Shak­ing up Greece’s demo­cratic sys­tem

Pro­fes­sor Ni­cos C. Alivizatos talks to Kathimerini about con­sti­tu­tional re­view, the Church, main op­po­si­tion SYRIZA and the far right

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY XE­NIA KOUNALAKI

Ni­cos C. Alivizato­sis pro­fes­sor of con­sti­tu­tional law at the Univer­sity of Athens. One would ex­pect that a dis­cus­sion with him about his lat­est book (“What Democ­racy for Greece Af­ter the Cri­sis?” – in Greek – pub­lished by Po­lis) would fo­cus on very spe­cific is­sues, such as the re­vi­sion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the sep­a­ra­tion be­tween Church and state and the in­tro­duc­tion of a more sta­ble elec­toral sys­tem. How­ever, it turns out that the cri­sis has also had an im­pact on his own cer­tain­ties. For the first time since the fall of the coun­try’s mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship in the early 1970s, Alivizatos sees a need to mo­bi­lize and de­fend fun­da­men­tal val­ues such as democ­racy and the rule of law.

For me it’s a ma­jor is­sue. I have dealt with it for years, since the iden­tity card con­tro­versy in the 1990s to the 2005 hu­man rights bill when the late Arch­bishop Christodou­los threat­ened to ex­com­mu­ni­cate us. The is­sue is still on the agenda, but not a top pri­or­ity right now.

The Church must iso­late them and pro­mote oth­ers, less prom­i­nent, who do char­ity work.

The me­dia are also to blame here. How­ever, I can­not hide my dis­ap­point­ment that the Har­vard-ed­u­cated arch­bishop of Me­so­gaia led a cam­paign against the cre­ation of cre­ma­to­rium in the Markopoulo area, east of Athens. And I am not even talk­ing about build­ing a mosque.

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