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Greece is a constitutional republic and multiparty 
parliamentary democracy.  In 1993 parliamentary elections, the 
Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) won a comfortable 
majority, and its leader, Andreas Papandreou, became Prime 
Minister.  The defeated New Democracy Party assumed the role of 
the main opposition.

Police and security services are subject to a broad variety of 
legal and constitutional restraints.  The Greek Parliament, a 
vigorous free press, the judiciary, committees and deputies of 
the European Parliament, and Greek and international human 
rights organizations monitor their activities.  These 
institutions and groups brought to light cases of improper 
activities and pressed the Government to halt such activities.  
Nevertheless, credible reports indicated that police continued 
to mistreat suspects during interrogation in some drug and 
other criminal investigations.

Greece has a mixed capitalist economy in which the 
entrepreneurial system is overlaid by a large public sector 
which accounts for about 60 percent of gross domestic product.  
Low growth, a high inflation rate, a large budget deficit, and 
a 10-percent unemployment rate characterize the economy.  To 
promote further economic development, Greece relies heavily on 
the European Union (EU) for subsidies and loans.

The Constitution provides for, and, with some exceptions in the 
cases of ethnic Turks and individuals who identify themselves 
as Macedonians, the authorities generally respect, fundamental 
human rights.  There continued to be credible reports that 
Greek police and military personnel abused Albanian illegal 
aliens.  Albanian authorities formally protested the mid-
August-November roundup and expulsion of over 115,000 illegal 
Albanian migrants from Greece, which they claimed resulted in 
the deaths of 6 to 8 persons.  The Government continued to use 
Article 19 of the Citizenship Code to revoke the citizenship of 
Greek citizens who are not ethnically Greek, despite public 
assurances by senior government officials in 1991 that it would 
repeal Article 19.

Government officials harassed and placed under surveillance 
international and domestic human rights monitors.  In May the 
courts accepted a lawsuit initiated by a private citizen and 
joined by the Public Prosecutor against Christos Sideropoulos 
under Article 191 of the Criminal Code for statements 
Sideropoulos allegedly made at a Conference on Security and 
Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) press conference in Copenhagen in 
1990.  The trial was postponed in October for 1 year because 
the plaintiff, a lawyer from Piraeus, failed to show up on the 
appointed date.

The Government recognizes only one minority, the Muslim 
minority referred to in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, and 
refuses to acknowledge the existence of any other national 
(i.e., non-Greek) minority.  It does not deny the existence of 
Greeks of Turkish, Pomak, Vlach, Arvenite, or Roma ethnic 
background, or of various linguistic or religious communities.  
The Government denies, however, members of the Slavophone 
community the right to declare themselves a Macedonian minority 
(see Section 2.b.).

Responding to a Council of Europe (COE) team of international 
monitors which issued a report on its visits to police stations,
prisons, and psychiatric hospitals, the Government took 
corrective action to relieve severe overcrowding and harsh 
living conditions in some prisons.  Almost all pending cases 
restricting freedom of expression have been dropped since the 
repeal in December 1993 of a law against "insulting authority," 
with the exception of two.  Several religious minorities report 
a diminution in discrimination and religious persecution.  One 
instance of prosecution for religious proselytizing was 
reported in 1994.


Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from:

     a.   Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no reports of political killing, but there were 
several reports of persons killed while in official custody.

The Albanian Government twice protested killings by Greek 
police or military personnel of six to eight Albanians who had 
illegally entered Greece.  In the first case, the Albanian 
Government in March described the Greek shooting while in 
custody of an apprehended illegal Albanian alien, Alfred Abas 
Muco, 21 years old.  After a military investigation, the Greek 
Government replied that Muco's killing was accidental.  In the 
second case, on August 22, the Albanian Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs protested the killing of Ormen Gjoka and maiming of Ali 
Reci (broken back) while in Greek custody during the Greeks' 
forcible expulsion of Albanians.  Greece returned Gjoka's body 
and Reci to Albania on August 23 without publicity or 

The Albanian Government also protested the deaths of six 
unnamed Albanians during the Greek roundup and expulsion of 
Albanian aliens in August-September.  Of the six, one was 
reportedly a 19-year-old woman, shot in the head; another was a 
21-year-old man, shot in the back.  Two others of the six 
reportedly drowned in a river during flight from pursuing Greek 
police.  It was not known whether the six dead referred to 
include Ormen Gjoka, mentioned above.  The Greek Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs states that it requested but did not receive 
identifying information about the six from the Albanian 
Government to aid investigation of the cases, and it is not 
known if any investigation was conducted.

The Government has not provided any further information on the 
army's investigation of the February 27, 1993, incident in 
which a Greek soldier shot an Albanian.  After a request by the 
German Embassy in Athens for a followup investigation into the 
death of Ramon Joachim Schulz, the Government reaffirmed the 
conclusion of the original investigation, that Schulz died of a 
heart attack, despite evidence to the contrary.

Greek terrorists attacked and killed three persons in 1994--a 
Turkish diplomat, a prominent Greek banker, and a Greek 
policeman.  There have been no arrests made in these cases.  

     b.   Disappearance

No cases of disappearances were reported in 1994.  The case of 
two ethnic Greeks of Albanian citizenship who disappeared on 
March 4, 1993, remained unsolved.  The Government claimed that 
the two were not in custody when they disappeared, although 
Amnesty International reported that they were seen being 
arrested by an armed policeman, and initially the police 
confirmed they were holding them.   

     c.   Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
          Treatment or Punishment

The Constitution specifically forbids torture, and a 1984 law 
made the use of torture an offense punishable by a sentence of 
from 3 years to life imprisonment.  However, this law has never 
been invoked, even though there were credible reports that 
police and military personnel beat and otherwise ill-treated 
illegal Albanian aliens in the process of deporting them in 
August and September.  The Government denied such reports.

