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The non-amendable phenomenon of regulatory amendments

Written by Panagiotis Karkatsoulis on .

businessmanA key negative feature of the Greek legislative production that has repeatedly been pointed out, is the extremely high number of ad hoc, very specific regulations. The Greek peculiarity in such regulations is that they regulate such a specific issue that can be traced back to one and only person. These regulations can be identified in particular into laws that bear the title ".... and other provisions". The addition of such provisions, which in their majority are opposed to the general character and applicability a law ought have, is a long-lasting and ongoing habit of Greek MPs, as the following data prove:

Year

Percentage of regulations that declare in their title that they also include "...other provisions"

1975

15%

1976

15%

1977

23%

1978

22%

1979

22%

1980

29%

1981

25%

1982

18%

1983

30%

1984

31%

1985

32%

1986

23%

1987

20%

1988

34%

1989

47%

1990

47%

1991

33%

1992

20%

1993

32%

1994

23%

1995

36%

1996

20%

1997

21%

1998

23%

1999

30%

2000

14%

2001

27%

2002

24%

2003

28%

2004

27%

2005

19%

 

The reason of their incorporation into the laws is purely political and reflects one of the key attributes of the Greek political system: its corporatist structure. For at least fifty years it has been indicated that the incorporation of such provisions into the "patchwork legislation" not only creates a problem of understanding the law, but it also undermines the democratic polity, as it cancels every notion of equality before the law and promotes favoritism. The legislature shows over time, however, to be deaf towards these points. Even today, where the economy, institutions and social cohesion of the country are stressfully tested, the representatives of our parliamentary polity attack against the last vestiges of confidence and esteem that society attaches to their role. Self-destructive and shameless, most of them show once again that the problem of the country is allocated just in those in who the people have placed hope of rescue. But perhaps the decisive reaction of the Prime Minister and all the Media that managed to prevent their resolution allows for some optimism, showing simultaneously the hard way to overcome the crisis: Only the vigilance of citizens who believe in democracy and their networking may lead to a new era where an amendment will truly ameliorate a law. 

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