GREEK POLITICS GUIDE
Greek System of Government: Parliamentary Republic
Greek politics take place in a parliamentary republic where the Prime Minister is Head of Government and of a multi-party system. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Hellenic Parliament. From the restoration of democracy in 1974 until 2012 the party system was dominated by the liberal-conservative New Democracy and the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) parties; both parties suffered significant defeats at the polls in May as a result of Greece's debt-fueled economic crisis and their support of austerity measures. The Judiciary is independent of the Executive and the Legislature.
The 1975 constitution, which describes Greece as a "Presidential Parliamentary Republic", includes extensive specific guarantees of civil liberties and vests the powers of the Head of State in a President elected by Parliament. The Greek governmental structure is similar to that found in many other Western democracies, and has been described as a compromise between the French and German models. The Prime Minister and cabinet play the central role in the political process, while the President performs some Executive and Legislative functions in addition to ceremonial duties. Voting in Greece is compulsory but is not enforced.
Greek politics is often described as dynastic, with long-established political families controlling the
positions of power.