A December 1993 report by the COE's Committee for the 
Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or 
Punishment (CPT) concluded that certain categories of persons 
detained or arrested by the police, particularly persons 
arrested for drug-related offenses or for serious crimes such 
as murder, rape, or robbery, run a significant risk of being 
ill-treated and are occasionally subjected to severe ill-
treatment or torture.  The report stressed that the Government 
should examine diligently all allegations of ill-treatment and 
prosecute and punish offenders.  It also emphasized the need 
for additional education for police on human rights questions; 
better training in modern investigation techniques; and the 
acquisition and development of interpersonal communication 
skills by police officers.  Finally, it stressed the need to 
strengthen formal safeguards against the ill-treatment of 
persons detained by the police, including the right to access 
to a lawyer from the outset of detention.

The COE report stated that allegations of ill-treatment 
included kicks, punches, slaps, stamping on feet, as well as 
blows with the butt of a pistol or wooden sticks.  The report 
also noted allegations of an even more serious kind, in 
particular of falaka (beating on the soles of the feet) and the 
administration of electric shocks; it indicated that the Athens 
and Thessaloniki police had inflicted such treatment at police 
headquarters.  The COE team's medical personnel confirmed that 
physical evidence from the victims was consistent with their 
allegations.  In addition, the COE team observed a variety of 
unlabeled wooden sticks and batons at the Thessaloniki police 
headquarters, as well as a hand-held device for delivering 
electric shocks which was discovered in the personal locker of 
a police officer attached to the Thessaloniki police 

The Government conducted its own internal review of these 
charges and reported in August on the status of 33 lawsuits 
filed against policemen in the period 1989-1993 for abuse, 
torture, and ill-treatment.  Twenty cases were still pending in 
court or under investigation; in three cases, the police 
officers were found innocent; one police officer was sentenced 
to 2 years in prison for slapping a prisoner in the face; and 
in nine cases the charges were dropped.  The Government refused 
to accept the Committee's observations concerning investigation 
methods, torture, and ill-treatment, dismissing them as without 

The COE report described conditions of detention in police 
establishments visited as varying from adequate to extremely 
poor and in one case as inhuman.  It noted prompt compliance 
with a recommendation to close cells in two police stations 

There were few reports of physical abuse from most prisons, 
although the COE report cited ill-treatment of prisoners by 
prison staff at the Larissa prison as an exception.  According 
to another credible report, two Albanian prisoners who attempted
to escape in 1993 from a prison on the island of Kos were 
beaten severely after their recapture.  An investigation by the 
Ministry of Justice resulted in bringing charges in September 
against three prison guards for "dangerous bodily harm" and 
against another for "simple bodily harm."  In April the 
Ministry issued strict instructions to prison wardens to 
prevent physical abuse of the incarcerated.  The Minister of 
Justice personally conducted followup investigations and 
visited prisons.  The wardens of two prisons were fired for 
misconduct and failing to follow or enforce proper guidelines 
for treatment of prisoners.  The Ministry has announced a 
training program for prison guards to prevent abuse of 
prisoners, but it has not yet begun.

Prison overcrowding, particularly at the Korydallos prison near 
Athens, was relieved in 1994 as a result of a new law which 
permits parole after a prisoner has served two-fifths (versus 
the previous three-fifths) of a prison term.  Implementation of 
this law resulted in the release of 1,200 prisoners by July, 
roughly 1 out of every 6 of the total prison population.  The 
Justice Ministry also implemented special prison programs for 
the treatment of drug addicts and a pilot vocational training, 
legal, and mental health counseling program for juveniles.  A 
new detention and court center was opened in Thessaloniki; the 
old center had been cited in the COE report as particularly 

Prison conditions for conscientious objectors improved somewhat 
in 1994, as a result of government action to reduce 
overcrowding.  In addition, the Government began renovations to 
the Kassandra prison, which was notorious for its poor living, 
health, and sanitary conditions.

The COE team provided an independent monitor of prison, police 
station, and psychiatric hospital conditions.  Such independent 
monitoring, however, was not regularly scheduled.

     d.   Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The Constitution requires judicial warrants for all arrests, 
except during the actual commission of a crime, and the law 
prohibits arbitrary arrest orders.  The police do not always 
respect these safeguards (see below).  Police must, by law, 
bring a person arrested on the basis of a warrant or while 
committing a crime before an examining magistrate within 
24 hours.  The magistrate must issue a detention warrant or 
order the release of the detainee within 3 days, unless special 
circumstances require a 2-day extension of this time limit.

Defendants brought to court before the end of the day following 
the commission of a charged offense may be tried immediately, 
under a "speedy procedure."  Although legal safeguards, 
including representation by counsel, apply in speedy procedure 
cases, the short period of time may inhibit the defendant's 
ability to present an adequate defense.  Defendants may ask for 
a delay to provide time to prepare their defense, but the court 
is not obliged to grant it.  The speedy procedure was used in 
less than 10 percent of misdemeanor cases.  It was not used at 
all for felonies.

Despite these legal safeguards, the police sometimes violate 
them.  For example, both the COE team and Greek defense lawyers 
stated that the police, during investigation of serious crimes, 
occasionally interrogated suspects as "witnesses," allegedly 
because witnesses do not have the right to legal representation 
during police questioning.  Statements made to the police in 
these circumstances may be used against these persons in court 
if they are later charged and brought to trial.  Witnesses do 
not have the legal right to remain silent, although no one is 
required to testify against himself.  In such cases access to a 
lawyer may be effectively denied until after interrogation, 
which in some cases has resulted in torture or ill-treatment 
and the subsequent signing of a statement.  These circumstances 
were reportedly most likely to occur in the case of serious 
crimes, including drug offenses, in which the police did not 
have sufficient evidence to convict without a confession.  The 
Government did not prosecute and punish any officials for such 
misconduct during the year.

