Greek Parliament

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Βουλή των Ελλήνων
Greek Parliament
Basic data
Seat: Athens
Legislative period : 4 years
MPs: 300
Current legislative period
Last choice: 7th July 2019
Chair: President of Parliament
Nikos Voutsis ( Syriza )
Distribution of seats

Distribution of seats: Government (158)
  • ND 158
  • Opposition (142)
  • SYRIZA 86
  • KINAL 22
  • KKE 15
  • EL 10
  • MeRA 9
  • Website

    The Greek Parliament ( Greek Βουλή των Ελλήνων Voulí tōn Ellínōn , from the ancient Greek noun βουλή boulḗ , the council in some of the poles of ancient Greece ) is the parliament of Greece , which today resides on Syntagma Square in Athens , in the old royal castle. The parliament has one chamber and 300 members elected for four years. It is an element in the Greek political system .


    Parliament session at the end of the 19th century, painting by N. Orlof
    Swearing-in ceremony in the Greek Parliament in 2009

    In 1829 the first democratic direct elections took place in the First Hellenic Republic , from which a national assembly consisting of 236 members emerged, which met in Argos . The National Assembly was not yet a permanent parliament, but deliberately endowed the head of state of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias and a Senate with 27 members with far-reaching powers with regard to day-to-day government affairs. Despite political controversy, Kapodistrias was able to enforce that all residents of Greek origin should be eligible to vote and not just those who had land ownership.

    After in Greece a. a. At the urging of the signatory powers of Greek independence - Great Britain, France and Russia - in 1832 the absolute monarchy had been introduced, the National Assembly was dissolved. When Greece passed to a constitutional monarchy as a result of the revolution of September 3, 1843 , elections were again held in 1843 and 1844 under the old republican electoral law of 1829. In 1843 a constituent assembly was elected, followed by the first permanent parliament in 1844.

    The foundation stone for the old parliament building on Odos Stadiou in Athens was laid by Princess Amalie in 1858. The old parliament building now houses the National Historical Museum of Athens . The move to the current parliament building, which served as the royal palace until 1910, was decided in 1929. The German-born lawyer Konstantin von Hößlin also acted briefly as parliamentary president in 1910 .


    The Greek parliament must express its confidence in every new government and can issue a destructive vote of no confidence at any time .

    Parliament votes on government bills and has the full right of initiative in the legislative process. In addition, each member of parliament can, within the framework of a parliamentary control function, address interpellations to the government, which must be discussed in plenary (plenary session).

    A simple majority of the MPs present is sufficient for all parliamentary decisions, but there is always an approval quorum of 25% of the Members of Parliament. Almost all votes are open, secret votes are only provided for in exceptional cases (e.g. opening of criminal proceedings for breach of duty against a minister, election of members or a vote of no confidence in the members of the parliamentary presidium). In parliamentary practice, an actual abstention is only possible through absenteeism, since the formal abstention is counted as a negative vote when present.

    A simple majority is sufficient for an amendment to the electoral law that affects the elections next but one. However, if the change is to apply to the upcoming elections, a two-thirds majority is required. Laws to amend the constitution can only be passed by parliament in two consecutive legislative periods . Bills to amend the constitution, which received a three-fifths majority in the first legislative period, only require an absolute majority in the next legislative period in order to be included in the constitution. Conversely, laws that only received an absolute majority require a three-fifths majority in the second legislative period.

    The Parliament elects the President for a term of five years. For the election of the President , a two-thirds majority is required in the first two ballots, and a three-fifths majority in the third ballot. If this majority is not achieved either, Parliament must be dissolved. The new parliament can also elect the president with a relative majority. The high hurdle of a four-fifths majority is necessary for appointing independent, independent authorities that are independent of the government, such as the television and radio supervisory board (ESR), the data protection authority or the personnel selection authority (ASEP). However, Parliament is not responsible for the election of the chief judges, who are almost always chosen through formal procedures. The head of the Greek central bank is appointed by the state president on a proposal from the government, without parliamentary participation.

    Parliament does not have the right to dissolve itself , but it is possible for Parliament to be dissolved by the President on the proposal of the Prime Minister . In addition, parliament is dissolved in the event of the failure of the formation of a government, both at the beginning of the legislative period, and in the event of failure of the formation of the new government after a successful destructive vote of no confidence.


    All MPs enjoy criminal immunity , which can only be waived by a decision of Parliament. All tax and other benefits were almost completely abolished in the course of the Greek financial crisis .

    Parliamentary practice

    During the deliberations in the legislative procedure in the committees or in the plenary, the members of all parliamentary groups (including those of the opposition) usually address amendments directly to the minister who introduced the law. He either accepts it or rejects it.

