposal by the competent Minister, the President of the Republic shall issue regulatory decrees necessary to give effect to laws. He/she may never suspend the implementation of laws nor exempt anyone from their enforcement.
- 2. By a law enacted by plenary session of the Parliament authorisation may be granted to issue regulatory decrees on a proposal from the competent Minister in order to regulate matters, the general framework of which is specified by the law. The framework law shall set out the general principles and guidelines of the arrangements which must be complied with.
- On a proposal by the competent Minister, regulatory decrees may be issued pursuant to special authorising provisions in the law, within the limits laid down by the authorising provisions.
- Other agencies of the public administration and officers of local government authorities and independent authorities may be granted powers by law to issue regulatory acts in order to regulate detailed or technical issues or matters of local interest.
- In extraordinary circumstances, the President of the Republic may, on a proposal of the Cabinet, issue legislative acts. These acts shall be submitted to Parliament for ratification within two months of being issued. If the Parliament is absent, an extraordinary session shall be convened. If legislative acts are not submitted to Parliament in time or if they are not approved within three months of submission, they shall cease to be in force henceforth and/or retroactively if the Parliament so decides.
- The President of the Republic may, on his/her own initiative, during term in office declare a referendum on crucial national issues. The government or 50,000 citizens may also cause a referendum to be held, as specified by law. In all cases the result shall be binding. Challenges as to the outcome of the result and the extent of its binding force upon the Government shall be resolved by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s judgment shall be published in the Government Gazette and shall have the force of law.
- The President of the Republic may address the people with statements.
The President of the Republic is commander in chief of the armed forces, which are administered by the Government, as specified by law.
- The President of the Republic shall, on a proposal from the Minister of Justice and after consulting with a council, the majority of whose members are judges, shall be entitled to grant pardons, to commute or reduce sentences pronounced by the courts, and to revoke all consequences in law of sentences pronounced and served.
- The President of the Republic shall have the right to grant pardon to a Minister convicted pursuant to Article 72, only with the consent of Parliament.
- Amnesty may be granted by law passed in plenary session in Parliament with a majority of three fifths of all Members of Parliament.
- In case of an armed conflict or other public risk which directly threatens the nation or the free functioning of the democratic system of government, the Parliament may, by means of a resolution taken on a proposal of the Government, suspend the provisions of Articles 4 para. 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18 para. 2, 19 and 79 para 3 throughout the state or in part of it. It may also implement the law on state of emergency and establish extraordinary courts. The President of the Republic shall publish the Parliament’s resolution.
The resolution of Parliament shall determine the duration for which the measures imposed shall remain in force, which cannot exceed fifteen days.
- If the Parliament is absent or if it is objectively impossible for it to be convoked in time, the measures mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall be taken by presidential decree issued on a proposal of the Cabinet. The Government shall submit the decree to Parliament for approval as soon as it is possible to convene, even when its parliamentary term has ended or it has been dissolved, and in any case not later than five days.
- The duration of the measures mentioned in the preceding paragraphs may be extended every fifteen days, only if a resolution is first passed by the Parliament which must be convened regardless of whether its parliamentary term has ended or whether it has been dissolved.
- The measures specified in the preceding paragraphs shall be lifted ipso jure upon expiration of the time-limits specified in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, provided that they are not extended by a resolution of Parliament, and in any case upon termination of war if that was the reason of their imposition.
- From the time that the measures referred to in the previous paragraphs come into force, the President of the Republic may, following a proposal of the Government, issue acts of legislative content to deal with emergencies, or to restore the functioning of the constitutional institutions as soon as possible. Those acts must be submitted to Parliament for ratification within fifteen days of the Parliament being summoned to session and shall cease henceforth to be in force if not submitted to Parliament within the abovementioned time-limits, or if not approved by it within fifteen days of their submission.
- The resolutions of Parliament referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be adopted by absolute majority of all Members of Parliament, and the resolutions stipulated in paragraph 3 by a three fifth majority of all Members of Parliament. Parliament must decide these matters in a single sitting.
- During the application period of the emergency measures taken in accordance with this Article, the provisions of Articles 54 and 55 shall apply ipso jure regardless of whether Parliament has been dissolved or its parliamentary term has ended.
- The President of the Republic shall not be held liable under any circumstances for acts performed in the discharge of his/her duties, except only for high treason or intentional violation of the Constitution. For acts not related to the discharge of his/her duties, prosecution shall be suspended until the expiration of the presidential term.
