Greece, also known
as Hellas, is the birthplace of politics and democracy. Its democratic ideals
inspired, among others, the framers of the US constitution. The present Greek
Constitution, voted in 1975 and amended in 1986, defines the country's political
system as a Parliamentary Democracy headed by a President.
powers are exercised by a single Chamber Parliament (the "Vouli") and executive
powers are vested in the Government and the President. The Prime Minister, whose
Government must enjoy the confidence of the Parliament, has extensive powers.
The judiciary is independent. Civil, political and human rights are
constitutionally guaranteed. General elections for the 300 parliamentary seats
are held every four years. The President of the Republic is elected by the
members of Parliament for a five-year term, renewable only once. Greek members of parliament have immunity. In other words they can commit crimes and get away with them according to the constitution. (Read the last two sentences again and think about that.)
The Flag: The National Flag of Greece consists of four white and five blue alternating horizontal stripes, with a white cross on the upper inner corner. Blue and white are the national colours of Greece. The cross represents the Greek Orthodox church which considers itself a part of the state and the state pretty much agrees since it pays the salaries of the priests. Yes you read that correctly. The Greek government pays the salaries of the priests.
Greece in the world: Greece is a member of UN, IMF, CSCE,
and other major Western and European institutions such as the OECD, NATO, WEU,
Council of Europe and the European Community which she joined in 1981. The
country's commitment to the European Union enjoys overwhelming political
support. (Maybe when this was written it did but now its about 50/50)
Education: Greece spends 4.5% of its GDP on education,
which is compulsory for nine years and free of charge at all levels in any state
institution. But most of the time either the students or the professors are on strike so few people actually get educated which is what the Greek government may want since ignorant people are more easily exploited.
Welfare: Two main social insurance organisations
known by their Greek acronyms as IKA (for labourers) and OGA (for farmers) cover
more than 80% of the working population. Neither has any money and they have to borrow every year which is part of the current crisis (2012)
To really understand the Greek Government read Greek Politicks for Dummies
Athens Practical Info Index