    In most cases, parliamentary group discipline is expected from MPs . Failure to comply with critical votes such as the vote of confidence, the budget, or other important bills is almost always sanctioned with direct exclusion from the parliamentary group and exclusion from the party's nomination lists for the next parliamentary election. In the course of a legislative period, however, especially in the run-up to important votes, MPs are often reintegrated into the parliamentary groups. MPs who are excluded from their parliamentary group also regularly set up their own parties.


    The parliament is currently composed as follows:

    logo Surname Alignment Chair Seats camp
    Logo of the ND Nea Dimokratia (ND)
    Νέα Δημοκρατία (ΝΔ)
    New Democracy
    liberal - conservative Kyriakos Mitsotakis Kyriakos Mitsotakis 158 Government
    SYRIZA logo Synaspismos Rizospastikis Aristeras (SYRIZA)
    Συνασπισμός Ριζοσπαστικής Αριστεράς (ΣΥΡΙΖΑ)
    Coalition of the Radical Left
    radical left Alexis Tsipras Alexis Tsipras 86 Opposition
    Kinima Allagis (KINAL)
    Κίνημα Αλλαγής (ΚΙΝΑΛ)
    Movement for Change
    social democratic Fofi Gennimata Fofi Gennimata 22nd
    Logo of the KKE Kommounistiko Komma Elladas (KKE)
    Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας (KKE)
    Communist Party of Greece
    Communist Dimitris Koutsoumbas Dimitris Koutsoumbas 15th
    Elliniki Lysi
    Ελληνική Λύση
    Greek solution
    right-wing populist Kyriakos Velopoulos 10
    Μέτωπο Ευρωπαϊκής Ρεαλιστικής Ανυπακοής ΜέΡΑ25
    European realistic disobedience front
    left-wing populist Yanis Varoufakis 9
    total 300

    Parliament building

    The great mosque in Nafplio , provisional seat of the National Assembly from 1825 to 1828

    Parliament met in the old parliament building on Odos Stadiou from 1844 to 1854 and from 1875 to 1932.

    City palace and its use as a parliament

    The former parliament building in Athens' Odos Stadiou

    The first drafts for a residence came from Leo von Klenze . Friedrich von Gärtner was finally commissioned to build the building. He adopted the basic concept of the rectangular shape with two inner courtyards. Influences can also come from an older design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel , who had previously planned the palace on the Acropolis. In 1836 King Otto laid the foundation stone for the new city palace. The building is characterized by a reduced and very strict classical language of forms. The building was used as a residence until 1910, after a fire the royal family used Tatoi Castle as the capital city, formally the city palace remained the seat of the royal family until the first abolition of the monarchy in 1924. The castle had already been used as a reception center for refugees after the lost Greco-Turkish War , referred to in Greece as the “Asia Minor catastrophe”. It then served as a hospital and then as a museum.

    Today's parliament building seen from the roof of the Hotel Grande Bretagne , in front of it the tomb of the unknown soldier

    In 1929 it was decided to move the Greek parliament into the former castle, after the completion of the renovation work it met for the first time on August 2, 1934 and the National Assembly on July 1, 1935. After the reestablishment of the monarchy, Tatoi also officially became the seat of the royal family. A hall of the same size is located above the plenary hall to provide space for a two-chamber system, but this never happened. This hall now serves as a large conference hall.

    Due to the narrowness of downtown Athens, the move of Parliament is currently being discussed. It is hoped that building a new parliament building and important ministries on the outskirts will create more space and lower costs (many ministries are housed in rented office buildings in the center). The previous building on Syntagma Square will then be converted for cultural use.

    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

    In 1928 the side was redesigned to Syntagma Square. A retaining wall with two ramps was added and the tomb of the unknown soldier was erected. Based on the gable of the Aegina Temple, Phokion Rok (1891–1945) and Constantinos Demetriades (1881–1943) designed a relief with warrior figures. The inscriptions next to the bronze shields name the countries and places of all battles in which Greek soldiers have died since the Wars of Liberation (e.g. el-Alamein , Korea , Cyprus ), as well as the beginning of Pericles ' funeral oration to the first fallen in Peloponnesian War .


    The architect Gärtner had planned a French garden, but Queen Amalia, who was very interested in gardening and agriculture, had François-Luis Barrauld create a German landscape garden in the Romantic style in 1836. From 1855 to 1889, Friedrich Schmidt gave it the character of a botanical garden with plants from all over the Mediterranean region. King Ludwig I of Bavaria is said to have contributed to this with a shipload of 15,000 cuttings.

