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Constitution of Greece (1975, rev. 2008)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

2


3Preamble

4In the name of the Holy and Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity

5PART 1. Basic Provisions

6SECTION I. The Form of Government

7Article 1

81. The form of government of Greece is that of a parliamentary republic.

92. Popular sovereignty is the foundation of government.

103. All powers derive from the People and exist for the People and the Nation; they shall be exercised as specified by the Constitution.

11Article 2

121. Respect and protection of the value of the human being constitute the primary obligations of the State.

132. Greece, adhering to the generally recognised rules of international law, pursues the strengthening of peace and of justice, and the fostering of friendly relations between peoples and States.

14SECTION II. Relations of Church and State

15Article 3

161. The prevailing religion in Greece is that of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ. The Orthodox Church of Greece, acknowledging our Lord Jesus Christ as its head, is inseparably united in doctrine with the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople and with every other Church of Christ of the same doctrine, observing unwaveringly, as they do, the holy apostolic and synodal canons and sacred traditions. It is autocephalous and is administered by the Holy Synod of serving Bishops and the Permanent Holy Synod originating thereof and assembled as specified by the Statutory Charter of the Church in compliance with the provisions of the Patriarchal Tome of June 29, 1850 and the Synodal Act of September 4, 1928.

172. The ecclesiastical regime existing in certain districts of the State shall not be deemed contrary to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

183. The text of the Holy Scripture shall be maintained unaltered. Official translation of the text into any other form of language, without prior sanction by the Autocephalous Church of Greece and the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople, is prohibited.

19PART 2. Individual and Social Rights

20Article 4

211. All Greeks are equal before the law.

222. Greek men and women have equal rights and equal obligations.

233. All persons possessing the qualifications for citizenship as specified by law are Greek citizens. Withdrawal of Greek citizenship shall be permitted only in case of voluntary acquisition of another citizenship or of undertaking service contrary to national interests in a foreign country, under the conditions and procedures more specifically provided by law.

244. Only Greek citizens shall be eligible for public service, except as otherwise provided by special laws.

255. Greek citizens contribute without distinction to public charges in proportion to their means.

266. Every Greek capable of bearing arms is obliged to contribute to the defence of the Fatherland as provided by law.

277. Titles of nobility or distinction are neither conferred upon nor recognized in Greek citizens.

28Interpretative clause

29The provision of paragraph 6 does not Preclude that the law provides for the mandatory performance of other services, within or outside the armed forces (alternative service), by those having a substantiated conscientious objection to performing armed service or, generally, military duties.

30Article 5

311. All persons shall have the right to develop freely their personality and to participate in the social, economic and political life of the country, insofar as they do not infringe the rights of others or violate the Constitution and the good usages.

322. All persons living within the Greek territory shall enjoy full protection of their life, honour and liberty irrespective of nationality, race or language and of religious or political beliefs. Exceptions shall be permitted only in cases provided by international law.

33The extradition of aliens prosecuted for their action as freedom-fighters shall be prohibited.

343. Personal liberty is inviolable. No one shall be prosecuted, arrested, imprisoned or otherwise confined except when and as the law provides.

354. Individual administrative measures restrictive of the free movement or establishment in the country, and of the free exit and entrance therein of any Greek are prohibited. Restrictive measures of such content may only be imposed as an attendant penalty by a criminal court ruling, in exceptional cases of emergency and only in order to prevent the commitment of criminal acts, as specified by law.

365. All persons have the right to the protection of their health and of their genetic identity. Matters relating to the protection of every person against biomedical interventions shall be specified by law.

37Interpretative clause

38Paragraph 4 does not preclude the prohibition of exit from the country for persons being prosecuted on criminal charges by act of the public prosecutor, or the imposition of measures necessary for the protection of public health or the health of sick persons, as specified by law.

39Article 5A

401. All persons have the right to information, as specified by law. Restrictions to this right may be imposed by law only insofar as they are absolutely necessary and justified for reasons of national security, of combating crime or of protecting rights and interests of third parties.

412. All persons have the right to participate in the Information Society. Facilitation of access to electronically transmitted information, as well as of the production, exchange and diffusion thereof, constitutes an obligation of the State, always in observance of the guarantees of articles 9, 9A and 19.

