Tsipras proposes separation of Church & State

1 November 2018
206 Views

A series of constitutional amendments were proposed by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, speaking before the SYRIZA parliamentary group on Wednesday. Included in these proposals is the enactment of religious neutrality for the Greek state.

Tsipras expressed his certainty that the Church of Greece would agree to limit its relations with the Greek State. The majority of SYRIZA MPs also agreed with the prime minister’s position.

Former education minister Nikos Filis expressed the view that church and state should not be separated completely, but also called for the abolition of the preamble of the Constitution which refers to “the name of the Holy and Homily and Indivisible Trinity.”

It was another issue, however, which generated extensive debate: the proposal to have the President of the Hellenic Republic popularly elected. As the prime minister himself stated in his introductory speech, views on the issue were split.

One side supports the popular election of the president by the voting public only if there have been two unsuccessful attempts by Parliament to elect a candidate. Another view called for the election to be conducted in Parliament, with a third ballot requiring a simple majority of 151 deputies. Supporters of this position argued that direct election by the people creates a peculiar “duality” in authority.

At the close of the meeting, the prime minister put forth a new proposal, according to which the incumbent president’s term will be extended for six months if the first two parliamentary votes for a new president are unsuccessful. In the interim, a new vote will be held by Parliament each month, requiring an increased majority of 180 MPs. If these votes also fail, then the public will have the final say via the ballot box.

The process of amending the constitution will begin in the current Parliament and will continue with the new Parliament following the 2019 elections, in a complicated procedure requiring several votes.

You may be interested

Eurostat: Greek debt reaches 181,1% of GDP in 2018
FINANCE
shares42 views
FINANCE
shares42 views

Eurostat: Greek debt reaches 181,1% of GDP in 2018

makis - Apr 25, 2019

According to data released Tuesday by Eurostat, Greece’s public debt rose in 2018 to 334.57 billion euros from 317.48 billion…

A 4.1 earthquake hits Dimitsana
GREECE
shares36 views
GREECE
shares36 views

A 4.1 earthquake hits Dimitsana

makis - Apr 25, 2019

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake on the Richter scale shook the city of Dimitsana, Arcadia, according to the Athens Geodynamic Institute.…

The 5 most beautiful places to walk in Athens
GREECE
shares513 views
GREECE
shares513 views

The 5 most beautiful places to walk in Athens

Panos - Apr 25, 2019

Sometimes, our daily routine prevents us from understanding and admiring the beauty that surrounds us. Stressful jobs, work or family…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.