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FOCUS - Numero speciale 26/2016

 Constitutional-political change in Greece during the crisis. A story on constitutional deconstruction and the loss of national sovereignty

During the last six years Greece has experienced socio-political developments that are unique for a Western state. Five national elections, at least ten governments (some of them not elected), a referendum, unprecedented austerity policies and socio-economic impacts resembling that of a war. These developments, causing a transformation (or even degeneration) of Greek constitutional politics, were not accompanied by formal constitutional change. Of course, the crisis abruptly unveiled the deficiencies of the Greek polity. Thus propositions for constitutional amendments were included in the political programmes of all important parties in the 2012 elections. However this constitutional “moment” simply did not take place; no consensus could be found in society in order to realize it. The purpose of this paper is to show how the tempestuous socio-political situation during the crisis has been translated into legal and institutional transformation under the existent Constitution. After a brief reference to the socio-political background of the crisis (1), I will show how the Economic Adjustment Programme instruments acquired a de facto validity in the domestic order (2), to the detriment of constitutional forms, parliamentary decision making and national sovereignty (3). In section (4) I will investigate how economic emergency has been permanently prolonged, “normalised” and connected to supranational obligations of the country. This contribution will conclude by arguing that, against a political discourse completely dominated by a certain type of economic technocracy, the judiciary is the last rampart of the Constitution. However, insularity of judges from the economic-political situation might end up endangering their legitimacy... (segue)


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