The Ministry for Foreign Affairs poses the question of why did those who talk about an “undemocratic approach” voted in favour of the “Law on Confidential Documents”
Those arguing against are called upon to explain the reasons “why and what for” they voted the legislation on confidential documents or to ask “for a change in the law” “if they consider that the implementation and enforcement of the laws of the Greek state threatens democracy”, “instead of accusing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of invoking and enforcing the laws of the Greek state”, with the Foreign Ministry calling upon the so called “circles”, “claiming that non-disclosure of confidential documents is an undemocratic approach making reference to legislation countering espionage. “
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in its statement, makes several clarifications on the legislation regarding the management of confidential documents in order “to avoid”, as the press release states, various “misunderstandings”, as “in recent days many inaccurate information has been circulated by supposedly knowledgeable persons in the process of classifying and declassifying state documents”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that, according to the legislation in force:
1) The sole authority responsible for designating a document as confidential is the issuing authority.
2) The main criterion for selecting a classification rating is to evaluate the content of the document, in the light of the potential damage it could cause to national interests or by its possible disclosure. If the document is classified, it is subject to the limitations, as those are set by the National Security Regulations.
3) With regards the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is stipulated that “the declassification of a document, for extraordinary reasons shall be permitted, provided that there are reasons of national interest and of great national importance. Declassification of any such document shall be effected by decision of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, following a reasoned opinion of the Declassification Committee, which shall be constituted by decision of the Minister of Foreign Affairs “.
“Consequently” the Ministry stresses that “the interpretation of the content and the arbitrary characterization of a state document by unauthorized persons appearing in the mass media certainly does not substitute the statutory declassification process”.
“We are not aware of the claims made by some circles that claim that the non-disclosure of confidential documents is an undemocratic approach and make reference to espionage laws.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs concludes its statement by arguing that “if these so-called circles believe that the implementation of the laws of the Greek state threaten democracy, then instead of blaming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that invoked and enforced the laws of the Greek state, they should ask for a change in the existing law while at the same time, explaining the reasons why they had voted for him”.