- A proposal to bring charges against and impeach the President of the Republic shall be submitted to Parliament signed by at least one third of its members and shall require for its adoption a resolution by two thirds majority of all its members.
- If the proposal is accepted the President of the Republic shall be arraigned before the Supreme Court.
- Once arraigned, the President of the Republic shall refrain from performing his/her duties and shall be substituted in accordance with the provisions of Article 30. He/she may resume his/her duties after the court’s acquittal, provided his/her term in office has not expired.
- Details relating to the implementation of the provisions of this Article shall be provided by a law enacted by plenary session of the Parliament.
- The number of the Members of Parliament shall be specified by statute; it cannot, however, exceed three hundred. Such limit may only be exceeded for the purpose of allocating parliamentary seats pursuant to Article 48 para. 3.
- The Members of Parliament represent the nation.
- The Members of Parliament shall be elected through direct, universal and secret ballot by the citizens who have the right to vote, as specified by law. The law cannot abridge the right to vote, except in cases where the minimum age of eighteen years has not been attained or in cases of legal incapacity or as a result of criminal conviction for certain felonies.
- Parliamentary elections shall be held simultaneously throughout the country. As regards voters living outside the country, the principle of simultaneous elections does not impede the exercise of their right to vote by postal vote or by other appropriate means, provided that the counting of votes and the announcement of the results is carried out when this is also carried out across the country. Members of Parliament elected by citizens outside of the country may not exceed five.
The free and unfalsified expression of the popular will as an expression of popular sovereignty, shall be guaranteed by all state officers, who shall be obliged to ensure it under all circumstances. Criminal sanctions for violations of this provision shall be specified by law.
- The Members of Parliament shall be elected for a term of four consecutive years. Elections shall be carried out on the first Sunday of February every four years. If the Parliament has been dissolved pursuant to Articles 34 and 37 or if it has declared itself dissolved by means of a decision passed by a majority of two thirds of the total number of its Members, a new Parliament shall be elected for the remaining term of the Parliament so dissolved.
- A parliamentary seat that has become vacant during the last year of a parliamentary term shall not be filled by a by-election, where such is required by law, as long as the number of vacant seats does not exceed one-fifth of the total number of the Members of Parliament.
- The electoral system and the constituencies are specified by statute, which shall be applicable in the elections following the forthcoming elections, unless an explicit provision, adopted by a majority of three fifths of the total number of Members of Parliament, provides for its immediate application as of the next elections. At least half of the Members of Parliament shall be elected in single-member constituencies.
- The boundaries of such constituencies shall be determined following an opinion of the Committee of Article 25 para. 4, in a manner which ensures that each constituency’s population has a maximum 10% divergence from the national average. The boundaries of the remaining constituencies shall be the same as those of second-level local government districts, whereas the number of Members of Parliament elected in each constituency shall be specified by presidential decree, based on the population recorded in the latest census.
- In any single-member constituencies, Members of Parliament shall be elected through a single-round majority vote, where no crosses of preference shall be allowed. In the remaining constituencies, Members of Parliament shall be elected through a separate ballot box, under the proportional representation system, on the basis of pre-determined candidate lists. The Members of Parliament of each party elected throughout the country are allocated based on the election results of the multi-member constituencies.
- To be elected as Member of Parliament, one must be a Greek citizen who has the legal capacity to vote, has attained the age of twenty-five years on the day of the election and is not be deprived of the right to be elected pursuant to Article 25 para. 2.
- A Member of Parliament deprived of any of the above qualifications shall forfeit his/her parliamentary office ipso jure.
- The members of the Cabinet and Deputy Ministers may neither stand for election nor be elected as Members of the following Parliament. This restriction shall not apply to the Prime Minister.
- Civil servants and militaries in general, having undertaken an obligation by law to remain in service for a certain period of time, may not stand for election nor be elected to Parliament while their obligation is in force.
- Any activities or capacities incompatible with the duties of a Member of Parliament shall be specified by law.
- The law provided for in this Article and any subsequent amendments thereto shall apply to the Members of Parliament as of the term following the one following that in which such law was passed.
Before undertaking the discharge of their duties, Members of Parliament shall take the following oath in the Chamber and in a public sitting:
“I swear on my honour and conscience to keep faith in my country and in the democratic form of government, obedience to the Constitution and the laws and to discharge conscientiously my duties”.
- Members of Parliament enjoy unrestricted freedom of opinion and right to vote according to their conscience.