The effective maximum duration of pretrial detention was 18 
months for felonies and 9 months for misdemeanors.  A panel of 
judges may grant release pending trial, with or without bail.  
A person convicted of a misdemeanor and sentenced to 2 years or 
less may, at the court's discretion, pay a fine in lieu of 
being imprisoned.  The percentage of the incarcerated 
population comprised of pretrial detainees was 33 percent, 
according to government sources.

There were no reports of incommunicado detention.

Exile is unconstitutional, and no cases have been reported 
since the restoration of democracy in 1974.  However, Greek 
citizens not of ethnic Greek origin who travel outside the 
country may be deprived of their citizenship and refused 
readmittance to the country under Article 19 of the Citizenship 
Code.  Article 20 of the Code permits the Government to strip 
citizenship from those who "commit acts contrary to the 
interests of Greece for the benefit of a foreign state."  (See 
Section 2.d. for more information on the application of these 

     e.   Denial of Fair Public Trial

The judicial system includes three levels of courts, appointed 
judges, an examining magistrate system, trial by judicial 
panel, and the right of appeal by both prosecution and 
defense.  The Constitution provides for the independence of the 
judiciary, but there are credible charges that judges sometimes 
allow political criteria, including the desire to obtain 
promotion, to influence their judgments.

Judges are not appointed for life.  Mandatory retirement ages 
vary with the type of court.  Some judges expressed concern 
that the change in the way judges are selected might affect the 
independence of the judiciary.  Previously, they were elected 
by their peers, but under the new law they are chosen by their 

The Government has taken Christos Sideropoulos to trial five 
times in 4 years for speaking publicly about the existence and 
rights of what he identifies as a Macedonian minority.  A case 
brought by a private citizen was accepted and joined by the 
prosecutor in May despite the fact that the allegedly offensive 
statements were made at a CSCE conference in Denmark in 1990.  
Under Article 6 of the Criminal Code, Greek citizens may be 
prosecuted for actions committed abroad only if those actions 
are punishable under the laws of that country.  Sideroupoulos's 
alleged statements do not constitute an offense under Danish 
law, but Greek courts and the Greek Government permitted the 
case to go to trial; in September, the scheduled trial was 
postponed for 1 year.

The Constitution provides for public trials, and trial court 
sessions are open to the public, unless the court decides that 
privacy is required to protect victims and witnesses or 
national security matters.  According to defense attorneys, the 
latter provision has not been invoked since the restoration of 
democracy in 1974.  The defendant enjoys the presumption of 
innocence, the standard of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable 
doubt, the right to present evidence and witnesses, the right 
of access to the prosecution's evidence, the right to cross-
examine witnesses, and the right to counsel.  Lawyers are 
provided to defendants (in felony cases, only) who are not able 
to afford legal counsel.

The legal system does not discriminate against women or 
minorities, with one clear exception:  Article 19 of the 
Citizenship Code (see Section 2.d.) applies only to Greek 
citizens who are not ethnically Greek.

As noted above, the courts continue to permit prosecutions of 
minority activists who violated laws that limit freedom of 
expression (see Section 2.a.).  However, no one was imprisoned 
as a result of such charges in the last 5 years.  Those 
convicted have been allowed to convert their convictions to a 
fine of about $4.00 a day.

     f.   Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 

Although the Constitution prohibits invasion of privacy and 
searches without warrants, and the law permits monitoring 
personal communications only under strict judicial controls, 
the variety of persons and groups subjected to government 
surveillance in recent years raises questions about 
safeguards.  Targets included human rights monitors, non-
Orthodox religious groups, and activist members of minority 

In June a parliamentary investigation committee recommended 
indictment of former Prime Minister Mitsotakis and 30 persons 
from the former Mitsotakis administration on charges of 
wiretapping political opponents from 1989 to 1991.  In January 
1995, the Parliament voted to drop all charges against 
Mitsotakis.  The others will be tried in criminal courts in 

The security services continued to monitor human rights and 
minority group representatives and foreign diplomats who met 
with such individuals.  Human rights monitors also reported the 
continuation of suspicious openings and diversions of mail, 
some of which was never delivered but was subsequently 
published in newspapers with apparent links to Greek security 
services.  So far as is known, the Government took no steps to 
stop such practices or to prosecute those involved.

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:
     a.   Freedom of Speech and Press

Freedom of speech and press is provided for in the Constitution 
and generally respected in practice, but with some significant 
exceptions.  Some legal restrictions on free speech remain in 
force and were invoked in one case in 1994 concerning the right 
of an individual to identify himself as a member of a Macedonian
minority in Greece.  The charges in this case were based on 
what the individual said, not on violent acts or criminal 
behavior.  On matters other than those involving the question 
of ethnic minorities, Greece enjoys a tradition of outspoken 
public discourse and a vigorous free press.  Satirical and 
opposition newspapers do not hesitate to attack the highest 
state authorities.  According to journalists, self-censorship 
was practiced on national security and Greek national identity 

The Constitution allows for seizure (though not prior 
restraint), by order of the public prosecutor, of publications 
that insult the President, offend religious beliefs, contain 
obscene articles, advocate violent overthrow of the political 
system, or disclose military and defense information.  Seizures 
have been rare, however, and did not occur in 1994.

