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The Greek Political System Divided in Powers

The Constitution of Greece provides for the separation of powers as follows:

The President of the Greek State

The Head of the Greek State is the President, who is elected by Greek Parliament through a secret ballot in a special session. The President, who has limited political powers, may hold office for a maximum of two five-year terms and his office is incompatible with any other office, position, or function. To be elected President the person should receive a two-thirds majority of the total number of members of Parliament.

The president represent the State in its relations to other States, declare war, conclude treaties of peace, alliance, economic cooperation and participation in international organizations or unions and proclaims referendums. He has the right of veto for the laws passed by Parliament.

The Legislative power of the Greek State

The legislative power of the Greek State is exercised by Greek Parliament, which is the supreme legislative body of the Greek state and enacts the laws, which are then issued and promulgated by the President of the Republic. The 300 Members of the Greek Parliament are elected for a four-year term on the basis of a direct, universal, secret and compulsory ballot by a system of reinforced proportional representation.

The Greek political scene is currently dominated by the two big parties, more specifically, ND (New Democracy) which was founded in 1974 by Constantinos Karamanlis, and PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement). The other parties represented in the Greek Parliament are KKE (Communist Party of Greece), SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical left) and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S.).

The Executive power of the Greek State

The Greek Government consists of the Cabinet which comprises the Prime Minister and Ministers. The Government determines and directs the general policy of the Greek State, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the laws. The Prime Minister of Greece shall safeguard the unity of the Government and direct the activity thereof and that of public services in general with a view to implementing Government policy within the framework of the law. The Government must enjoy the confidence of Parliament. The members of the Cabinet and the Deputy Ministers shall be jointly responsible for the general policies of the Government.

The Judiciary power of the Greek State

The judiciary power of Greece is exercised by three categories of courts with civil, criminal and administrative jurisdiction. The civil and criminal courts include the Courts of Justice, the Courts of First Instance, the Courts of Appeal and, as the last resort of jurisdiction, the A Supreme Court(Areios Pagos). Likewise, dealing with disputes between the State and the citizens due to illegal or improper exercise of the State powers, there are Courts of First Instance as well as Courts of Appeal, with the Council of State having the highest jurisdiction.

The Local Government of the Greek State

The administration of the Greek state is organized on the basis of the principle of decentralization. According to this system, the central services (except for special functions) co-ordinate and supervise the regional organs, whereas the latter have effective control over matters that concern their respective regions, implementing domestic and European policies for the economic and social development within their geographical scope of competence.

Nowadays, there are 13 administrative regions throughout Greece: 1) Attica, 2) West Macedonia, 3) East Macedonia and Thrace, 4) Central Macedonia, 5) Epirus, 6) Thessaly, 7) the Ionian Islands, 8) Sterea Hellas, 9) West Greece, 10) the Peloponnese, 11) North Aegean, 12) South Aegean, 13) Crete

The government appoints a representative to run every region and ensure the implementation of its policies. He/she also supports the central state services and the government for the elaboration of regional development policies.

Furthermore, according to the Greek Constitution, the administration of local affairs is carried out by local government bodies. Therefore, a structure of first and second level local authorities and regional administration has been established.


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