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Greece Government
 
 
 

General

Greece is a parliamentary republic. The head of state is the President of the Republic, who is elected by the Parliament for a five-year term. After the Constitutional amendment of 1986, the President's duties were curtailed to a significant extent, and they are now largely ceremonial.

The current Constitution of Greece was drawn up and adopted by the Fifth Revisionary Parliament of the Hellenes and entered into force in 1975 after the fall of the military junta of 1967-1974. It has been revised twice since, in 1986 and in 2001. The Constitution, which consists of 120 articles, provides for a separation of powers into executive, legislative and judicial branches, and grants extensive specific guarantees of civil liberties and social rights.

According to the Constitution, executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government. After 1986, however, the role of the President in the executive branch is ceremonial. The position of Prime Minister, Greece's head of government, belongs to the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality in the Parliament. The President of the Republic formally appoints the Prime Minister and, on his recommendation, appoints and dismisses the other members of the Cabinet. The Prime Minister exercises vast political power, and the amendment of 1986 further strengthened his position to the detriment of the President of the Republic.

Legislative power is exercised by a 300-member unicameral Parliament. Statutes passed by the Parliament are promulgated by the President of the Republic. Parliamentary elections are held every four years, but the President of the Republic is obliged to dissolve the Parliament earlier on the proposal of the Cabinet, in view of dealing with a national issue of exceptional importance. The President is also obliged to dissolve the Parliament earlier, if the opposition manages to pass a motion of no confidence.

The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature and comprises three Supreme Courts: the Court of Cassation, the Council of State and the Court of Auditors. The Judiciary system is also composed of civil courts, which judge civil and penal cases and administrative courts, which judge administrative cases, namely disputes between the citizens and the State.

Since the restoration of democracy, the party system is dominated by the liberal-conservative New Democracy and the socialist Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). Non-negligible parties include the Communist Party of Greece, the Coalition of the Radical Left and the Popular Orthodox Rally.

Administratively the country is divided into 51 prefectures and one autonomous region (Mt. Athos).

Overview

Country name:
conventional long form: Hellenic Republic
conventional short form: Greece
local long form: Elliniki Dhimokratia
local short form: Ellas or Ellada
former: Kingdom of Greece

Government type:
parliamentary republic

Capital:
name: Athens
geographic coordinates: 37 59 N, 23 44 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:
51 prefectures (nomoi, singular - nomos) and 1 autonomous region*; Achaia, Agion Oros* (Mt. Athos), Aitolia kai Akarnania, Argolis, Arkadia, Arta, Attiki, Chalkidiki, Chanion, Chios, Dodekanisos, Drama, Evros, Evrytania, Evvoia, Florina, Fokidos, Fthiotis, Grevena, Ileia, Imathia, Ioannina, Irakleion, Karditsa, Kastoria, Kavala, Kefallinia, Kerkyra, Kilkis, Korinthia, Kozani, Kyklades, Lakonia, Larisa, Lasithi, Lefkas, Lesvos, Magnisia, Messinia, Pella, Pieria, Preveza, Rethynnis, Rodopi, Samos, Serrai, Thesprotia, Thessaloniki, Trikala, Voiotia, Xanthi, Zakynthos

Independence:
1829 (from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 25 March (1821)


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