In December 1993, the Government repealed a law which forbade 
"insulting authority" and outlawed prosecution of otherwise 
actionable "offenses committed by or through the press."  As a 
result of these changes, a number of trials involving 
restrictions on freedom of speech initiated under the previous 
government, including the cases of five Trotskyites and two 
journalists, were terminated.  With the December 1993 repeal of 
an antiterrorism law, the Government lifted restrictions on the 
publishing of the communications of terrorist groups; this 
provided a forum for the publication of the proclamations of 
Greek terrorist groups during a period of stepped-up terrorist 

Several other articles of the Penal Code which were used in the 
past to restrict free speech and press remain in force.  
(Article 141 of the Penal Code forbids "exposing the friendly 
relations of the Greek State with foreign states to danger of 
disturbance;" Article 191 of the Code prohibits "spreading 
false information and rumors liable to create concern and fear 
among citizens and cause disturbances in the country's 
international relations and inciting citizens to rivalry and 
division, leading to disturbance of the peace.")  The 
Government continues to use laws to charge individuals who 
raise politically sensitive topics, such as relations with the 
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the assertion of 
ethnic minority identification.  An example is the case of 
Christos Sideropoulos, who described himself as a Macedonian 
activist (see Section 1.e.).  Two other freedom of expression 
cases from previous years are scheduled to be heard by appeals 
courts in 1995.

On April 14, charges were dropped against Sadik Ahmet Sadik for 
an article he published in 1989 in which he alleged 
discrimination and repression against ethnic Turks in Greece.  
Sadik also appealed to the Supreme Court a February 1 
conviction by the First Appeal Court in Thessaloniki for 
falsifying signatures on a petition he circulated among the 
Muslims of Thrace.  Two other cases pending against Sadik 
involve charges of theft, unlawful entry in public buildings, 
and inciting violence during altercations with the authorities 
in Thrace about new textbooks distributed by the Greek 
Government in 1992.  These two cases have been postponed.

The 1975 Constitution provides that the State exercise 
"immediate control" over radio and television.  An independent, 
government-appointed body with the authority to enact rules 
governing private broadcasting established procedural 
regulations for radio several years ago.  In 1993 it did so for 
television as well, issuing licenses to six private stations.  
Many other private television stations operated without 
licenses, however.  State-run stations tended to emphasize the 
Government's views and positions but also reported objectively 
on other parties' programs and positions.

Throughout much of western Thrace, Turkish-language satellite 
television broadcasts are widely available.  The mayors of two 
cities in the region set up satellite ground stations for their 
Turkish-speaking constituents.  Eleven Turkish-language 
publications--eight weekly newspapers and three monthly 
magazines--are published and circulated in Thrace.  Newspapers 
and other periodicals from Turkey are distributed in small 
numbers when brought in by taxis and travelers.

Academic freedoms are respected.

     b.   Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Constitution provides for freedom of assembly.  Police 
permits were routinely issued for public demonstrations, and 
there were no reports that the permit requirement was abused.

The Constitution provides for the right of association, which 
was generally respected, except in cases involving ethnic 
minorities.  In 1994 the Supreme Court upheld the 1991 decision 
of lower courts to deny registration to the "Macedonian 
Cultural Center" in Florina, organized by Greeks who consider 
themselves of Slavic descent.  The 1991 ruling held that "the 
true goal of the to affirm the idea of the 
existence of a Macedonian minority in Greece, which contradicts 
(Greece's) national interests and the law."  The organizers 
planned to appeal the decision to the European Court of Human 

Greek authorities, while recognizing a Muslim minority, did not 
recognize the existence of other minorities based on ethnic 
grounds (see Section 5).  This is contrary to the 1990 
Copenhagen document of the CSCE to which the Government is a 
party, which asserts that "to belong to a national minority is 
a matter of a person's individual choice."

     c.   Freedom of Religion

The Constitution establishes the Greek Orthodox Church, to 
which perhaps 95 percent of the population at least nominally 
adhere, as the prevailing religion but prohibits discrimination 
against religious minorities.  The Greek Orthodox Church wields 
significant influence through its relationship with the 
Ministry of Education and Religion.  Religious training is 
mandatory in Greek public schools for Greek Orthodox pupils.  
Non-Orthodox students are exempt from this requirement.  
However, there are reports from Helsinki Monitor (Greece) that 
some schoolteachers force Jehovah's Witnesses students to 
attend Orthodox services.  The Constitution limits religious 
practice by prohibiting proselytizing.  In contrast to past 
years, in 1994 only one arrest for proselytizing by other 
faiths was reported.

In January police in Thessaloniki arrested two members of the 
Church of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) for violating immigration 
law and jailed them overnight.  After a 10-day trial, they were 
acquitted.  The Church complained in September of harassment by 
local thugs in Piraeus but at the same time reported a 
generally improved relationship with local police.  

Traditionally, Jehovah's Witnesses ministers were not granted 
the exemption from military service accorded under Greek law to 
clergy of "known religions" and thus served prison sentences 
for refusing military service.  Since 1990-91, the Council of 
State, the highest court dealing with civil and administrative 
matters whose opinions are binding on the Government, has ruled 
that the Jehovah's Witnesses were a "known religion" and has 
ordered the release of ministers who had refused induction.  
However, the recruiting service of the armed forces regarded 
these rulings as applying only to individual appellants, not as 
binding precedents for subsequent Jehovah's Witnesses ministers 
who were called up.  It thus continued to rely, in the first 
instance, on the opinion of the Ministry of Education and 
Religion, which in turn accepted the view of the Greek Orthodox 
Church that the Jehovah's Witnesses are not a "known religion."
As a consequence, for the past few years, ministers of the 
Jehovah's Witnesses have been called up for military service 
and prosecuted for refusal; only after conviction could they 
appeal to the Council of State for exemptions as ministers of a 
"known religion."  In practice, these ministers have spent 
periods of a few months to over a year in jail while appealing 
their cases to the Council of State.  In contrast to past 
years, in 1994 only one arrest for proselytizing by other 
faiths was reported.  A Jehovah Witnesses canvasser was 
arrested in Volos on October 14, and the local public 
prosecutor charged him with proselytizing.  He was subsequently 
released pending hearing of the case in 1995.