- The resignation from parliamentary office is a right of the Member of Parliament and is effectuated as soon as the Member of Parliament submits a written declaration to the Speaker of the Parliament; this declaration is irrevocable.
- A Member of Parliament shall not be prosecuted or in any way interrogated for an opinion expressed or a vote cast in the discharge of his/her parliamentary duties. However, Members of Parliament shall bear civil liability under the ordinary law.
- A Member of Parliament shall not be liable to testify on information given to him/her or supplied by him/her in the course of the discharge of his/her duties, or on the persons who entrusted the information to him/her or to whom he/she supplied such information.
- Parliamentary immunity shall be granted by the Parliament at the request of any Member prosecuted, solely in respect of actions or omissions directly associated with his/her political action. Such request is brought before the competent standing committee, which must adopt a resolution on the matter within thirty days from the date the request was submitted to the Speaker of the Parliament. The Member of Parliament requesting immunity may request that the matter be brought before the plenary session of the Parliament, in which case it decides by the absolute majority of the total number of Members of Parliament. If the Parliament is absent, such time limit is suspended and resumed upon commencement of the immediately following session, whereas upon completion of such session the limitation period of the act is suspended for an equal amount of time. Unless the Parliament decides on the matter within the applicable time limit, immunity is considered denied.
- The Court competent to adjudicate on any matters against Members of Parliament is the Court of Appeal.
- The Parliament shall convene, ipso jure, on the first Monday of October of each year in an ordinary session to conduct its annual business, unless convoked at an earlier date by the President of the Republic pursuant to Article 36.
- The duration of an ordinary session shall not be shorter than five months, not including the time of suspension specified in article 36. An ordinary session is compulsorily extended until the budget is approved pursuant to Article 84 para. 2 or until the special law provided for in the same Article is passed.
- The Parliament shall determine the manner of its free and democratic operation by adopting its Standing Orders; these shall be adopted by plenary session t and shall be published in the Government Gazette by order of the Speaker of the House. Such Standing Orders shall regulate also the organisation of the services of the Parliament under the supervision of the Speaker.
- The Parliament shall elect from among its members the Speaker and other members of the Presidium as provided for in the Standing Orders. The Speaker and deputy speakers shall be elected at the beginning of each parliamentary term.
- The Speaker of Parliament directs all parliamentary procedures, ensuring order at the Parliament’s sittings and compliance with all written or non-written rules of parliamentary ethics. In carrying out these duties, he/she may take such disciplinary measures against any non-compliant Members of Parliament as the Standing Orders permit.
- The Parliament cannot resolve without an absolute majority of the members present, which in no case may be less than one-fourth of the total number of its Members. Five Members of Parliament may cause a counting of Members present any time.
- In the case of a tie vote, the vote shall be repeated; in the case of a second tie the proposal shall be rejected.
- At the beginning of the parliamentary term, the Parliament shall set up standing parliamentary committees comprised of its Members, as specified by the Standing Orders. The Chairmen of at least half of such standing committees must derive from the Opposition parties.
- The Parliament shall set up investigation committees comprised of its Members, where a relevant proposal is passed by the two fifths of the total number of Members of Parliament. Such proposal is submitted by one fifth of the total number of Members of Parliament. Investigation committees assigned with matters relating to foreign policy or national defence shall hold secret sittings, unless they decide otherwise. Their resolutions shall be published in summary, save as otherwise decided by the Parliament.
- All parliamentary committees shall be established in proportion to the number of Members of Parliament of parties, groups and independents.
No person shall appear at his/her own initiative before the Parliament to make an oral or written report. Reports shall be presented by a Member of Parliament or shall be handed over to the Speaker.
- The Parliament shall carry out its legislative tasks in plenary session, through the vacation section or through committees.
- Parliamentary control shall be carried out by the Parliament in plenary session, through the vacation section or through committees. Matters of confidence in or censure on the Government and matters relating to the setting up of investigation committees shall be brought exclusively before plenary session of the Parliament.
- The legislative initiative is exercised by the Parliament and the Government. A law proposal signed by at least one third of the total Members of Parliament shall take priority over any other bill or proposal.
- Bills, law proposals, amendments or additions entailing expenditures through the Budget shall only be introduced for debate along with a report from the state’s General Accounting Office and an opinion of the Audit Authority.
- Once every month, on a day designated by the Standing Orders, pending law proposals shall be entered by priority in the order of the day and debated.
All bills, law proposals, amendments or additions must be accompanied by an explanatory memorandum and an impact assessment. If intended to amend a statutory provision, the explanatory memorandum shall include the full text of the provision to be amended.