42Article 6

431. 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 the act of committing a crime.

442. A person who is arrested in the act of committing a crime or on a warrant shall be brought before the competent examining magistrate within twenty-four hours of his arrest at the latest; should the arrest be made outside the seat of the examining magistrate, within the shortest time required to transfer him thereto. The examining magistrate must, within three days from the day the person was brought before him, either release the detainee or issue a warrant of imprisonment. Upon application of the person brought before him or in case of force majeure confirmed by decision of the competent judicial council, this time-limit shall be extended by two days.

453. Should either of these time-limits elapse 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 immediately. Violators shall be punished for illegal detention and shall be liable to restore any damage caused to the sufferer and to pay him a monetary compensation for pain and suffering, as specified by law.

464. The maximum duration of detention pending trial shall be specified by law; such detention may not exceed a period of one year in the case of felonies or six months in the case of misdemeanours. In entirely exceptional cases, these maximum limits may be extended by six or three months respectively, by decision of the competent judicial council.

47It is prohibited to exceed these maximum limits of detention pending trial, by successively applying this measure to separate acts of the same case.

48Article 7

491. There shall be no crime, nor shall punishment be inflicted unless specified by law in force prior to the perpetration of the act, defining the constitutive elements of the act. In no case shall punishment more severe than that specified at the time of the perpetration of the act be inflicted.

502. Torture, any bodily maltreatment, impairment of health or the use of psychological violence, as well as any other offence against human dignity are prohibited and punished as provided by law.

513. The general confiscation of property is prohibited. The death penalty shall not be imposed, except in the cases provided by law for felonies perpetrated in time of war and related thereto.

524. The conditions under which the State, following a judicial decision, shall indemnify persons unjustly or illegally convicted, detained pending trial, or otherwise deprived of their personal liberty shall be provided by law.

53Article 8

54No person shall be deprived of the judge assigned to him by law against his will.

55Judicial committees or extraordinary courts, under any name whatsoever, shall not be constituted.

56Article 9

571. Every person's home is a sanctuary. The private and family life of the individual is inviolable. No home search shall be made, except when and as specified by law and always in the presence of representatives of the judicial power.

582. Violators of the preceding provision shall be punished for violating the home's asylum and for abuse of power, and shall be liable for full damages to the sufferer, as specified by law.

59Article 9A

60All persons have the right to be protected from the collection, processing and use, especially by electronic means, of their personal data, as specified by law. The protection of personal data is ensured by an independent authority, which is constituted and operates as specified by law.

61Article 10

621. Each person, acting on his own or together with others, shall have the right, observing the laws of the State, to petition in writing public authorities, who shall be obliged to take prompt action in accordance with provisions in force, and to give a written and reasoned reply to the petitioner as provided by law.

632. 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 and after permission of this authority has been obtained.

643. The competent service or authority is obliged to reply to requests for the provision of information and for the supply of documents, especially certificates, supporting documents and attestations, within a set deadline not exceeding 60 days, as specified by law. In case this deadline elapses without action or in case of unlawful refusal, in addition to any other sanctions and consequences at law, special monetary compensation is also paid to the applicant, as specified by law.

65Article 11

661. Greeks shall have the right to assemble peaceably and unarmed.

672. The police may be present only at outdoor public assemblies. Outdoor assemblies may be prohibited by a reasoned police authority decision, in general if a serious threat to public security is imminent, and in a specific area, if a serious disturbance of social and economic life is threatened, as specified by law.

68Article 12

691. Greeks shall have the right to form nonprofit associations and unions, in compliance with the law, which, however, may never subject the exercise of this right to prior permission.

702. An association may not be dissolved for violation of the law or of a substantial provision of its statutes, except by court judgment.

713. The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall apply, as the case may be, to unions of persons not constituting an association.

724. Agricultural and urban cooperatives of all types shall be self-governed according to the provisions of the law and of their statutes: they shall be under the protection and supervision of the State which is obliged to provide for their development.

735. Establishment by law of compulsory cooperatives serving purposes of common benefit or public interest or common exploitation of farming areas or other wealth producing sources shall be permitted, on condition however that the equal treatment of all participants shall be assured.

