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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-22

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] 53 proposals for Constitutional revision pass

  • [01] 53 proposals for Constitutional revision pass

    Parliament on Thursday passed 53 proposals to revise Articles in the Constitution -- six of which were submitted by main opposition PASOK -- by a simple majority of 151 votes.

    After PASOK and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) declined to take part in the vote, there were only 171 MPs present during proceedings, making it impossible for the proposals achieve a two-thirds majority, or 180 votes in the 300-MP legislature.

    As a result, the proposed changes will now require a two-thirds majority of 180 votes in the next Parliament arising after the next general elections in order to be carried out. If they had been passed by 180 votes in the present Parliament, conversely, they would have needed only 151 votes in order to go into effect during the term of the next government.

    Among the proposed revisions passed during Thursday's vote is one for controversial revision of Article 16 of the Constitution in order to remove barriers to establishing private universities in Greece, a prospect that is vehemently opposed by student groups and a large portion of the academic community. Another proposal that garnered a simple majority is revision of Article 24 on forest protection, which failed to pass at the Committee level after a marred vote - a development cited by PASOK as the main reason for withdrawing from the Constitutional revision process.

    Three out of 46 proposals made by ruling New Democracy were not passed during Thursday's vote, including a proposal to increase the number of state deputies and to extend the rights of civil servants and members of the military to stand for election. Parliament also rejected 23 out of 29 proposed changes made by the main opposition. Among the six passed was a change to the Constitutional article referring to 'main shareholders' in the media, following objections raised by the European Commission.

    The proposals for revision that were not passed by even a simple majority on Thursday must now wait until for the Parliament arising after the next two general elections in order to go into effect -- even if they achieve a two-thirds majority in the next Parliament.

    The 53 proposals that passed muster will be put to the vote again at the end of March in the present Parliament, as ordained by Parliamentary procedure, in a bid to gain a two-thirds majority. At present, however, the abstention of PASOK and KKE makes this impossible.

    Caption: A general view of the Parliament plenum session on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007. ANA-MPA / M. Marogianni.


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