To open and operate a house of worship in Greece requires 
approval by the Ministry of Education and Religion.  The 
Ministry bases its decision on the advisory opinion of the 
local Orthodox bishop.  In recent years, it has not been 
uncommon for such permission to be delayed or even, at times, 
withheld, though some denominations have been able to open and 
operate churches in the guise of cultural centers.

Several denominations report difficulties getting residence 
permits for foreign members of their faiths who come to Greece 
to perform missionary or charity work.  Although such problems 
continued in 1994, these denominations reported overall better 
relations with immigration authorities and routine approval of 
extensions of tourist visas for these persons for up to 
9 months.

Mosques and other Muslim religious institutions operate freely 
in western Thrace and in Rhodes, where most Greek citizens of 
the Muslim faith reside.  Some Muslims claimed that Greek law 
weakens the financial autonomy of the "Wakfs," community funds 
used for maintaining mosques, schools, and for charitable 
works, by placing the Wakfs under the administration of 
appointed "muftis" (Islamic judges and religious leaders) and 
their representatives.  Those who object to this system say it 
violates the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne.

In accordance with a 1990 presidential decree, the State 
appointed the two muftis in Greece, both resident in western 
Thrace, based on the recommendations of a committee of local 
Muslim scholars, religious authorities, and community leaders.  
The Government argued that it must appoint muftis because, in 
addition to their religious duties, they perform judicial 
functions in many civil and domestic matters, for which the 
State pays them.  The Muslim minority remains divided on the 
mufti selection issue.  Some Muslims accept the authority of 
the appointed muftis; others elect muftis to serve their 

The Government denied entry to two Turkish theologians invited 
to Thrace for Ramadan and in July refused to admit a delegation 
of six religious leaders from Turkey to enter Greece on the 
grounds that they intended to engage in political, not 
religious, activities.

     d.   Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
          Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

The Constitution calls for freedom of movement within and 
outside the country, and the right to return.  However, Article 
19 of the Citizenship Code distinguishes between Greek citizens 
who are ethnic Greeks and those who are not.  Most Article 19 
cases involve ethnic Turks from western Thrace, since only the 
"Muslim minority" is recognized as having non-Greek ethnicity.  
Greek citizens who are not ethnic Greeks may be deprived of 
their citizenship if it is determined that they left Greece 
with the apparent intention not to return.  However, immigrants 
who are ethnic Greeks are normally recognized as Greek citizens 
and accorded full rights, despite years or even generations of 
absence from Greece.

The Interior Ministry initiates proceedings under Article 19 on 
the basis of reports by local authorities in Greece or by Greek 
embassies or consulates abroad.  It holds hearings at which the 
affected person is neither present nor notified of the hearing.
Those who lose Greek citizenship as a result of such hearings 
sometimes learn of this loss only when they seek to reenter 
Greece.  According to the Foreign Ministry, 42 persons lost 
Greek citizenship under Article 19 in 1994 as of October (down 
from 123 in 1993).

Persons who lose their Greek citizenship under Article 19 have 
the right of "administrative appeal" to the Interior Ministry 
and may also appeal to the Greek Council of State and to the 
Council of Europe.  Leaders of the Turkish-origin Greek 
community complain that the time and expense involved tends to 
discourage such appeals.  Three persons who lost Greek 
citizenship in 1993 and three persons who lost citizenship in 
1994 have filed administrative appeals which are pending.  Six 
decisions on appeals from previous years were taken in 1993: 
three denied and three upheld the appeals, according to the 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Another section of the Citizenship Code, Article 20, permits 
the Government to strip citizenship from those who "commit acts 
contrary to the interests of Greece for the benefit of a 
foreign state."  While the law as written applies equally to 
all Greeks regardless of their ethnic background, according to 
activists who support minority causes, it is exercised 
principally against those who speak out against government 
policy on national issues, including at least three activists 
who call themselves Macedonian.

Some Greek citizens, particularly those of Slavic descent, 
credibly reported that they were subject to extensive searches 
and questioning at the border when traveling between Greece and 
the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Greece maintains restricted military zones along its borders, 
including along its northern border with Bulgaria, an area 
where many Pomaks (Muslims who speak a Bulgarian dialect) 
reside.  Since entry into the zone is strictly controlled, even 
for local inhabitants, some residents of the area complain that 
their freedom of movement is restricted.  Foreign diplomats are 
allowed into the zone only under escort and with special 

Greece frequently offers temporary asylum, though rarely 
permanent resettlement, to a growing number of refugees from 
Turkey, Iraq, and Iran.  Permanent resettlement in Greece is 
not usually available for nonethnic Greek refugees.  There are 
3,482 cases of asylum seekers in Greece with apparently 
legitimate claims to refugee status that are under review by 
the Government in cooperation with the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In August and September, the Government rounded up and expelled 
over 50,000 illegal Albanian migrants from Greece.  There were 
credible allegations by Albanians and by international human 
rights observers of abuse of some deportees, especially at 
border crossings on the Greek-Albanian border.  The roundup 
coincided with sharply worsened relations between the 
Governments of Greece and Albania, resulting from the trial of 
five ethnic Greek leaders in Tirana on treason and weapons 

Ethnic Greek immigrants, including those who came from the 
former Soviet Union since 1986 and those rescued from the civil 
war in Georgia, normally qualified promptly for citizenship and 
special assistance from the Government.  The returnees have 
been settled initially on government-owned land in western 
Thrace, where government programs to get them to remain have 
met with limited success.  Most move to Athens, Thessaloniki, 
or other cities where job prospects are better.

