OPINION

The price of legality

Greek laws, of which there are a great number, are binding on all levels, irrespective of whether one knows them or not. There are at present, and to the best of my knowledge, three main databases of Greek legislation on the Internet, maintained by the Government Publishers (Ethniko Typografio, www.et.gr), the Athens Bar Society and a site run by a private company. Of these three, only the Athens Bar website provides free-of-charge, full-text access to laws, presidential decrees and ministerial decisions, and this only extends to the most recently published texts. For the rest, the subscriptions demanded by the providers are prohibitively expensive to anyone but a corporate entity, something which in the case of the Government Publishers is simply outrageous. How can it be that the «birthplace of democracy» is alone among its European counterparts in placing such a hefty price tag on one of the most fundamental principles of democracy, i.e. knowledge of the laws which are in force? ALEXANDER CASSAVETTI, Brussels.