Monday December 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
13o C
8o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Fast-tracked legislation

By Nikos Xydakis

If there is one thing that defines the age of the crisis, it is the way that extremely important legislation is bundled together into one omnibus bill and then put to Parliament and voted on through rapid emergency procedures that effectively mean MPs have no time to study their content in any detail. of course the emergency procedure also means that there is no time for a proper public discussion either.

There are certainly cases where one piece of legislation could merit being passed through Parliament fast because there is a real emergency that needs to be addressed, but the systematic fast-tracking of laws, either through emergency parliamentary procedures or through acts and decrees, is an affront to the representative character of our democracy and violates the distinction of authorities by giving executive powers to elected deputies-lawmakers.

The abuse of this increased executive and legislative authority is apparent in different ways. For example, draft laws are shaped on the basis of negotiations between ministers and lobbies, small and large, but are not granted enough time to be debated by society or Parliament. Then you have all sorts of small, sly amendments that are squeezed in and basically undermine or water down the purported purpose of the bill. Other amendments change the focus of major strategies. For example, the new rules governing whether the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund can or can’t take part in Eurobank’s share capital increase could lead to substantial losses for taxpayers.

Finally, another category of bills, usually sneaky or damaging ones, are those tabled at the last minute by government officials moving into a new field of their electoral battle. For example, outgoing Alternate Environment Minister Stavros Kalafatis, a candidate for Thessaloniki mayor, submitted a bill with dozens of directives that work directly against the environment, according to reports. A common denominator is the exclusion of certain very specific cases from the mandate of environmental laws such as the legalization of all properties built on protected forestland prior to 1975, the legalization of industrial units built without the proper permits, allowing construction on the border of national parks and forests, and other such crazy regulations.

Instead of leading to wise legislation that will bring instant relief but also long-term stability, the crisis has brought the opposite: self-serving and jumbled laws that contribute to rather than help solve the problems that have put the country in this mess.

ekathimerini.com , Friday March 28, 2014 (19:52)  
‘Crisis of confidence will come back again and again,’ says Thomas Piketty
Who lost Greece
Snubbing the moderates
The big picture
Prosecutor gathers depositions in Independent Greeks ´bribe´ probe
Comedian Lakis Lazopoulos is due to give evidence today as part of the investigation into claims by Independent Greeks that there was an attempt to bribe one of their MPs. The lawmaker in qu...
Government accuses SYRIZA and Independent Greeks of ´clear alliance´
Government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi accused SYRIZA on Monday of forming a “clear alliance” with Independent Greeks to prevent a president from being elected, which would lead to snap elec...
Inside News
ANALYSIS
Draghi starts squaring QE circle in month of persuasion for ECB
Mario Draghi has one month to win consensus on quantitative easing by showing he won’t endanger the European Central Bank. As officials prepare to consider sovereign-bond purchases on Jan. 2...
Euro shaky on ECB and Greece, dollar keeps edge
The euro probed fresh two-year lows early on Monday in a subdued start to a holiday-shortened week, extending a multi-month trend of weakness against the dollar that many traders say will re...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Special day for Abidal, lucky one for PAOK
PAOK scraped through its Livadia challenge beating Levadiakos to remain on top of the Super League for Christmas, one point ahead of Olympiakos that enjoyed a great game at Kalloni and offer...
BASKETBALL
Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
Panathinaikos lost 80-67 at home to Barcelona on Friday in a rather meaningless game at the end of the first group stage of the Euroleague, but the encounter will be remembered for the bomb ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Prosecutor gathers depositions in Independent Greeks ´bribe´ probe
2. Government accuses SYRIZA and Independent Greeks of ´clear alliance´
3. Draghi starts squaring QE circle in month of persuasion for ECB
4. Euro shaky on ECB and Greece, dollar keeps edge
5. Special day for Abidal, lucky one for PAOK
6. Political saga is harming liquidity
more news
Today
This Week
1. Euro shaky on ECB and Greece, dollar keeps edge
2. Government accuses SYRIZA and Independent Greeks of 'clear alliance'
3. Draghi starts squaring QE circle in month of persuasion for ECB
4. Prosecutor gathers depositions in Independent Greeks 'bribe' probe
5. Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
6. Who lost Greece
Today
This Week
1. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
2. High stakes
3. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
4. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
5. On the edge but not gutless
6. Girl, aged 11, gives birth on Crete
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.