74Article 13

751. Freedom of religious conscience is inviolable. The enjoyment of civil rights and liberties does not depend on the individual's religious beliefs.

762. All known religions shall be free and their rites of worship shall be performed unhindered and under the protection of the law. The practice of rites of worship is not allowed to offend public order or the good usages. Proselytism is prohibited.

773. The ministers of all known religions shall be subject to the same supervision by the State and to the same obligations towards it as those of the prevailing religion.

784. No person shall be exempt from discharging his obligations to the State or may refuse to comply with the laws by reason of his religious convictions.

795. No oath shall be imposed or administered except as specified by law and in the form determined by law.

80Article 14

811. Every person may express and propagate his thoughts orally, in writing and through the press in compliance with the laws of the State.

822. The press is free. Censorship and all other preventive measures are prohibited.

833. The seizure of newspapers and other publications before or after circulation is prohibited.

84Seizure by order of the public prosecutor shall be allowed exceptionally after circulation and in case of:

85 a.an offence against the Christian or any other known religion,

86 b.an insult against the person of the President of the Republic,

87 c.a publication which discloses information on the composition, equipment and set-up of the armed forces or the fortifications of the country, or which aims at the violent overthrow of the regime or is directed against the territorial integrity of the State,

88 d.an obscene publication which is obviously offensive to public decency, in the cases stipulated by law.

894. In all the cases specified under the preceding paragraph, the public prosecutor must, within twenty-four hours from the seizure, submit the case to the judicial council which, within the next twenty-four hours, must rule whether the seizure is to be maintained or lifted; otherwise it shall be lifted ipso jure. An appeal may be lodged with the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court by the publisher of the newspaper or other printed matter seized and by the public prosecutor.

905. Every person offended by an inaccurate publication or broadcast has the right to reply. and the information medium has a corresponding obligation for full and immediate redress. Every person offended by an insulting or defamatory publication or broadcast has also the right to reply, and the information medium has a corresponding obligation to immediately publish or transmit the reply. The manner in which the right to reply is exercised and in which full and immediate redress is assured or publication and transmission of the reply is made, shall be specified by law.

916. After at least three convictions within five years for the criminal acts defined under paragraph 3, the court shall order the definitive ban or the temporary suspension of the publication of the paper and, in severe cases, shall prohibit the convicted person from practising the profession of journalist as specified by law. The ban or suspension of publication shall be effective as of the date the court order becomes irrevocable.

927. Matters relating to the civil and criminal liability of the press and of the other information media and to the expeditious trial of relevant cases, shall be specified by law.

938. The conditions and qualifications requisite for the practice of the profession of journalist shall be specified by law.

949. The ownership status, the financial situation and the means of financing of information media must be made known as specified by law. The measures and restrictions necessary for fully ensuring transparency and plurality in information shall be specified by law. The concentration of the control of more than one information media of the same type or of different types is prohibited. More specifically, concentration of more than one electronic information media of the same type is prohibited, as specified by law. The capacity of owner, partner, major shareholder or managing director of an information media enterprise, is incompatible with the capacity of owner, partner, major shareholder or managing director of an enterprise that undertakes towards the Public Administration or towards a legal entity of the wider public sector to perform works or to supply goods or services. The prohibition of the previous section extends also over all types of intermediary persons, such as spouses, relatives, financially dependent persons or companies. The specific regulations, the sanctions, which may extend to the point of revocation of the license of a radio or television station and to the point of prohibition of the conclusion or to the annulment of the pertinent contract, as well as the means of control and the guarantees for the prevention of infringements of the previous sections, shall be determined by law.

95Article 15

961. The protective provisions for the press in the preceding article shall not be applicable to films, sound recordings, radio, television or any other similar medium for the transmission of speech or images.

972. Radio and television shall be under the direct control of the State. The control and imposition of administrative sanctions belong to the exclusive competence of the National Radio and Television Council, which is an independent authority, as specified by law. The direct control of the State, which may also assume the form of a prior permission status, shall aim at the objective and on equal terms transmission of information and news reports, as well as of works of literature and art, at ensuring the quality level of programs mandated by the social mission of radio and television and by the cultural development of the Country, as well as at the respect of the value of the human being and the protection of childhood and youth.

