Current Issues in Greece

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Kevin Rooney

Professor McCarthy

Comparative Politics

October 7, 2012

Current Issues in Greece

Greece is a country with a very rich history of tradition, from the gods of ancient Greece, to the beautiful landscape in the Mediterranean, all the way to the development of Democracy. The Greek political system is similar to the United States but also different in many ways. The government type is a parliamentary representative democratic republic. The prime minister is the head of the government and the multi-party system. The party system is similar to the United States, there is a two party system. The two parties are the New Democracy and the Panhellenic social movement. The New Democracy is closely related to the American Republicans. The Panhellenic social movement is closer to the American Democrats. The Greek Government system also has an executive branch, legislative branch, and a judicial branch, but the judicial branch is much more separate. [1] The executive branch has a president which elects the cabinet with recommendations from the prime minister. The president has the power to declare war, to grant pardon, and to conclude agreements of peace. The prime minister is elected by the people and he or she is usually the leader of the party controlling the absolute majority of Parliament members. The prime minister safeguards the unity of the government and directs its activities. He or she is the most powerful person of the Greek political system. The legislative branch is very similar to the United States legislative, they make the laws, and there are 300 members. Everyone 18 or older can vote. There voting system is proportional so similar to the United States the winner of the popular vote may not win the elections. This gets rid of third parties because they essentially could never win a state which means they cannot win the election. The judicial branch is divided into civil and administrative cases. Civil cases usually involve serious cases. Administrative cases are usually between a citizen and its state. [2] The old fashioned government that is still set in stone in Greece has led to tough economic times and many social issues amongst Greek society. Politics is important when it comes to the economy. Greece is absolutely having political problems and there political system is arguably the number one reason for the downfall of the economy. In an article written by Thanos Diminas about the politics of Greece, he says this about the economy “It's a crisis of political credibility, a crisis of political effectiveness, a crisis of breached confidence between people and politicians. Basically, it's a crisis endangering the stability of Greece’s democracy.” [3] He then goes on to talk about many of the problems with the political system. He talks about how the government is being extremely stubborn. He argues that the political system is too old fashioned and there is no room for change. As countries like the United States start to innovate and move there economy in a positive direction Greece will already have lost. Another challenge that Diminas talks about is the idea that government is very biased. Consequently now many young and capable individuals are avoiding getting involved in the political system. Diminas then relates the Greek political system to a private club and that only elite people or people who have family involved in politics can get involved. “It is not a coincidence that for the last three decades, Greece has been governed by leaders who come from two or three political families.” Both of these reasons that Diminas mentions are very important if you cannot get the people that are qualified to feel comfortable getting involved in politics you will not have the right people in charge to lead your country. As the old fashioned government continues to stay, the education system set in stone will not change. Education is the biggest part of developing a country and getting out...
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