Democracy and rights
The situation for human rights in Greece is
generally good. The country is governed under democratic
forms, several parties can operate freely, there is
compulsory voting rights and freedom of expression and
press are respected. However, corruption in the justice
system and public administration is a widespread
According to judges, the parliamentary elections are
held in the correct form and the electoral law is fair.
Non-governmental organizations can operate without
hindrance from the authorities while the freedom of
assembly and association is protected in the
Offers a comprehensive list of airports in Greece, including international airports with city located, size and abbreviation, as well as the biggest airlines.
There are no laws that prevent women from engaging
politically. Women are politically active, although they
still make up a significantly smaller proportion of MPs
than men (close to 20 percent after the 2015 election).
In 2018, a new law was passed which meant that political
parties must have at least 40 percent women as well as
men among their candidates in local and regional
elections. The Muslim minority in Thrace, which is the
only officially recognized minority group (see
Population and Languages), is represented in Parliament.
Despite the fact that respect for political and civil
rights and democratic institutions on the whole works
well, there is widespread distrust of politicians (see,
among other things, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs'
report on human rights 2018). The prolonged economic
crisis and corruption have contributed to this mistrust,
which has also been shown by a low turnout.
Greece has been criticized by human rights organizations
and the UN for shortcomings in refugee and asylum cases.
In part, this can be explained by a marked increase in
refugee flows to Greece in recent years. Not least, the
substandard conditions and overcrowding in the country's
migrant camps are criticized.
In recent years, human rights organizations have also
reported on how migrants, immigrants and people of
ethnic origin other than Greek have been physically
attacked, sometimes severely abused, by xenophobic or
racist individuals and groups. Even members of Golden
Dawn (see Political system) have been convicted of such
The country has also been criticized for
discriminating against religious and ethnic minorities.
Freedom of expression and media
The Greek constitution guarantees freedom of press
and expression. The debate climate in society is open,
but a law against slander is being used by politicians
who want to prevent the media from scrutinizing
information on corruption and nepotism within political
circles and authorities.
Imprisonment for up to five years can be the result
of the editor being dropped. Although sentenced
punishments are rarely enforced, the threat of
prosecution is inhibiting for journalists. Greece's
relations with Turkey are sensitive and can put media
that addresses the issue under political pressure.
In connection with the widespread protests against
financial austerity in the first years of the 2010s, the
police were accused of attacking journalists and press
photographers who monitored the events. During the
economic crisis, Greece fell into the organization
Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, from 18
out of 160 countries in 2005 to 91 out of 179 countries
ten years later. Since then, however, the investment has
steadily improved and from 2018, when Greece was 74, the
country climbed nine places to 65 in 2019 (see Reporters
Without Borders list here).
In addition to police violence directed at media
workers, Greece is attracted by a large concentration of
ownership in the media world which increases the risk of
nepotism (friendship corruption) and corruption.
Corruption is a social problem in Greece. Among other
things, employees within the country's tax authorities
have been involved in tax fraud. There are still
insufficient resources to fight corruption, but in
recent years some progress has been made according to
analysts. Corruption also occurs in public procurement
and government sales. High-ranking government officials
have been involved in bribery. In the spring of 2018,
for example, 17 people, including employees of the
Ministry of Defense, were sentenced to imprisonment of
up to 16 years for receiving bribes in connection with
purchases of the defense.
In 2019, Greece ranked 67 out of 180 states according
to Transparency International's review of perceived
corruption in the world (see here).
Judicial system and legal security
The independence of the courts is enshrined in the
legislation and is also respected in practice. Trials
are public. The judiciary is considered to be working
slowly and the police are sometimes accused of using
force unnecessarily. However, there is corruption.
The conditions in prisons and detention are poor.
There are problems with both overcrowding and poor
security. In the spring of 2020, the Council of Europe
strongly criticized the Greek government for the
situation in the country's prisons and called for
immediate measures to overcome overcrowding and staff
shortages. In addition, in its report, the Council of
Europe said that prison staff failed to investigate and
report to police whether prisoners were treated poorly,
while there were major shortcomings in hygiene and
access to health care in some facilities.
The death penalty does not exist; In 1972, the last
execution was executed.
Manifestation becomes violent
There will be a riot between police and protesters in Athens and in
Thessaloniki on the anniversary of the police killing shot against a 15-year-old
in connection with government hostile riots. The protests also target the
growing unemployment and the severe economic crisis (see Finance).
Pasok wins new election
The Social Democratic Party The Panhellenic Socialist
Movement (Pasok) receives almost 44 percent of the vote in the new parliamentary
elections, while the Liberal Conservative Party New Democracy
receives 33.5 percent. The result means that Pasok gets its own majority in the