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Resolution 361 (1968)

Situation in Greece

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly Debate on 30th and 31st January 1968 (15th and 16th Sittings) (see Doc. 2322, report by Mr. Siegmann, Rapporteur appointed by the Bureau according to Resolution 346). Text adopted by the Assembly on 31st January 1968 (17th Sitting).

The Assembly,

1. Recalling its Order No. 256 of 26th April 1967, its Resolutions 346 of 23rd June and 351 of 26th September 1967 and its Recommendation 498 of 25th September 1967, relating to the situation in Greece which called for the re-establishment of a democratic parliamentary regime ;
2. Having taken note of the report presented by its Bureau and mainly based on the information which Mr. Siegmann, Rapporteur of the said Bureau, and Mr. Silkin, who accompanied him in his capacity as Chairman of the Legal Committee, gathered in the course of their mission to Greece ;
3. Considering that following the applications lodged by the Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Netherlands Governments respectively, it is for the European Commission of Human Rights to express an opinion on whether the provisions of the Convention on Human Rights have been violated ;
4. Nonetheless condemning the violation of normal constitutional procedures since April 1967, and reiterating its deep concern at the suspension of democratic government in Greece,
5. Takes the view that if Greece intends to remain a Member of the Council of Europe she will have to return without delay to a regime which is democratic and parliamentary and respectful of human rights and fundamental freedoms as required by the Statute of the Council ;
6. Affirms that if and in so far as this objective can or must be achieved by adopting a new Constitution, the latter should be truly democratic and promulgated, applied and followed by free elections at the earliest possible date ;
7. Intends to make every possible effort to assist Greece to return to the road to democracy and thereby justify the maintenance of that country in the family of democratic nations of the Council of Europe;
8. Decides :
a. to make a close examination of the draft Constitution drawn up by the Constitutional Committee in so far as it will be made available to the Assembly for consideration ;
b. to make, if necessary, observations on the said draft Constitution ;
c. to make a careful study of the text of the Constitution which is to be submitted to the referendum ;
d. to exert every influence to ensure that the referendum on the Constitution takes place within the stated time, that is to say, by September 1968 at the latest ;
e. to seek to ensure that the referendum is organised in proper conditions, enabling everyone to conduct a free and democratic campaign and to examine if necessary by means of observers sent to Greece the conditions in which the referendum takes place ;
f. to insist that; in accordance with the promises already made, the new law on the Press is promulgated before the referendum, and to study that law and its practical application ;
g. to follow closely the steps taken for a return to a democratic and parliamentary system of government, with particular reference to the status of political parties and the electoral law, and to consider the conditions in which the election campaign and the elections will be conducted, possibly by the despatch of observers ;
h. to consider the spring of 1969 and in particular the opening of the 21st Session of the Assembly, as the latest date at which a democratic and parliamentary system of government should again operate in Greece ;
i. to recommend to the Committee of Ministers, at the latest in the spring of 1969, the suspension or expulsion of Greece from the Council of Europe if by then an acceptable parliamentary democracy has not been restored in that country, or to do so even before that time if it appears that the undertakings given by the Greek regime have not been respected ;
j. to follow attentively throughout the whole of this period the development of the situation in Greece with regard to the restoration of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which must go hand in hand with a return to parliamentary democracy