The fourth regular session of the 17th term of the Hellenic Parliament began on Monday with a traditional blessing ceremony performed by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece and members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece.
The start of the fourth session was attended by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, main opposition New Democracy President Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Democratic Alliance’s leader Fofi Gennimata, Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis, Golden Dawn General Secretary Nikos Michaloliakos and MPs.
It was not attended by Independent Greeks (ANEL) party leader and Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, who is on an official trip to Cyprus, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas and Centrists’ Union party leader Vassilis Leventis.
In statements at the start of the session, Parliament President Nikos Voutsis noted that it began in a “modernised” parliament, which now has a fully operational new electronic voting system and a fully renovated roof, after 80 years, work on which was recently completed.
The new deans and secretaries of the parliament will be elected on Monday afternoon while parliament’s work will resume on Tuesday with a discussion on a tourism ministry bill for the ratification of an agreement between the Greek government and the UN World Tourism Organisation for the organisation of the 8th UNWTO International Meeting on Tourism on the Silk Road.
The present session is expected to handle two supremely important political issues, that of revising the Greek Constitution and the ratification of the Prespa Agreement. Another major issue that will be brought before the plenum, Voutsis announced, will be the report on WWII war reparations from Germany that is expected to be tabled for discussion by December.
The Plenum convenes in regular Session every year on the first Monday of October. The duration of a regular Session cannot be less than five months. When Parliament is in recess, between two Sessions, part of the legislative and parliamentary control business is exercised by the compositions of the Recess Section.
There are three consecutive compositions of the Recess Section each year during the summer recess, each consisting of a third of the total number of MPs.