98Matters relating to the mandatory and free of charge transmission of the workings of the Parliament and of its committees, as well as of the electoral campaign messages of the political parties by radio and television, shall be specified by law.

99Article 16

1001. Art and science, research and teaching shall be free and their development and promotion shall be an obligation of the State. Academic freedom and freedom of teaching shall not exempt anyone from his duty of allegiance to the Constitution.

1012. Education constitutes a basic mission for the State and shall aim at the moral, intellectual, professional and physical training of Greeks, the development of national and religious consciousness and at their formation as free and responsible citizens.

1023. The number of years of compulsory education shall be no less than nine.

1034. All Greeks are entitled to free education on all levels at State educational institutions. The State shall provide financial assistance to those who distinguish themselves, as well as to students in need of assistance or special protection, in accordance with their abilities.

1045. Education at university level shall be provided exclusively by institutions which are fully self-governed public law legal persons. These institutions shall operate under the supervision of the State and are entitled to financial assistance from it; they shall operate on the basis of statutorily enacted by-laws. Merging or splitting of university level institutions may take place notwithstanding any contrary provisions, as a law shall provide.

105A special law shall define all matters pertaining to student associations and the participation of students therein.

1066. Professors of university level institutions shall be public functionaries. The remaining teaching personnel likewise perform a public function, under the conditions specified by law. The statutes of respective institutions shall define matters relating to the status of all the above.

107Professors of university level institutions shall not be dismissed prior to the lawful termination of their term of service, except in the cases of the substantive conditions provided by article 88 paragraph 4 and following a decision by a council constituted in its majority of highest judicial functionaries, as specified by law.

108The retirement age of professors of university level institutions shall be determined by law; until such law is issued, professors on active service shall retire ipso jure at the end of the academic year at which they have reached the age of sixty-seven.

1097. Professional and any other form of special education shall be provided by the State, through schools of a higher level and for a time period not exceeding three years, as specifically provided by law which also defines the professional rights of the graduates of such schools.

1108. The conditions and terms for granting a license for the establishment and operation of schools not owned by the State, the supervision of such and the professional status of teaching personnel therein shall be specified by law.

111The establishment of university level institutions by private persons is prohibited.

1129. Athletics shall be under the protection and the ultimate supervision of the State.

113The State shall make grants to and shall control all types of athletic associations, as specified by law. The use of grants in accordance with the purpose of the associations receiving them shall also be specified by law.

114Article 17

1151. Property is under the protection of the State; rights deriving there from, however, may not be exercised contrary to the public interest.

1162. No one shall be deprived of his property except for public benefit which must be duly proven, when and as specified by statute and always following full compensation corresponding to the value of the expropriated property at the time of the court hearing on the provisional determination of compensation. In cases in which a request for the final determination of compensation is made, the value at the time of the court hearing of the request shall be considered.

117If the court hearing for the final determination of compensation takes place after one year has elapsed from the court hearing for the provisional determination, then, for the determination of the compensation the value at the time of the court hearing for the final determination shall be taken into account. In the decision declaring an expropriation, specific justification must be made of the possibility to cover the compensation expenditure. Provided that the beneficiary consents thereto, the compensation may be also paid in kind, especially in the form of granting ownership over other property or of granting rights over other property.

1183. Any change in the value of expropriated property occurring after publication of the act of expropriation and resulting exclusively there from shall not be taken into account.

1194. Compensation is determined by the competent courts. Such compensation may also be determined provisionally by the court after hearing or summoning the beneficiary, who may be obliged, at the discretion of the court, to furnish a commensurate guarantee in order to collect the compensation, as provided by the law. Notwithstanding article 94, a law may provide for the establishment of a uniform jurisdiction, for all disputes and cases relating to expropriation, as well as for conducting the relevant trials as a matter of priority. The manner in which pending trials are continued, may be regulated by the same law.

120Prior to payment of the final or provisional compensation, all rights of the owner shall remain intact and occupation of the property shall not be allowed.

121In order for works of a general importance for the economy of the country to be carried out, it is possible that, by special decision of the court which is competent for the final or the provisional determination of the compensation, the execution of works even prior to the determination and payment of the compensation is allowed, provided that a reasonable part of the compensation is paid and that full guarantee is provided in favour of the beneficiary of the compensation, as provided by law. The second period of the first section applies accordingly also to these cases.