- Every bill and every law proposal shall be debated and voted on once in principle, by article and as a whole.
- A bill or law proposal debated and voted by the competent committee shall be brought before plenary session of the Parliament in a single sitting and shall be debated and voted on integrally in principle, by article and as a whole.
- A bill designated by the Government as very urgent shall be introduced for voting after a limited debate in one sitting.
- The Government may request that a bill or law proposal of an urgent nature be debated in a specific number of sittings.
- Judicial or administrative codes drafted by special committees established under special statutes may be voted through by a special statute ratifying the code as a whole.
- In the same manner, legislative provisions in force may be codified by simple classification or repealed statutes may be re-enacted as a whole.
- The authentic interpretation of the statutes shall rest with the legislative power.
- A statute which is not truly interpretative shall enter into force only as of its publication. The need for authentic interpretation is established if the case law relating to the interpretation of the statute in question is not stable.
- No tax shall be levied or collected without a statute enacted by the Parliament, meeting the material requirements of the Constitution and specifying the subject of taxation and the income, the type of property, the expenses and the transactions or categories thereof to which the tax pertains.
- The object of taxation, the applicable tax rate and any tax abatements and exemptions may not be subject to legislative delegation. By exception, it shall be permitted to impose by means of delegation granted under a framework-statute, balancing or counteractive charges or duties, and to impose economic measures in the context of the country’s international relations with economic organisations.
- Taxes or other financial burdens may only be imposed by law and apply for the future.
- No salary, pension, subsidy or remuneration shall be entered in the state budget or granted, unless provided for in a special statute. This provision applies also to Parliament employees.
- The minting or issuing of currency shall be regulated by law. The preceding paragraph does not impede the participation of Greece in the process of the Economic and Monetary Union, in the wider framework of European integration.
- The Cabinet, which shall be composed of the Prime Minister and the Ministers, constitutes the Government. By a decree initiated by the Prime Minister, a Vice-President of the Cabinet may be appointed.
- Deputy Ministers are appointed from among public service for a specific term by a special appointment committee following a proclamation and may only be removed on serious grounds.
- No person may be appointed a member of the Government unless such person possesses the qualifications required under Article 49 for Members of Parliament.
- The office of Member of the Government is incompatible with that of Member of Parliament or any other office, position or function. The Prime Minister, however, may be also Member of Parliament.
- In the absence of a Vice President, the Prime Minister shall appoint, whenever the need arises, one of the Ministers as his/her provisional alternate.
- The Government shall define and direct the general policy of the country, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the laws.
- The Prime Minister shall safeguard the unity of the Government and shall direct the actions of the Government and of the public services in general, for the implementation of Government policy within the framework of the laws.
- The Government must have the confidence of the Parliament. The Government shall be obliged to request a vote of confidence by the Parliament within fifteen days of the date the Prime Minister shall have been appointed, and may also do so at any other time. If the Parliament’s session has been suspended, it is convened in a special session.
- The Parliament may pass a resolution to withdraw its confidence in the Government, insofar as it elects a new Prime Minister. The Parliament may also withdraw its confidence in any Member of the Government. A motion of censure is submitted by at least one fifth of the total number of Members of Parliament, no sooner than six months after the Parliament rejected another motion to that effect. By exception, a motion of censure may be submitted against the Government any time prior to the lapse of six months, provided that it is signed by the absolute majority of the total Members of Parliament and a new Prime Minister is elected thereunder.
- The debate on a motion of confidence or censure must begin two days after the motion was submitted and must be concluded within three days.
- The vote on a motion of confidence or censure is held immediately after the termination of the debate; it may, however, be postponed for forty-eight hours if the Government so requests.
The Members of the Cabinet shall be collectively responsible for general Government policy and each of them severally for the actions or omissions within his/her powers.
A Member of the Government may only be prosecuted by the Public Prosecutor at the Supreme Court. The Court competent to decide on the matter is the Supreme Court, as specified by law.
Justice shall be administered by courts composed of tenured judges who shall enjoy functional and personal independence.
- The members of the judiciary are appointed for life. The appointment of probationer and tenured judges and any changes to their status shall be carried out by means of a presidential decree issued on the proposal of the Minister of Justice submitted within one month from the date a decision was adopted to that effect by the competent Judicial Council. In case of disagreement of the Minister of Justice the matter is referred to the Supreme Court plenary session.