    The extensive irrigation was particularly criticized in the dry year 1843, since 1855 it has followed the course of an ancient water pipe from the 6th century BC. BC, which had been found during the planting. In 1857 a small botanical museum dedicated to the history of the park was established. The park has been open to the public as a national garden since 1923 . A large Roman mosaic floor has been preserved near the exit to Vasilissis Sofias.

    In the park there are also some busts, mostly of Greek poets, but also of Philhellenes such as the Swiss banker Jean Gabriel Eynard . Southwest of the park near the barracks of the Evzones (parliament Guard), south of the Zappeion .

    The garden and parliament have been separate since the 1920s; the garden can only be reached via the separate entrances.

    Parliamentary elections

    Electoral system

    300 members are elected. The selection is made according to a substantially from the proportional embossed election system . Due to a threshold clause, a party has to overcome a 3 percent hurdle in order to be able to enter parliament.

    288 of the 300 seats are elected in 56 constituencies, whereby the number of mandates awarded per constituency varies depending on the size of the population in the individual constituencies; the largest constituency, Athens-B, with 1.4 million eligible voters, has 42 seats. The election takes place via party lists. Voters can tick the candidates they prefer within the constituency list of the party they have elected. Only one mandate is awarded in eight small constituencies; this is given to the candidate with the most votes, so that the electoral system also includes elements of majority voting . Twelve mandates are awarded on the basis of a nationwide list based on pure proportional representation.

    The party with the most votes receives 50 seats as a bonus; In 2009 there were only 40 seats. Electoral alliances have practically no prospect of this bonus, since their share of the vote is divided by the number of parties they belong to to determine the strongest party. The remaining seats will be distributed proportionally among all parties that break the 3 percent threshold. This gives preference to larger parties and favors the formation of governable majorities.

    All Greek citizens from the age of 17 are entitled to vote. In 2012 (when the voting age was 18) there were 9.85 million eligible voters. In Greece voting is nominally compulsory ; ignoring compulsory voting is not sanctioned.

    Overview from 1829 to the present day

    2004 general election

    General election in Greece on March 7, 2004
    Political party be right % Seats Distribution of seats
    New Democracy (ND) 3,359,682 45.36 165

    Panellinio Sosialistiko Kinima (PASOK) 3,003,275 40.55 117
    Kommounistiko Komma Elladas (KKE) 436.706 5.90 12
    Synaspismos tis Rizospastikis Aristeras (SYRIZA) 241,637 3.26 6th
    Others 365.286 4.93 0
    total 7,406,619 100.00 300
    Source: Greek Ministry of the Interior

    General election 2007

    General election in Greece on September 16, 2007
    Political party be right % Seats Distribution of seats
    New Democracy (ND) 2,994,979 41.84 152

    Panellinio Sosialistiko Kinima (PASOK) 2,727,279 38.10 102
    Kommounistiko Komma Elladas (KKE) 583,750 8.15 22nd
    Synaspismos tis Rizospastikis Aristeras (SYRIZA) 361.101 5.04 14th
    Laikos Orthodoxos Synagermos (LAOS) 271,809 3.80 10
    Others 220.088 3.07 0
    total 7,159,006 100.00 300
    Source: Greek Ministry of the Interior

    General election 2009

    General election in Greece on October 4, 2009
    Political party be right % Seats Distribution of seats
    Panellinio Sosialistiko Kinima (PASOK) 3,011,521 43.92 160

    New Democracy (ND) 2,295,318 33.48 91
    Kommounistiko Komma Elladas (KKE) 517.062 7.54 21st
    Laikos Orthodoxos Synagermos (LAOS) 386.063 5.63 15th
    Synaspismos tis Rizospastikis Aristeras (SYRIZA) 315.501 4.60 13
    Others 332,956 4.83 0
    total 6,858,421 100.00 300
    Source: Greek Ministry of the Interior

    Parliamentary elections 2012

    May 2012

    General election in Greece on May 6, 2012
    Political party be right % Seats Distribution of seats
    New Democracy (ND) 1,192,103 18.85 108

    Synaspismos tis Rizospastikis Aristeras (SYRIZA) 1,061,928 16.79 52
    Panellinio Sosialistiko Kinima (PASOK) 833.452 13.18 41
    Anexartiti Ellines (ANEL) 671,324 10.62 33
    Kommounistiko Komma Elladas (KKE) 536.105 8.48 26th
    Chrysi Avgi (XA) 440.966 6.97 21st
    Dimokratiki Aristera (DIMAR) 386.394 6.11 19th
    Others 1,201,864 19.00 0
    total 6,324,136 100.00 300
    Source: Greek Ministry of the Interior

    June 2012

    General election in Greece on June 17, 2012
    Political party be right % Seats Distribution of seats
    New Democracy (ND) 1,825,497 29.66 129