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
          to Change Their Government

Greece is a multiparty democracy in which the Constitution 
calls for full political rights for all citizens and for the 
peaceful change of governments and of the Constitution.  
However, the Government limits the right of some individuals to 
speak publicly and associate freely on the basis of their 
self-proclaimed ethnic identity and thus impinges on the 
political rights of such persons.  It also combined voting 
districts in Thrace, making it impossible for ethnic Turks to 
be elected there (see below).  Additionally, Roma 
representatives report that local authorities sometimes deprive 
Roma of the right to vote by refusing to register them.  
Members of the unicameral 300-seat Parliament are elected to 
maximum 4-year terms by secret ballot.

The Government headed by Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou of 
the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) won in free and fair 
elections in October 1993.  Parliament elects the President for 
a 5-year term.  Universal suffrage applies to those over age 18 
and enforced by fines and administrative penalties.  Opposition 
parties function freely and have broad access to the media.

Under a 1990 electoral law, no candidate may be elected whose 
party does not receive 3 percent or more of the nationwide 
vote.  This law also applies to independent candidates.  As a 
result, neither of Greece's former independent Muslim members 
of Parliament, both of whom proclaim their Turkish ethnic 
identity, was reelected to Parliament in 1993.  In the June 
election to the European Parliament, candidates identifying 
themselves as Macedonian running under the European-wide 
"Rainbow Coalition" banner received 5.5 percent of the vote in 
Florina, a heavily Slavophone province in northern Greece, and 
a total of over 7,000 votes nationwide.  The Supreme Court 
invalidated the list of Rainbow Coalition candidates but then 
reversed its decision 2 weeks before the election.  Rainbow 
candidates had little time to campaign officially, and were not 
allowed to take part in government-sponsored television and 
radio programs which included all other candidates.  In 
addition, some polling stations did not receive lists needed 
for supporters to vote for Rainbow candidates.  One of the same 
activists ran without incident for governor of Florina 
prefecture in the local elections in October; he won 3.3 
percent of the vote.

In October Greece held elections at the local level, including, 
for the first time (as a result of a new election law), 
elections for governors and prefectural councils.  One month 
prior to the elections, Parliament passed legislation combining 
electoral districts in Athens and Thrace.  The prefecture of 
Rodopi, about half of whose citizens are ethnic Turks or 
Pomaks, was united with Evros, which is approximately 5-percent 
Muslim.  Xanthi prefecture, which is approximately 40-percent 
ethnic Turkish and Pomak, was united with two other prefectures 
which had virtually no Muslim population.  Ethnic Turks 
complained correctly that the law as it was applied to Thrace 
was intended to eliminate any possibility that an ethnic Turk 
could be elected governor of either of the prefectures.

In June unknown persons fired shots at Anastassios Boulis, a 
Macedonian activist who was a candidate for the European 
Parliament.  Boulis charged that, although local police knew 
who the perpetrators were, they never investigated.  The 
Government claimed a police investigation produced no 
corroborating evidence or witnesses.

Although there are no legal restrictions on the participation 
of women or minorities in government or politics, women's 
representation at the higher levels of political life remain 
low.  The head of the Communist Party is a woman.  Women hold 
no ministerial positions in the Government and only 3 of 26 
deputy ministerial positions.  Eleven of the 300 members of 
Parliament are women.  Women are underrepresented in the 
leadership of the two largest parties.

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
          Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
          of Human Rights

The Government allows domestic human rights organizations to 
operate but may or may not cooperate with them.  In principle, 
it respects the right of foreign diplomats to meet with 
officials and other citizens, including critics of official 
policy, though it is clear that the security services observe 
contacts of human rights monitors, including listening in on 
conversations held between those monitors and human rights 
investigators and diplomats.  The security services' 
surveillance of such meetings is often blatant, and some such 
meetings are treated tendentiously in the press.  Monitors view 
this activity as a form of intimidation and say that it deters 
others from meeting with investigators.

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
          Disability, Language, or Social Status

The Constitution provides for equality before the law and the 
full protection of individual life, honor, and freedom 
irrespective of nationality, race, language, or religious or 
political belief.

Violence against homosexuals is not common in Greece.  However, 
police occasionally harass gay bar owners and gay men, 
including detaining them at police stations overnight and 
sometimes physically mistreating them.  Homosexuals discovered 
in the military service are dismissed for reasons of "mental 
illness," and would-be draftees are exempted from compulsory 
military service for the same reason.  Declared homosexuals 
exempted from military service for that reason are ineligible 
for public sector jobs.


There are broad constitutional and legal protections for women, 
including equal pay for equal work, but the General Secretariat 
for Equality of the Sexes (GSES), an independent government 
agency, maintains that these laws are not consistently 
enforced, and as a consequence women generally receive lower 
salaries than men for similar jobs.  A GSES report states that 
in 1993 average women's salaries in retail trade were 79.4 
percent of those of men in comparable positions.

Although there are still relatively few women in senior 
positions, in recent years women have entered traditionally 
male-dominated occupations in large numbers.