122Compensation in the amount determined by the court must in all cases be paid within one and one half years at the latest from the date of publication of the decision regarding provisional determination of compensation payable, and in cases of a direct request for the final determination of compensation, from the date of publication of the court ruling, otherwise the expropriation shall be revoked ipso jure.

123The compensation as such is exempt from any taxes, deductions or fees.

1245. The cases in which compulsory compensation shall be paid to the beneficiaries for lost income from expropriated property until the time of payment of the compensation shall be specified by law.

1256. In the case of execution of works serving the public benefit or being of a general importance to the economy of the country, a law may allow the expropriation in favour of the State of wider zones beyond the areas necessary for the execution of the works. The said law shall specify the conditions and terms of such expropriation, as well as the matters pertaining to the disposal for public or public utility purposes in general, of areas expropriated in excess of those required.

1267. The digging of underground tunnels at the appropriate depth without compensation, may be allowed by law for the execution of works of evident public utility for the State, public law legal persons, local government agencies, public utility agencies and public enterprises, on condition that the normal exploitation of the property situated above shall not be hindered.

127Article 18

1281. The ownership and disposal of mines, quarries, caves, archaeological sites and treasures, mineral, running and underground waters and underground resources in general, shall be regulated by special laws.

1292. The ownership, exploitation and administration of lagoons and large lakes, as well as the general disposal of areas resulting from the draining of such, shall be regulated by law.

1303. Requisitions of property for the needs of the armed forces in case of war or mobilization, or for the purpose of facing an immediate social emergency that may endanger public order or health, shall be regulated by special laws.

1314. The redistribution of agricultural areas for the purpose of exploiting the land more profitably, as well as the adoption of measures to prevent excessive parcelling or to facilitate restructuring of small parcelled farm holdings, shall be allowed in accordance with the procedure specified by special law.

1325. In addition to the cases specified in the preceding paragraphs, the law may provide for other necessary deprivations of the free use and enjoyment of property, owing to special circumstances. The law shall specify the obligor and the procedure of payment to the person entitled to compensation for the use or enjoyment, which must be commensurate to the conditions present on each occasion.

133Measures imposed in accordance with this paragraph shall be lifted as soon as the special reasons that necessitated them cease to exist. In case of undue prolongation of the measures, the Supreme Administrative Court shall decide on their revocation, by categories of cases, upon recourse by any person having a legitimate interest.

1346. A law may regulate the disposal of abandoned lands for the purpose of revalorising them to the benefit of the national economy and the rehabilitation of destitute farmers. The same law shall provide for the matters of partial or full compensation of owners, in case of their reappearance within a reasonable time limit.

1357. Compulsory joint ownership of adjoining properties in urban areas may be introduced by law, if independent rebuilding on the said properties or some of them does not conform with the applicable or prospective building regulations in the area.

1368. Farmlands belonging to the Patriarchal Monasteries of Aghia Anastasia Pharmacolytria in Chalkidiki, of Vlatadhes in Thessaloniki and Ioannis the Evangelist Theologos in Patmos, with the exception of the dependencies thereof, cannot be subject to expropriation. Likewise the property in Greece of the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antiocheia and Jerusalem and that of the Holy Monastery of Mount Sinai cannot be subject to expropriation.

137Article 19

1381. Secrecy of letters and all other forms of free correspondence or communication shall be absolutely inviolable. The guaranties under which the judicial authority shall not be bound by this secrecy for reasons of national security or for the purpose of investigating especially serious crimes, shall be specified by law.

1392. Matters relating to the constitution, the operation and the functions of the independent authority ensuring the secrecy of paragraph 1 shall be specified by law.

1403. Use of evidence acquired in violation of the present article and of articles 9 and 9A is prohibited.

141Article 20

1421. Every person shall be entitled to receive legal protection by the courts and may plead before them his views concerning his rights or interests, as specified by law.

1432. 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.

144Article 21

1451. The family, being the cornerstone of the preservation and the advancement of the Nation, as well as marriage, motherhood and childhood, shall be under the protection of the State.