    SYRIZA - Enotiko Kinoniko Metopo (SYRIZA-EKM) 1,655,022 26.89 71
    Panellinio Sosialistiko Kinima (PASOK) 756.024 12.28 33
    Anexartiti Ellines (ANEL) 462.406 7.51 20th
    Chrysi Avgi (XA) 426.025 6.92 18th
    Dimokratiki Aristera (DIMAR) 384,986 6.25 17th
    Kommounistiko Komma Elladas (KKE) 277.227 4.50 12
    Others 368.277 5.99 0
    total 6,155,464 100.00 300
    Source: Greek Ministry of the Interior

    General election 2015

    January 2015

    An early parliamentary election was held on January 25, 2015. It became necessary after parliament failed three times in December 2014 to elect a new Greek president . According to the Greek constitution , the parliament was dissolved after the third attempt and new elections were scheduled. In the election, the left-wing alliance SYRIZA under its chairman Alexis Tsipras received 36.3 percent of the votes. SYRIZA and ANEL formed a coalition government the day after the election.

    General election in Greece on January 25, 2015
    Political party be right % Seats Distribution of seats
    Synaspismos Rizospastikis Aristeras (SYRIZA) 2,245,978 36.34 149

    New Democracy (ND) 1,718,694 27.81 76
    Chrysi Avgi (XA) 388.387 6.28 17th
    To Potami (TP) 373.924 6.05 17th
    Kommounistiko Komma Elladas (KKE) 338.188 5.47 15th
    Anexartiti Ellines (ANEL) 293,683 4.75 13
    Panellinio Sosialistiko Kinima (PASOK) 289,469 4.68 13
    Others 532,549 8.62 0
    total 6,180,872 100.00 300
    Source: Greek Ministry of the Interior

    September 2015

    General election in Greece on September 20, 2015
    Political party be right % Seats Distribution of seats
    Synaspismos Rizospastikis Aristeras (SYRIZA) 1,925,904 35.46 145

    New Democracy (ND) 1,526,205 28.10 75
    Chrysi Avgi (XA) 379,581 6.99 18th
    Dimokratiki Symbarataxi ( PASOK - DIMAR ) 341,390 6.28 17th
    Kommounistiko Komma Elladas (KKE) 301,632 5.55 15th
    To Potami (TP) 222.166 4.09 11
    Anexartiti Ellines (ANEL) 200,423 3.69 10
    Enosi Kendroon (EK) 186.457 3.43 9
    Others 348.092 6.41 0
    total 5,431,850 100.00 300
    Source: Greek Ministry of the Interior

    General election 2019

    General election in Greece on July 7, 2019
    Political party be right % Seats Distribution of seats
    New Democracy (ND) 2,251,411 39.85 158

    Synaspismos Rizospastikis Aristeras (SYRIZA) 1,781,174 31.53 86
    Kinima Allagis (KINAL) 457,519 8.10 22nd
    Kommounistiko Komma Elladas (KKE) 299,592 5.30 15th
    Elliniki Lysi (EL) 208,805 3.70 10
    MeRA25 (MeRA25) 194.232 3.44 9
    Others 456.560 8.13 0
    total 5,649,332 100.00 300
    Source: Greek Ministry of the Interior

    Minority representation in parliament

    With the support of Turkey, the Muslim minority formed party formations. These were temporarily represented by two members of parliament, but this was no longer the case after the introduction of a 3% hurdle. Since the parliamentary elections in September 2015, there are two Muslim MPs.

    Web links

    Commons : Hellenic Parliament  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. Article aa sentence 2 of the law of February 1, 2008 (Greek)
    2. IFES Election Guide: Election Profile for Greece
    3. Voting underway across the country ( Memento of the original from June 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . In: Athens News . May 6, 2012  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
    4. Greece lowers voting age to 17
    5. Official result of the 2004 parliamentary elections, Greek Ministry of the Interior (Greek, English)
    6. Official result of the parliamentary elections 2007 Greek Ministry of the Interior (Greek, English)
    7. Official result of the 2009 parliamentary elections, Greek Ministry of the Interior (Greek, English)
    8. Official result of the parliamentary elections in May 2012 Greek Ministry of the Interior (Greek, English)
    9. Official result of the parliamentary elections June 2012 Greek Ministry of the Interior (Greek, English)
    11. Official result of the parliamentary elections January 2015 Greek Ministry of the Interior (Greek, English)
    12. Official result of the parliamentary elections September 2015 Greek Ministry of the Interior (Greek, English)
    13. Ορκίστηκε η νέα Βουλή , Naftemporiki, October 3, 2015 (Greek)

    Coordinates: 37 ° 58 ′ 31 ″  N , 23 ° 44 ′ 13 ″  E