- The maximum age limit of members of the judiciary shall be determined by statute. In any case, such limit may not exceed 75 years of age.
The duties of judges relate exclusively to the attribution of justice. Exceptionally, judges are allowed to train other judges or candidate judges or be assigned with powers to represent the country towards international organisations. As per the rest, the duties of judges shall be incompatible with any other office, position or function.
Promotion to the post of Supreme Court President or Public Prosecutor shall be effected by the President of the Republic by selection from among three candidates drafted by the Supreme Court plenary session of the Parliament. The decision of the President of the Republic is not subject to review by the Courts.
- Courts are classified into first- and second- instance courts. Their judgments are subject to review by the Supreme Court, as specified by law.
- The sittings of all courts shall be public, except when the court decides that publicity would be detrimental to the common morals or that special reasons call for the protection of the private or family life of the litigants.
- 3. Every court judgment must be specifically reasoned. Publication of the dissenting opinion shall be compulsory.
- The courts shall be bound not to apply laws whose content is contrary to the Constitution, the European Union laws and international law. In this event, the courts make a preliminary reference to the Supreme Court, in accordance with the specific statutory provisions.
- Procedural privileges applying in favour of the state are not permitted.
The courts may be assigned with competences of an administrative nature, as specified by law. These competences include the adoption of measures for compliance of the Public Administration with judicial decisions. Judicial decisions are subject to compulsory enforcement also against the public sector, local government agencies and public law legal persons, as specified by law.
- The Supreme Court is comprised by two thirds of judges appointed for life and by one third by reputable jurists selected by the Supreme Court, as specified by law.
- The following shall fall directly within the scope of powers of the Supreme Court:
(a) Petitions for annulment against regulatory administrative acts;
(b) Ex post control of the substantive and formal constitutionality of laws pursuant to Article 38 and control of the compatibility of laws with the EU or international law; the assessment of all decrees of a regulatory nature and any bills or law proposals or specific provisions thereof, at the request of the Government or of the two fifths of the total number of Members of Parliament;
(c) Assessment of any complaints against the validity of parliamentary elections or against the election of the President of the Republic;
(d) Review of the validity and effects of a Referendum conducted pursuant to Article 40 para. 2;
(e) Judgment in cases involving the incompatibility or the forfeiture of office by a Member of Parliament pursuant to Articles 49 para. 2 and 51;
(f) Resolution of disputes relating to the designation of rules of international law as generally acknowledged in accordance Article 24 para. 1;
(g) Hearing of crimes committed by members of the Government;
(h) Ex post control of the legality of major public contracts.
- The Supreme Court carries out its duties and renders judgments in plenary session of the Parliament and chambers.
- The Supreme Court Public Prosecutor may bring before the Court by own motion any matters being of major importance in the assessment of the relevant legal aspects.
- The law may: (a) assign the trial of police offences punishable by fine to authorities exercising police duties, (b) assign the trial of petty offences related to agrarian property and private disputes arising there from, to agrarian security authorities.
In both cases judgments shall be subject to appeal before the competent ordinary court; such appeal shall suspend the execution of the judgment.
- Special laws shall regulate matters pertaining to juvenile courts. Such courts may be exempted from the provisions of Article 77 para. 2. Judgments of these courts may be pronounced in camera.
- Special laws shall regulate:
(a) Military, naval and air force courts which shall have no jurisdiction over civilians;
(b) Prize courts.
- The courts specified under section (a) of the previous paragraph shall be composed in majority of members of the judicial branch of the armed forces, vested with the guaranties of functional and personal independence specified in Article 73. The provisions of paragraphs 2 to 4 of Article 77 shall apply to the sittings and judgments of these courts.
- An Audit Authority is established, enjoying full independence and self-governance, to review the revenues and expenses of the state and of legal entities of public law and support their financial management. Such Authority shall be assigned primarily the following tasks: The audit of the revenues and expenditures of the state as well as of legal entities of public law; audit of the persons authorising the expenditures and of the accountable officers; audit of any suppliers of the state and legal entities of public law; audit of any public contracts of high financial value. The Audit Authority shall primarily draw up reports and submit reports on the budget, the financial statement and balance sheet of the state and of legal entities of public law, as well as reports on the pensions and salaries paid to the employees and officers of the public sector. The powers and duties of the Audit Authority shall be determined by law. The Audit Authority’s opinions and reports ought to be published.
- The Audit Authority shall be comprised by one third by High or Supreme Court judges, by one third by members of the highest civil service corps and by one third by reputable technocrats (experts). Its members shall be selected by the Supreme Court and appointed for a non-renewable term of nine years. One third of its members shall be replaced every three years.
