Prime Minister of Greece

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Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic
Πρωθυπουργός της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας
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Incumbent
Kyriakos Mitsotakis

since 8 July 2019
Style His Excellency [1]
Member of
Reports to Parliament
Seat Maximos Mansion
Appointer President of Greece
Term length No fixed term (dependent on the Parliament)
Inaugural holder Spyridon Trikoupis
Formation13 January 1822
Deputy Deputy Prime Minister
Website Prime Minister's Office
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The Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic (Greek : Πρωθυπουργός της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας, Pro̱thypourgós ti̱s Elli̱nikí̱s Di̱mokratías), colloquially referred to as the Prime Minister of Greece (Greek : Πρωθυπουργός της Ελλάδας, Pro̱thypourgós ti̱s Elládas), is the head of government of the Hellenic Republic and the leader of the Greek Cabinet. The incumbent Prime Minister is Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who took office on 8 July 2019.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. "Head of government" is often differentiated from "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Contents

The officeholder's official seat (but not residence) is the Maximos Mansion in the centre of Athens. The office is described in the Constitution either as Prime Minister or President of the Government (Πρόεδρος της Κυβερνήσεως). This is the reason why the Prime Minister is also addressed as "Mr. President".

Maximos Mansion architectural structure

The Maximos Mansion has been the official seat of the Prime Minister of Greece since 1982. It is located in downtown Athens, Greece, near Syntagma Square. The building houses the offices of the Head of the Greek Government, but it is not the residence of the Prime Minister.

Athens Capital and largest city of Greece

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence started somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.

Election and appointment of the Prime Minister

The prime minister is officially appointed by the President of Greece.

President of Greece

The President of the Hellenic Republic, colloquially referred to in English as the President of Greece, is the head of state of Greece. The President is elected by the Hellenic Parliament; the role has been mainly ceremonial since the 1986 constitutional reform. The office was formally established by the Constitution of Greece in 1975, but has antecedents in the Second Hellenic Republic of 1924–1935 and the republic established by the Greek military junta in 1973–1974. The incumbent, since 2015, is Prokopis Pavlopoulos, serving his first term in office.

According to Article 37 of the Greek Constitution, the President of the Hellenic Republic shall appoint the leader of the political party with the absolute majority of seats in the parliament as prime minister. If no party has the absolute majority, the president shall give the leader of the party with a relative majority (plurality) an exploratory mandate in order to ascertain the possibility of forming a government enjoying the confidence of parliament.

The current Constitution of Greece, was created by the Fifth Revisionary Parliament of the Hellenes in 1974, after the fall of the Greek military junta and the start of the current Third Hellenic Republic. It entered into force in 1975 and has been revised three times since, most significantly in 1986, and also in 2001 and in 2008.

Hellenic Parliament Legislative body of the Hellenic Republic

The Hellenic Parliament, in Greek known as Voulí ton Ellínon is the parliament of Greece, located in the Old Royal Palace, overlooking Syntagma Square in Athens. The Parliament is the supreme democratic institution that represents the citizens through an elected body of Members of Parliament (MPs).

A plurality vote or relative majority describes the circumstance when a candidate or proposition polls more votes than any other, but does not receive a majority. For example, if 100 votes were cast, including 45 for Candidate A, 30 for Candidate B and 25 for Candidate C, then Candidate A received a plurality of votes but not a majority. In some votes, the winning candidate or proposition may have only a plurality, depending on the rules of the organization holding the vote.

If this possibility cannot be ascertained, the President shall give the exploratory mandate to the leader of the second largest party in Parliament, and if this proves to be unsuccessful, to the leader of the third largest party in parliament. Each exploratory mandate shall be in force for three days.

If all exploratory mandates prove to be unsuccessful, the President summons all party leaders, and if the impossibility to form a cabinet enjoying the confidence of the parliament is confirmed, he shall attempt to form a cabinet composed of all parties in parliament for the purpose of holding parliamentary elections. If this fails, he shall entrust the president of the Supreme Administrative Court or of the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court or of the Court of Auditors to form a cabinet as widely accepted as possible to carry out elections after he dissolves Parliament.

Council of State (Greece) the highest administrative court in Greece

In Greece, the Council of State is the Supreme Administrative Court of Greece.

Therefore, the election of members of a certain party to parliament is the equivalent to a vote for that party's leader for prime minister. [2]

Oath of office

Religious oath of office

Before taking office, the Prime Minister is sworn-in at a religious ceremony inside the Presidential Mansion. Prime Ministers are sworn in by the Archbishop of Athens who is the head of the Church of Greece. The Archbishop begins with a few prayers and the Kyrie Eleison, and then the Prime Minister-Elect places his hand on the Bible placed in between two lit candles, all on a table between him and the Archbishop. Following after the Archbishop, the Prime Minister-Elect then recites the oath:

The Archbishop then recites a few more blessings, and the participants make the sign of the cross three times. The Archbishop then congratulates the new Prime Minister, who then shakes hands with the President before the pertinent documents are signed.