The incidence of reported physical violence against women is 
low; however, the GSES asserts that police tend to discourage 
women from pursuing domestic violence charges and instead 
undertake reconciliation efforts, though they are neither 
qualified for nor charged with this task.  The GSES also claims 
that the courts are lenient when dealing with domestic violence 
cases; it hopes that attitude will change as more women enter 
the judiciary.

As a result of pressure from women's groups, a center for 
battered women was established in Athens in 1988, and a 
residential facility for battered women and their children 
opened in 1993.  These centers provide legal advice, 
psychological counseling, information on social services, and 
temporary residence for battered women and their children.  
They received approximately 250 women in 1994.

The Government lists progress on women's issues as a high 
priority and established a new position of Deputy Minister for 
Women's Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister.  This 
Office and the GSES coordinate efforts to remove barriers.


Legislation enacted in 1992 prohibits and provides penalties 
for all forms of maltreatment of children perpetrated by 
parents or others.  The State provides preventive and treatment 
programs for abused children and for children deprived of their 
family environment, seeking to ensure that alternative family 
care or institutional placement is made available to them.

However, children's rights advocacy groups claim that protection
of high-risk children in state residential care centers is 
inadequate and of low quality.  They cite lack of coordination 
between welfare services and the courts, inadequate funding of 
the welfare system, and poor manning of residential care 
centers as systemic weaknesses in child abuse prevention and 
treatment efforts.  Societal abuse of children in the form of 
prostitution, pornography, and child labor is rare in Greece.

In recent years, Greece has experienced a dramatic rise in the 
population of street children, mainly from Albania, who 
panhandle or peddle at city intersections on behalf of adult 
family members or for organized crime.  Police occasionally 
take these children into custody and bring them to state or 
charitable institutions which care for wayward children.  
Parents can reclaim their children from these institutions, but 
risk deportation if they are illegal immigrants.  The number of 
Albanian street children has been greatly diminished since the 
expulsion of illegal Albanians in August-September 1994.  Roma 
children are still in evidence on Athens streets, however.  
Few children are available for adoption by childless couples.  
As a result, occasional cases of prosecution against the 
selling of Greek babies to childless couples are reported.

Usage of public health facilities by Roma is low because of the 
low rate of integration of Roma communities within Greek 
society and social security systems.  Ninety percent of Roma 
are not insured by any of the government social security 
systems because they are self-employed or work in off-the-books 
jobs that do not make contributions to the social security 
system.  The fact that health facilities are not located close 
to the camps in which the Roma live also contributes to their 
low rate of access.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

There are communities in Greece which identify themselves as 
Turks, Pomaks, Vlachs, Roma, and Macedonians.  Many are fully 
integrated into Greek society.  The only minority Greece 
formally recognizes is a "Muslim minority," which is referred 
to in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.  The Government insists on 
the use of this rubric to refer to several different ethnic 
communities, most of which adhere to the Muslim faith.  The 
Muslim minority is comprised primarily of ethnic Turks or 
Turkish speakers in western Thrace, which the Government 
estimates at roughly 120,000 persons.  In addition to people of 
Turkish origin, it includes Pomaks (Muslims who speak a 
language akin to Bulgarian) and Roma.  Many Greek Muslims, 
including Pomaks, identify themselves as Turks and say that the 
Muslim minority as a whole has a Turkish cultural consciousness.
The use of the word "tourkos" ("Turk") is prohibited in titles 
of organizations, though individuals may legally call 
themselves "tourkos."  To most Greeks, the word "tourkos" 
connotes Turkish identity or loyalties, and many object to its 
use by Greek citizens of Turkish origin.  Use of a similar 
adjective, "tourkoyennis" (of Turkish descent/affiliation/
ethnicity), however, is allowed (see also Section 2.b.).

Northern Greece is home to an indeterminate number (estimates 
range from under 10,000 to 50,000 or more) of Greek citizens 
who are descended from Slavs or Slavophones.  Some still speak 
a Slavic dialect, particularly in the Florina district.  A 
small number of them consider themselves to be members of a 
distinct ethnic group which they identify as Macedonian and 
assert their right to minority status.  The Government 
continues to harass and intimidate some of these people, 
including putting one person on trial for asserting the 
existence of a Macedonian minority (see Section 2.a.), denying 
their right to association (see Section 2.b.), monitoring 
activists' meetings with human rights investigators (see 
Section 2.d.), and accusing activists publicly of being agents 
of a foreign government.  These activists say that, as a 
result, some Greeks who consider themselves Macedonian do not 
declare themselves openly for fear of losing their jobs or 
other sanctions.

A 1994 report by Human Rights Watch/Helsinki entitled "Denying 
Ethnic Identity--the Macedonians of Greece" charged, inter 
alia, that an ethnic Macedonian minority with its own language 
and culture exists in northern Greece and that the Greek 
Government's denial of that minority is in violation of 
international human rights laws and agreements.  They also 
state that the Greek Government discriminates against this 
minority in violation of international law or agreements to 
which it is a party.  In responding to these charges, the 
Government says that it recognizes, under the Copenhagen CSCE 
document, the right of people to identify themselves as members 
of ethnic minorities.  However, it states that such self-
identification does not require government recognition of such 
a minority or entitle its members to any privileges under CSCE 
or other instruments.  As noted , however, the Government 
continues to deny the rights of free speech and association to 
some who have tried peacefully to assert what they consider to 
be their minority rights.