1462. Families with many children, disabled war and peace-time veterans, war victims, widows and orphans, as well as persons suffering from incurable bodily or mental ailments are entitled to the special care of the State.

1473. The State shall care for the health of citizens and shall adopt special measures for the protection of youth, old age, disability and for the relief of the needy.

1484. The acquisition of a home by the homeless or those inadequately sheltered shall constitute an object of special State care.

1495. Planning and implementing a demo- graphic policy, as well as taking of all necessary measures, is an obligation of the State.

1506. People with disabilities have the right to benefit from measures ensuring their self-sufficiency, professional integration and participation in the social, economic and political life of the Country.

151Article 22

1521. Work constitutes a right and shall enjoy the protection of the State, which shall care for the creation of conditions of employment for all citizens and shall pursue the moral and material advancement of the rural and urban working population.

153All workers, irrespective of sex or other distinctions, shall be entitled to equal pay for work of equal value.

1542. General working conditions shall be determined by law, supplemented by collective labour agreements concluded through free negotiations and, in case of the failure of such, by rules determined by arbitration.

1553. The matters relating to the conclusion of collective labour agreements by civil servants and the servants of local government agencies or of other public law legal persons, shall be specified by law.

1564. Any form of compulsory work is prohibited.

157Special laws shall determine the requisition of personal services in case of war or mobilization or to face defence needs of the country or urgent social emergencies resulting from disasters or liable to endanger public health, as well as the contribution of personal work to local government agencies to satisfy local needs.

1585. The State shall care for the social security of the working people, as specified by law.

159Interpretative clause

160The general working conditions include the definition of the manner of collection and the agent obliged to collect and return to trade unions membership fees specified in their respective by-laws.

161Article 23

1621. The State shall adopt due measures safeguarding the freedom to unionise and the unhindered exercise of related rights against any infringement thereon within the limits of the law.

1632. Strike constitutes a right to be exercised by lawfully established trade unions in order to protect and promote the financial and the general labour interests of working people.

164Strikes of any nature whatsoever are prohibited in the case of judicial functionaries and those serving in the security corps. The right to strike shall be subject to the specific limitations of the law regulating this right in the case of public servants and employees of local government agencies and of public law legal persons as well as in the case of the employees of all types of enterprises of a public nature or of public benefit, the operation of which is of vital importance in serving the basic needs of the society as a whole. These limitations may not be carried to the point of abolishing the right to strike or hindering the lawful exercise thereof.

165Article 24

1661. The protection of the natural and cultural environment constitutes a duty of the State and a right of every person. The State is bound to adopt special preventive or repressive measures for the preservation of the environment in the context of the principle of sustainable development. Matters pertaining to the protection of forests and forest expanses in general shall be regulated by law. The compilation of a forest registry constitutes an obligation of the State. Alteration of the use of forests and forest expanses is prohibited, except where agricultural development or other uses imposed for the public interest prevail for the benefit of the national economy.

1672. The master plan of the country, and the arrangement, development, urbanisation and expansion of towns and residential areas in general, shall be under the regulatory authority and the control of the State, in the aim of serving the functionality and the development of settlements and of securing the best possible living conditions.

168The relevant technical choices and considerations are conducted according to the rules of science. The compilation of a national cadastre constitutes an obligation of the State.

1693. For the purpose of designating an area as residential and of activating its urbanisation, properties included therein must participate, without compensation from the respective agencies, in the disposal of land necessary for the construction of roads, squares and public utility areas in general, and contribute toward the expenses for the execution of the basic public urban works, as specified by law.

1704. The law may provide for the participation of property owners of an area designated as residential in the development and general accommodation of that area, on the basis of an approved town plan, in exchange for real estate or apartments of equal value in the parts of such areas that shall finally be designated as suitable for construction or in buildings of the same area.

1715. The provisions of the preceding paragraphs shall also be applicable in the rehabilitation of existing residential areas. Spaces remaining free after rehabilitation shall be allotted to the creation of common utility areas or shall be sold to cover expenses incurred for the rehabilitation, as specified by law.

1726. Monuments and historic areas and elements shall be under the protection of the State. A law shall provide for measures restrictive of private ownership deemed necessary for protection thereof, as well as for the manner and the kind of compensation payable to owners.