Civil oath of office

In 2015 Alexis Tsipras, a self-proclaimed atheist, became the first Prime Minister to opt for a secular affirmation instead of the traditional religious oath. He was sworn in by President Karolos Papoulias instead of the Archbishop of Athens, and, in place of the above oath, recited [3] the affirmation:

He then shook hands with the President, who congratulated him, before proceeding to sign the official documents as normal.

When Tsipras assumed the premiership again, on 21 September 2015, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos decided that the affirmation had to be more formal, as it follows:

Official seat of the Prime Minister

The Maximos Mansion (Greek: Μέγαρο Μαξίμου) has been the official seat of the Prime Minister of Greece since 1982. It is located in central Athens, near Syntagma Square. Although the building contains the offices of the Head of the Greek Government, it is not used as the residence of the Prime Minister.

History of the office

During the revolution (1821–1832)

During the Greek War of Independence, different regions of Greece that were free of Ottoman control began establishing democratic systems for self-government, such as the Peloponnesian Senate. Meanwhile, a series of overarching National Assemblies, such as the First National Assembly at Epidaurus, met from time-to-time to provide overall coordination. The First Assembly elected a 5-member executive council, which was headed by Alexandros Mavrokordatos. [4]

The Executive continued to govern Greece until 1828, when Ioannis Kapodistrias assumed the governance of the state as "Governor of Greece"—simultaneously head of state and of the government. [4] Kapodistrias was assassinated in 1831 and his government, presided over by his brother Augustinos, collapsed the following year. It was replaced by a series of collective governmental councils, which lasted until 1833, when Greece became a monarchy.

Under Otto's absolute monarchy (1832–1843)

In 1832, Greece's nascent experiment with democracy was ended and a monarchy was established with the underage Bavarian Prince Otto as king. Initially the government was led by a regency council made up of Bavarians. The president of this council, Count Josef Ludwig von Armansperg was the de facto head of government under Otto. Later Otto dismissed his Bavarian advisers and wielded power as an absolute monarch, effectively as head of state and his own head of government. [5]

Constitutional monarchy (1843–1910)

Naval rank flag of the Prime Minister of Greece Naval rank flag of the Prime Minister of Greece.svg
Naval rank flag of the Prime Minister of Greece

King Otto's reign as an absolute monarch came to an end when agitators for a constitution (as had been promised when the monarchy was established) rose up in the 3 September Revolution in 1843. Otto was forced to grant a constitution and Andreas Metaxas took power; he is credited with being the first Greek to formally serve as "Prime Minister." [6]

Once the office of prime minister was established, the responsibility for self-government again fell to the Greek people. However, two factors maintained significant power for the crown: the Greek party structure was weak and client-based and the monarch was free to select any member of parliament to form a government. [5]

In 1862, Otto was finally deposed and the Greek people chose a new monarch in the person of King George I of Greece.[ citation needed ] In the next 15 years, the party structures began to evolve into more modern ideological parties with the Nationalist Party led by Alexandros Koumoundouros on the right and the more liberal New Party led by Charilaos Trikoupis. Trikoupis was successful after the election of 1874 in forcing the king to accept the "dedilomeni principle" (Greek : αρχή της δεδηλωμένης)--that the leader of the majority in parliament must be selected as prime minister by the king. [6]

The Nationalists were later led by Theodoros Deligiannis who famously said "was against everything Trikoupis was for." This two-party system existed until 1910, even as Georgios Theotokis took over the New Party after the death of Trikoupis in 1895 and the assassination of Deligiannis in 1905 which led to a splintering of parties on the conservative and nationalist side.

Upheaval, revolts and war (1910–1946)

In 1910, military officers sparked the fall of civilian government when they issued the Goudi Pronunciamento. This event led to the arrival in Greece of the Cretan politician Eleftherios Venizelos. His followers gathered in the Liberal Party, which, despite Venizelos' dominant status, constituted the first true party in the modern sense, in that it was formed around a progressive, liberal and pro-republican political agenda.

The Liberal Party was eventually opposed by the more conservative and pro-royalist People's Party, initially led by Dimitrios Gounaris. The antagonism between the two parties, and the supporters of monarchy and republicanism, would dominate the political landscape until after the Second World War.

See also

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References

  1. "ΣΥΓΧΡΟΝΟ ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟ ΕΘΙΜΟΤΥΠΙΑΣ - PDF". docplayer.gr. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  2. "Constitution of Greece". hri.org.
  3. "Πρωθυπουργός της Ελλάδας - Πολιτική ορκωμοσία του πρωθυπουργο". primeminister.gov.gr.
  4. 1 2 Brewer, David. The Greek War of Independence. (Overlook Press, 2001).
  5. 1 2 Petropulos, John A., Politics and Statecraft in the Kingdom of Greece. (Princeton University Press, 1968)
  6. 1 2 Clogg, Richard. A Short History of Modern Greece. (Cambridge University Press, 1979). ISBN   0-521-32837-3