Coalition parties at odds over proposals for review of Greek Constitution

PASOK and New Democracy were at odds on Monday over the conservative party’s plan to announce proposals for a review of the Greek Constitution.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to set out on Wednesday his party’s ideas for a range of changes to the country’s constitution. These include re-examining parliamentary immunity for MPs, setting a limit on the time a prime minister can serve in office and improving the transparency of party finances.

Another key reform that the premier could put on the table is the reduction of the number of lawmakers that sit in Greek Parliament from 300 to 250 or 200.

However, PASOK said there was no consensus for New Democracy to proceed with such proposals and accused its coalition partner of trying to win votes ahead of local and European Parliament elections in less than a month.

New Democracy responded by issuing a statement calling for the Socialists to respect its proposals.

“These suggestions will be put to the judgement of the people and parties,” said spokeswoman Anna Asimakopoulou.

The constitution and parliamentary rules mean that the proposals need to gather the support of at least 50 MPs. Then they will be reviewed by a special parliamentary committee. Once the changes have been agreed, they are then put to two votes in Parliament.

However, the reforms cannot be implemented until the next Parliament sits. This means that national elections, not due until 2016, have to be held first.