- The Audit Authority shall carry out its duties and render decisions in plenary session and in chambers. The Audit Authority’s secretariat shall be comprised, among others, by a sufficient number of scientific associates having adequate expertise in the economic, legal and audit sectors. In carrying out its duties efficiently, the Audit Authority must cooperate with domestic and foreign auditing firms, whose recommendations shall be published along with its own reports and opinions.
- The Public Administration includes state administration, independent authorities and local government authorities.
- The purpose of public administration is: to provide top-quality and efficient services to the citizens to the benefit of the public interest; to create conditions of thorough transparency, credibility; and to trust and promote civil society and deliberative democracy.
- All independent authorities provided for by the Constitution or the European Union law shall be established by law, form part of the state administration and are subject to parliamentary control in accordance with the law and the parliamentary Standing Orders. Any such authorities may be given by statute the form of independent legal entities of public law.
- The members of any such authority shall be appointed for a fixed tenure and shall enjoy personal and functional independence, as specified by law. The selection of the president of independent authorities shall be made by the President of the Republic from a list of at least three reputable candidates proposed by the Parliament. The members of independent authorities shall be selected by the President of the Republic from the highest civil service corps, from a list of candidates with substantial reputation and experience, following a recommendation by the president of each authority for a number of candidates two times the number of vacancies.
- Independent authorities shall select their staff in accordance with their by-laws, as specified by law, irrespective of deviations in relation to other provisions.
- The administration shall have the powers and duties prescribed by law. It may be organised and function according to the system of decentralisation.
- In the course of its ordinary annual session Parliament shall vote on the state budget of revenues and expenditures for the following year, which includes all relevant revenues and expenditures. A draft of the budget shall be submitted to the Parliament by the Minister of Finance not later than the end of October and shall be debated and voted on by the end of November every year. Should the administration of revenues and expenditures as provided in the budget be inoperative for any reason whatsoever, they shall be administered in accordance with a special statute to be enacted every time. Should it be impossible to vote the budget or to pass the special statute defined in the preceding paragraph due to the end of the Parliamentary term, the force of the budget for the fiscal year just ended or ending shall be extended for four months by decree issued upon proposal of the Cabinet.
- The budget must ensure a fiscal balance of state revenues and expenditures and the sustainable fiscal operation of the state. The provision of the preceding paragraph shall not prevent state administration to borrow funds up to a rate of 0.35% of the gross domestic product, save where for unforeseeable reasons of genuine emergency such limit must be objectively exceeded.
- The financial statement and general balance sheet of the state shall be laid before Parliament no later than one year from the end of each fiscal year; these, must be accompanied by a report of the State’s General Accounting Office and an opinion of the Audit Authority.
- Local government authorities include the regions and the municipalities of second and first level respectively. Regions and municipalities shall be organised in the form of legal entities of public law and shall enjoy administrative and financial independence. Their organs shall be elected through universal and secret ballot.
- Regions shall have the interlocal powers and duties relating to the respective region, based on the principle of subsidiarity, and such other powers and duties as may be vested to them by law. Regional affairs include primarily planning, authorisation and monitoring of inter-regional transportation schemes; execution of works and studies of interlocal scope; organisation and management of mineral resources; provision of first-degree health services; supply of infrastructures and drafting of the detailed educational programme of first- and second-grade educational institutions in the region. Regions shall operate on their own resources consisting in compensatory charges corresponding to the services offered and reasonable taxation, at a rate not exceeding the statutory limitations (in particular business tax and vehicle circulation charges). The amount of taxes and charges to be levied and the applicable collection procedure shall be determined by the competent bodies of the regions within the applicable statutory framework.
- Municipalities shall have the powers and duties relating to local affairs and such other powers and duties as may be vested to them by law. Local affairs include primarily the protection, development and exploitation of local natural resources; the design, construction, maintenance and management of local infrastructures (roadworks, desalination works, irrigation works, flood protection and land reclamation works, power supply to common-use spaces, markets); protection and management of water resources; cleaning of local common-use spaces and waste management; operation and management of cemeteries; local public transports; the exercise of law enforcement duties specific to their responsibilities; the determination of shop authorisation conditions and civil protection. Municipalities shall operate on their own resources consisting in compensatory charges corresponding to the services offered and reasonable taxation, (in particular business charges, cleaning and lighting charges, common-use space charges and real estate property tax). The amount of taxes and charges to be levied and the applicable collection procedure shall be determined by the competent bodies of the Municipalities within the applicable statutory framework.
