28th Youth Parliament concludes with a discussion on democracy

28th Youth Parliament concludes with a discussion on democracy

The Hellenic Parliament welcomed high school students from Greece, Cyprus and the diaspora who participated in the 28th annual Youth Parliament that took place this week and concluded with a student panel discussion on democracy at the Parliament’s plenary.

The annual event has given these 10th and 11th-grade students a chance to voice their concerns, opinions and proposals for what they believe can create a better society and future for Greece. The students did not hesitate to hold the government, local agencies and themselves accountable.

Speaking at the beginning of the last session, Education Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis made sure to highlight two principles: faith and knowledge.

“In this world, with rolled-up sleeves, with an optimistic view, we will have every possibility to write even more important chapters of history,” he said.

Six students representing their teams made speeches regarding the theme of collaboration on six major issues concerning a city and its citizens; school, politics, environment, culture, the digital world and the environment. The teams worked together before the panel discussion to formulate their submissions prior to the session at the plenary. Each speaker had five minutes to communicate their group’s concerns and proposals related to their chosen topic. 

“Responsibility is now a very helpful dimension of our lives and I invite you to enjoy it, because when you are responsible for something it means that you can shape it,” House Speaker Konstantinos Tasoulas, who hosted the event, said shortly before calling forward the first student speaker.

Marina Papadopoulou, a student from Attica, spoke about the act of helping the environment, touching upon recycling, the tourism industry, preserving protected areas and supporting the nation’s farmers.

“We suggest that there be stricter control, both in its local administration and in the businesses, so that recycling is managed in the right way and benefits the future,” she said. 

After her speech, Tasoulas commented on the environment being the biggest responsibility the young generations must undertake. 

“We suddenly found, because we are not so proactive, that the environment, the Earth, is not infinite,” he emphasized, admitting that past generations have treated the environment like it could withstand anything, but now it “is rebelling.”

Applauses echoed off the walls of the historic plenary chamber as each student concluded their speech. Clicking noises of cameras eager to capture this moment were softly heard from the second-tier balcony.

The proud students gathered in the foyer outside the hall and took pictures as people slowly exited the Parliament.

Myrsini Nalpanti, a student from the Dodecanese, expressed gratitude for the experience of a lifetime. She discussed the neighborhood, specifically the importance of maintaining shared spaces. When asked why collaboration is an important part of democracy, Nalpanti said it’s “the main feature of democracy in general,” because it allows everyone to have a voice on everything in society. 

Irene Anastasiadis is a summer intern at Kathimerini English Edition and a master’s student at Boston University.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.