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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-16

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM, PASOK leader hold first discussion on planned revision of Constitution

  • [01] PM, PASOK leader hold first discussion on planned revision of Constitution

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis and main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Monday had their first discussion on the revision of the country's Constitution proposed by Karamanlis' ruling New Democracy party (ND).

    "The purpose is to find common targets," Karamanlis said while greeting Papandreou at the Maximos Mansion (government headquarters).

    Papandreou added that it was important for common targets to be found, but also focussed on everyday matters on which, he said, the present Constitution provided solutions.

    Karamanlis replied that there was always room for improvement.

    During their meeting, Karamanlis briefed the main opposition leader on the government's proposal for the Constitution's revision. The issue is also slated for discussion on Tuesday at a meeting of the ND parliamentary group to be chaired by the premier.

    Meanwhile, in an interview appearing in Sunday's edition of Apogevmatini newspaper, Interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said the three focal points of the proposed revision concerned the finances of the political parties, the campaign spending of candidate MPs, and the 'source of wealth' declarations.

    The general direction, he said, was in-depth supervision of the management of political moneys.

    Pavlopoulos said that the main financing of the political parties should be through the state budget in order to limit private funding, but clarified this would not mean an increase in state funding to the political parties, "which must find ways to reduce their expenditures and set the good example".

    Also being mulled, he said, was the review of the MPs' source of wealth statements to be undertaken by a Constitutional Court, the founding of which he said would be proposed by the government during the Constitutional revision procedure.

    Pavlopoulos opined that the provisions of the Constitution needed to be more general, so as to "enable the legislator to act, and the Constitution to withstand time".

    He said the reasons the govenrment had opted for revision were, first of all, that many important proposals that had been put forward by ND during the previous revision had not been accepted by PASOK, and, second, because certain provisions passed did not pass the test of time.

    Another reason, Pavlopoulos added, was the "immense speed of developments in social relations and technology".

    Photo file of Costas Karamanlis (R) and George Papandreou (L) during a televised debate ahead of European Parliament elections in 2004. (ANA/V. Bardoulakis)

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