- Each local government authority shall prepare its budget by the end of September every year as well as periodic quarterly financial statements in April, July, October and January every year in respect of the previous quarter, and an annual report within the first six months every year, in respect of the previous year. The financial statements provided for in the preceding paragraph shall be subject to review by the Audit Authority within one month from the date each financial statement was submitted. The financial statements of local government authorities shall be published in a special issue of the Government Gazette and posted on the Audit Authority’s website. The budget of local government authorities shall be prepared following sufficient public consultation with the residents of the respective areas. The budget of local government authorities must ensure a fiscal balance of their revenues and expenditures and the sustainable fiscal operation of these Authorities. Upon entry into effect of the Constitution, local government authorities shall have no right to borrow funds to cover any deficit in their budget, whereas any genuinely unforeseeable urgent needs arising as a result of events of force majeure shall be covered through the regular budget.
- Failure by the bodies of local government authorities to comply with the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall entail, in addition to any criminal or civil liability, the imposition of disciplinary sanctions by the competent state bodies in accordance with the law, with the prior consent of a Council comprised in majority by regular judges, save where such failure entails ipso jure the forfeiture or dismissal of the respective officers.
- Civil servants, including the staff of state administration, independent authorities and legal entities of public law, owe allegiance to the Constitution and devotion to the fatherland and shall carry out their duties with due regard to the principles of integrity, honesty, objectivity and neutrality.
- Any vacancies in civil servant posts shall be filled by the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection, as an independent authority, in accordance with the principles of equal opportunities, meritocracy, objectivity, social solidarity and transparency. Employees shall be appointed to fill statutory posts, save where the appointment of employees is required in genuinely unforeseeable, urgent situations specified by special statute.
- Civil servants shall undergo annual assessment based on the principles of impartiality, neutrality, professional skill and efficiency. The rate of civil servants of each administrative unit or level given the highest score may not exceed 10%.
- The highest civil service corps shall be comprised of up to 750 civil servants, whether promoted or directly integrated, selected among those currently in service under the procedure prescribed by law. The highest civil service corps may comprise up to 250 members not holding the capacity of a civil servant, so that its total members may not exceed 1,000. The members of the highest civil service corps shall enjoy special remuneration. They have the right to remain in the public administration for up to five years after the ordinary statutory time of withdrawal and may be transferred anywhere within the country where this is required to cover specific operational requirements, under the procedure prescribed by statute. A list of the employees falling within the scope of this paragraph shall be posted on the website of the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection.
- Civil servants are subject to administrative supervision by a Deputy Minister appointed from the public service for a non-renewable term of six years, selected by the President of the Republic from a list of at least five candidates submitted by the Parliament; following termination of the term in office he withdraws from the public service.
- The Athos peninsula extending beyond Megali Vigla and constituting the region of Aghion Oros shall, in accordance with its ancient privileged status, be a self-governed part of the Greek state, whose sovereignty thereon shall remain intact. Spiritually, Aghion Oros shall come under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. All persons leading a monastic life thereon acquire Greek citizenship without further formalities, upon admission as novices or monks.
- Aghion Oros shall be governed, according to its regime, by its twenty Holy Monasteries among which the entire Athos peninsula is divided; the territory of the peninsula shall be exempt from expropriation.
The administration of Aghion Oros shall be exercised by representatives of the Holy Monasteries constituting the Holy Community. No change whatsoever shall be permitted in the administrative system or in the number of Monasteries of Aghion Oros, or in their hierarchical order or in their position to their subordinate dependencies. Heterodox or schismatic persons shall be prohibited from dwelling thereon.
- The determination in detail of the regimes of the Aghion Oros entities and the manner of operation thereof is effected by the Charter of Aghion Oros which, with the cooperation of the state representative, shall be drawn up and voted by the twenty Holy Monasteries and ratified by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Parliament of the Hellenes.
- Faithful observance of the regimes of the Aghion Oros entities shall in the spiritual field be under the supreme supervision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and, in the administrative, under the supervision of the state, which shall also be exclusively responsible for safeguarding public order and security.
- The afore-mentioned powers of the state shall be exercised through a governor whose rights and duties shall be determined by law.
The law shall likewise determine the judicial power exercised by the monastic authorities and the Holy Community, as well as the customs and taxation privileges of Aghion Oros.
