(Greece) – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reveals the Greek government’s plans to overhaul its constitution. Among those changes include outlining the distinction between the government and the Greek Orthodox Church. There will also be some changes as to how the president is elected and also new limits to the terms for those who hold seats in parliament. Tsipras has said that these reforms are designed to get rid of some of the negative aspects of the system that have plagued the Greek government.
Once the reforms are further solidified, he plans on asking the Greek people their opinions before the plans officially go before parliament. Tsipras said during a presentation about the proposed changes that, “We aspire to see a process of active participation of citizens, and not something which is restricted within four walls of parliament.”
One of the major things that would change would be in redefining the role of the Greek president. Currently, it is a ceremonial role and one that doesn’t have a lot of official sway. Under the changes, the president would be elected by the people if parliament couldn’t reach a consensus about who the president would be. Tsipras also explained that the president would also see a slight increase in his or her power on certain things.
Tsipras also went on to say that the role of the Greek Orthodox Church when it comes to politics has been a fairly sensitive issue. Tsipras didn’t take the expected religious oath, saying at the time that he believed the involvement of the church with politics has been a sensitive topic. Tsipras says, “I think establishing religious neutrality of the state is a mature demand, maintaining for historical and practical reasons the role of Orthodoxy as the prevailing religion.”
Tspipras has said since early 2015 when his government came into power that constitutional reforms are part of his agenda. Despite the fact that he promised to end austerity, he was forced to accept a third bailout deal to keep the Greek economy afloat. Now, he’s looking to keep one of his other campaign promises.