(Greece) – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says that many of the proposed constitutional changes will lead Greece to a “direct democracy”. Under the reforms, the Greek people would have a chance to elect the president as well as hold referendums. Under the current system, the president is appointed and the people don’t have a direct voice as to who will be president, who is currently appointed by parliament.
Tsipras said that, “It is time to set aside fear of the people’s judgment – even if the people are not infallible.” He believes that the people should have more of a voice in the political system and among those, is the people’s right to choose the president that they want. The new system will allow the people to vote if no party has a clear majority in parliament. He also believes that the people should be able to reject laws proposed by referendums as well as propose their own, as long as it doesn’t pertain to state fiscal matters.
He also believes that there should be more of a divide between church and state, and that the Greek state should hold a neutral stance when it comes to religion. This is something that he believes strongly in because when asked to take the religious oath when he became the Greek Prime Minister in last summer’s reelection. He says that the Orthodox Church is too entwined with the country’s politics. However, Tsipras has admitted to being an atheist, which could also be affecting his stance on this matter.
All of these proposed changes are pending approval. Even if they are all approved, the current parliament will be unable to set them in motion. They can only be enacted by the new government, and new elections won’t be taking place in 2019. So the constitutional reforms will not impact the Greek people for at least the next few years, if they are even approved.