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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Announcement for the establishment of the “Academy for Transparency and Human Rights for Good Governance”

The "Academy for Transparency and Human Rights for Good Governance" has been established by the European Public Law Organization, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights. The Honorary Prosecutor General of the Supreme Court and National Coordinator for Combating Corruption, Mr. Ioannis-Spyridon Tentes, will assume the Presidency of the Honorary Board.

The "Academy of Transparency and Human Rights for Good Governance" is the European Public Law Organization's second Academy. The first is the "Academy of European Public Law", which has been operating for twenty (20) consecutive years, at the premises of the Organization in Sounion.

The announcement was made by the Director of the Organization, Professor Spyridon Flogaitis, at the event which took place at the offices of the Organization on 12 June on the topic: "Revision of the Constitution: Institutions of the State & the Functioning of Government". The said event was the fourth in a series of events on the Revision of the Constitution. The dialogue was chaired by Mr. Ioannis-Spyridon Tentes.

According to the conclusions of the dialogue, the Greek Constitution is not responsible for the country's current political situation. However, even a perfect Constitution must occasionally adjust to a world which is constantly changing. The question is whether the time is appropriate for something like this. The constitutional map of a country must change during sober moments and not under the pressure of events.

The arguments of the speakers were interesting, with the following main points:

Evripidis Stylianidis, Minister of Interior: The Constitution which will result from the revision must be resistant, strict and open. It must protect our language and our national identity within the new, globalized environment. It must establish the five year period of governance and in the case of early elections, the new government must exhaust the remaining term of office. It must impose a stable taxation system. It must aim at the restoration of the real economy.

Stavros Kontonis, MP Syriza: Article 86 of the Constitution, which rears the immunity of politicians and is contrary to article 4 on the equality of the Greeks, must be abolished. There should exist control mechanisms for all public figures. The primary role of Parliament, which has today become secondary and sanctioning, must be ensured. Unrelated provisions in multi-bills must, for example, be forbidden.

Panagiotis Rigas, MP PASOK: Although he began his speech saying that "it is possible within this conjuncture, tension and questioning which touches the core of democracy, to move forward with a revision", he spoke of the need to restate the operating conditions of the State and for a brave upgrade of Local Government, to whom many political responsibilities, the handling of educational issues, and even tax collection must be transferred,.

Theodoros Fortsakis, Professor and President of the Faculty of Law of the University of Athens: "The Constitution is to blame for the mess we are in", he said. "And I fear that entering this process now, we may move backwards". He stressed the need for national planning regarding the public administration and the abolition of permanence in the public sector, which is contrary -among other things- to the provision on the equality of all Greeks.

Charalambos Tsiliotis, Associate Professor of the University of the Peloponnese: The Constitution is not responsible for the failure of the sociopolitical model. Instead of revision we need a change of attitude and behaviour. He further explained why, under the current Constitution there cannot exist a Presidential Democracy or a Direct Democracy, as advocated by some.

A discussion followed between the speakers and the audience, which consisted of High-Court judges, academics, jurists and journalists.

tags: Academy for Transparency & Human Rights, EPLO