Rewriting the constitution

The imminent constitutional review that was announced by the prime minister on the closing day of the budget debate constitutes an opportunity and challenge for the country’s political parties. The outline for the coming constitutional debate has already started to take shape as the two mainstream parties, whose stand will largely determine the provisions under review, and certain senior Socialist and conservative cadres have hinted at the desired changes or in some cases come up with specific proposals. The establishment of private universities, the rules of professional incompatibility for deputies, the relationship between the Church and the state, the declassification of forest areas, the law over ministerial responsibility, the major shareholder provisions, the potential establishment of a constitutional court, and the presidential election process are some of the issues expected to feature on the agenda for a constitutional review. In some cases, conditions for change have been developing for years, like the setting up of non-state university institutions. Others warrant an in-depth discussion within as well as between Greece’s political groupings. Parliamentary deputies and political leaders must treat the coming review of the constitution as a political development that will shape the country’s future and avoid repeating the mistakes made during the last revision, which have cost the country dearly.