173Interpretative clause

174By forest or forest ecosystem is meant the organic whole of wild plants with woody trunk on the necessary area of ground which, together with the flora and fauna co-existing there, constitute, by means of their mutual interdependence and interaction, a particular biocoenosis (forest biocoenosis) and a particular natural environment (forest-derived). A forest expanse exists when the wild woody vegetation, either high or shrubbery, is sparse.

175Article 25

1761. The rights of the human being as an individual and as a member of the society and the principle of the welfare state rule of law are guaranteed by the State. All agents of the State shall be obliged to ensure the unhindered and effective exercise thereof. These rights also apply to the relations between individuals to which they are appropriate. Restrictions of any kind which, according to the Constitution, may be imposed upon these rights, should be provided either directly by the Constitution or by statute, should a reservation exist in the latter's favour, and should respect the principle of proportionality.

1772. The recognition and protection of the fundamental and inalienable rights of man by the State aims at the achievement of social progress in freedom and justice.

1783. The abusive exercise of rights is not permitted.

1794. The State has the right to claim of all citizens to fulfil the duty of social and national solidarity.

180PART 3. Organization and Functions of the State

181SECTION I. Structure of the State

182Article 26

1831. The legislative powers shall be exercised by the Parliament and the President of the Republic.

1842. The executive powers shall be exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government.

1853. The judicial powers shall be exercised by courts of law, the decisions of which shall be executed in the name of the Greek People.

186Article 27

1871. No change in the boundaries of the Country can be made without a statute passed by an absolute majority of the total number of Members of Parliament.

1882. Foreign military forces are not acceptable on Greek territory, nor may they remain in or traverse it, except as provided by law passed by an absolute majority of the total number of Members of Parliament.

189Article 28

1901. The generally recognised rules of international law, as well as international conventions as of the time they are ratified by statute and become operative according to their respective conditions, shall be an integral part of domestic Greek law and shall prevail over any contrary provision of the law. The rules of international law and of international conventions shall be applicable to aliens only under the condition of reciprocity.

1912. Authorities provided by the Constitution may by treaty or agreement be vested in agencies of international organizations, when this serves an important national interest and promotes cooperation with other States. A majority of three-fifths of the total number of Members of Parliament shall be necessary to vote the law ratifying the treaty or agreement.

1923. Greece shall freely proceed by law passed by an absolute majority of the total number of Members of Parliament to limit the exercise of national sovereignty, insofar as this is dictated by an important national interest, does not infringe upon the rights of man and the foundations of democratic government and is effected on the basis of the principles of equality and under the condition of reciprocity.

193Interpretative clause

194'Article 28' constitutes the foundation for the participation of the Country in the European integration process.

195Article 29

1961. Greek citizens possessing the right to vote may freely found and join political parties, the organization and activity of which must serve the free functioning of democratic government.

197Citizens who have not yet acquired the right to vote may participate in youth sections of parties.

1982. Political parties are entitled to receive financial support by the State for their electoral and operating expenses, as specified by law. A statute shall specify the guarantees of transparency concerning electoral expenses and, in general, the financial management of political parties, of Members of Parliament, parliamentary candidates and candidates for all degrees of local government. A statute shall impose the maximum limit of electoral expenses, may prohibit certain forms of pre-electoral promotion and shall specify the conditions under which violation of the relevant provisions constitutes a ground for the forfeiture of parliamentary office on the initiative of the special body of the following section. The audit of the electoral expenses of political parties and parliamentary candidates is carried out by a special body which is constituted also with the participation of senior magistrates, as specified by law. A law may also extend these regulations to candidates for other offices held through election.

1993. Manifestations of any nature whatsoever in favour of or against a political party by magistrates and by those serving in the armed forces and the security corps, are absolutely prohibited. In the exercise of their duties, manifestations of any nature whatsoever in favour of or against a political party by public servants, employees of local government agencies, of other public law legal persons or of public enterprises or of enterprises of local government agencies or of enterprises whose management is directly or indirectly appointed by the State, by administrative act or by virtue of its capacity as shareholder, are absolutely prohibited.

200SECTION II. The President of the Republic

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