Type of State
Greece is a republic based on a parliamentary democracy. Greece (official name: Hellenic Republic) was a monarchy until 1974. Greece is a Constitutional State. However, a certain number of NGOs have communicated their concerns about immigrants and the members of religious minorities in particular. Foreign nationals can, usually, expect a fair trial in legal matters. There is a substantial level of corruption in the country, in particular among the police and in the business sector – corruption in Greece is the most widespread among the member countries of the European Union.
According to the Constitution, executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government; after 1986, however, the role of the President in the executive branch is ceremonial. The position of Prime Minister, Greece's head of government, belongs to the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality in the Parliament. The President of the Republic formally appoints the Prime Minister and, on his recommendation, appoints and dismisses the other members of the Cabinet. The Prime Minister exercises vast political power, and the amendment of 1986 further strengthened his position to the detriment of the President of the Republic.
Legislative power is exercised by a 300-member unicameral Parliament. Statutes passed by the Parliament are promulgated by the President of the Republic. Parliamentary elections are held every four years, but the President of the Republic is obliged to dissolve the Parliament earlier on the proposal of the Cabinet, in view of dealing with a national issue of exceptional importance. The President is also obliged to dissolve the Parliament earlier, if the opposition manages to pass a motion of no confidence.
Main Political Parties