- Private economic initiative under conditions of free competition is guaranteed. Private economic initiative shall not be permitted to develop at the expense of freedom and human dignity or to the detriment of the national economy. The Competition Commission is established as an independent authority.
- The state shall take all measures necessary to ensure the economic development of all sectors of national economy and all areas in the country, with a view to promote the country’s international competitiveness.
- Financial and tax incentives may be given by statute to promote productive investments through foreign funds and the establishment of foreign maritime enterprises in Greece. Such incentives may include a commitment by the Hellenic state to not vary the applicable legislative or tax regime or the terms of the relevant permits for a specific period of time. The statute of this paragraph shall be passed by the absolute majority of the total number of Members of Parliament
- A law passed by the absolute majority of the total number of Members of Parliament may provide investment incentives and increased protection for investments made in specified free economic areas. A regulatory decree issued pursuant to Article 39 para. 3 may determine the territorial boundaries of these areas, any specific uses or investments permitted in them and the terms governing their administration.
The state must take care for emigrant Greeks and for the maintenance of their ties with the Fatherland.
AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
- The provisions of the Constitution shall be subject to revision with the exception of those which determine the form of government as presidential parliamentary democracy relying on the separation of powers and the principles of the rule of law, the welfare state, political pluralism and respect to human dignity.
- A revision of the Constitution shall be decided on the proposal of not less than fifty Members of Parliament, by a three-fifths majority of the total number of its members. Upon a resolution by Parliament on the revision of the Constitution, the Parliament shall, in the course of its next session, whether ordinary, extraordinary or special, held in the same parliamentary term, or, if no such session follows, in the course of the first ordinary session to be held in the next parliamentary term, decide on the provisions to be revised by an absolute majority of three fifths of the total number of its members.
- 3. Every duly voted revision of provisions of the Constitution shall be published in the Government Gazette within ten days of its adoption by Parliament and shall come into force through a special parliamentary resolution.
- All provisions of statutes or of administrative acts of a regulatory nature which are contrary to the Constitution are abolished as of the date the Constitution comes into force.
- Constituent acts and resolutions abolished by the date of entry into effect of this Constitution shall continue to be in force even if their provisions are contrary to the Constitution and may be amended or abolished by statute.
- . Article 107 of the Constitution of 1975 and the laws to which it refers shall continue to regulate any investments made by the date of effect of the statute provided by Article 88 para. 3.
On matters where provisions of this Constitution explicitly require the promulgation of a statute to regulate them, the statutes or the administrative acts of a regulatory nature which are in force, as the case may be, at the time this Constitution comes into force, shall remain in force until the statute shall be promulgated, with the exception of those which are contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.
The tenure of the current President of the Republic shall terminate in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution prior to the present. The powers of the President provided for in this Constitution may be exercised as soon as this Constitution enters into force.
The statute governing the voting rights of Greeks residing outside the Greek territory must be promulgated within eighteen months from entry into force of this Constitution. Upon lapse of this time limit and within three months from that date, the President of the Republic shall issue a presidential decree with a force of law on this matter, following a proposal by the Cabinet and an opinion of the Supreme Court.
Until the statute provided for in Article 51 comes into force, the limitations of Article 57 of the Constitution of 1975, as applied at the date of entry into effect of this Constitution, shall apply.
Until the law on unitary jurisdiction is promulgated, and until the serving members of the judiciary are integrated in the courts of unitary jurisdiction and the powers and duties of the abolished courts are transferred to the courts of unitary jurisdiction, the applicable provisions on the courts and the members of the judiciary shall remain in force. The relevant law, containing a special provision for the lifelong appointment of the members of the judiciary, shall be enacted within a strict time limit of one year from entry into force of this Constitution.
The inclusion of jurists of acknowledged experience in the composition of the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 79 para. 1 shall take effect as soon as the Court’s ordinary members are reduced to two thirds of the number of members to comprise the Court for the first time.
- This Constitution is signed and published by the Speaker of the Parliament.
- Respect towards the Constitution and laws compatible with it, and devotion to the Fatherland and to Democracy constitute a fundamental duty of all Greeks.
- Usurpation, in any way whatsoever, of popular sovereignty and of powers deriving therefrom shall be prosecuted upon restoration of the lawful authority; the limitation from which punishment for the crime is barred shall begin as of the restoration of lawful authority.
- Observance of the Constitution is entrusted to the patriotism of the Greeks who shall have the right and the duty to resist by all possible means against anyone who attempts the violent abolition of the Constitution.