Government officials and Greek courts deny requests by 
individuals and groups to identify themselves using the ancient 
term Macedonian, since some 2.2 million ethnic (and 
linguistically) Greek citizens already use the term to identify 
themselves.  The Greek Government does not define the dialect 
spoken by some thousands of northern Greeks as Macedonian, and 
government officials deny that it is a language at all.  The 
officials also noted that Greece regulates the establishment of 
all commercial language academies, and questioned whether 
advocates of "Macedonian" language schools meet the relevant 
requirements.  They added that the Government would not 
interfere with the holding of informal language classes within 
the Slavophone community.

The Secretariat for Adult Education (a government agency) in 
1994 revised upward its estimate of the number of Roma in 
Greece to approximately 300,000.  Almost half of the Roma 
population is permanently settled, mainly in the Athens area.  
The other half is mobile, working mainly as agricultural 
workers, peddlers, and musicians throughout the country.  
Government policy is to encourage assimilation of Roma.  
Poverty, illiteracy, and social prejudice continue to plague 
large parts of the Roma population.  The Secretariat for Adult 
Education conducted education programs targeting the Roma 
population, including the use of mobile schools.  Some 1,200 
Roma children attended the mobile school program during the 
last school year.

The rate of employment of Muslims in the public sector and in 
state-owned industries and corporations is much lower than the 
Muslim percentage of the population.  In Xanthi, where Muslims 
hold seats on the town council, there are no Muslims among the 
approximately 130 regular employees of the prefecture.  Ethnic 
Turks and other Muslims in Thrace claim they are hired only for 
lower level, part-time work.  The Government says lack of 
fluency in written and spoken Greek and the need for university 
degrees for high-level positions limits the number of Muslims 
eligible for government jobs.

Public offices in Thrace do their business in Greek; the courts 
provided interpreters as needed.  In the Komotini district in 
Thrace, where many ethnic Turks live, the office of the district
governor ("nomarch") has Turkish-language interpreters 

While discriminatory treatment against Muslims regarding 
licenses to operate a business, own a tractor, or construct 
property diminished greatly in recent years, basic services 
provided to Muslim-populated neighborhoods and villages 
(electricity, telephones, paved roads) in many cases continue 
to lag far behind those provided to non-Muslim neighborhoods.

The Treaty of Lausanne provides that the Muslim minority has 
the right to Turkish-language education, with a reciprocal 
entitlement for the Greek minority in Istanbul.  Western Thrace 
has both Koranic and secular Turkish-language schools.  
Government disputes with Turkey over teachers and textbooks 
caused these secular schools serious problems in obtaining 
sufficient numbers and quality of faculty and teaching 
materials.  Over 9,000 Muslim children attended 
Turkish-language primary schools.  Around 650 attended 
Turkish-language secondary schools, and approximately 1,000 
attended Greek-language secondary schools.  Many Muslims 
reportedly went to high school in Turkey due to the limited 
number of places in the Turkish-language secondary schools, 
which are assigned by lottery.  In 1994 no Greek Muslims 
succeeded in passing the entrance examinations to attend a 
Greek university.

Ethnic Turks found it difficult to obtain permission to bring 
in teachers from Turkey or to hire Turkish-speaking teachers 
locally, particularly for the secular Turkish-language middle 
schools in Xanthi and Komotini.  Under a 1952 educational 
protocol, Greece and Turkey may annually exchange 35 teachers 
on a reciprocal basis.  Each group serves in Istanbul and 
western Thrace, respectively, but in recent years the Greek 
side limited the exchanges to 16 teachers per country due to 
the dwindling needs of the small and aging Greek population in 
Turkey.  According to the Government, during the 1993-94 school 
year, Greece and Turkey did not exchange any teachers due to an 
ongoing dispute over reductions of Greek instruction for Greek 
students in Turkey, and the nonissuance of diplomas to some 
Greek students there.  The teacher exchange was, however, 
effected during the 1994-95 school year; 16 teachers were 
exchanged by each country on November 1, 1994.

During the January 1994 visit of a group of Turkish 
parliamentarians to western Thrace, a group of Christian 
extremists hurled stones at the bus in which the delegation was 
traveling.  There were no injuries, and no arrests were made.

     Religious Minorities

Several religious denominations, including the Roman Catholic 
Church, reported difficulties in dealing with Greek authorities 
on a variety of administrative matters.  Privileges and legal 
prerogatives granted the Greek Orthodox Church were not 
routinely extended to other recognized religions.  Rather, the 
non-Orthodox must make separate and lengthy applications to 
government authorities on such matters as arranging 
appointments to meet with Ministry of Education and Religion 
officials and gaining permission to move places of worship to 
larger quarters.

Leaders of various non-Orthodox religious groups assert that 
their members face discrimination in reaching the senior ranks 
in government service; furthermore, it appears that only those 
of the Orthodox faith can become officers in the Greek 
military.  They allege that to avoid this restriction some 
members of their faiths resort to declaring themselves 
Orthodox.  Senior government officials, when questioned about 
such allegations of discrimination, deny that it exists and 
point out certain persons not of the Orthodox faith who have 
successful careers in government service.  There appear to be 
no statistics to support either side.

Teachers who are Jehovah's Witnesses have faced difficulties in 
gaining or keeping employment in recent years in public or 
private schools.  As a result of such difficulties, six 
Jehovah's Witnesses have appeals on employment discrimination 
pending with the Council of State, some dating back as far as 

Greek law requires that Greek citizens declare their religion 
on their bilingual identity cards that, if and when issued, 
would allow Greeks to travel freely within the EU instead of 
using passports.  The law has caused particular concern among 
the Catholic and Jewish religious communities in Greece and 
abroad and has drawn strong criticism from the European 
Parliament.  The Government declined in 1994 to act either to 
change the law mandating the declaration of religion on the 
cards or to issue the new EU cards.  Instead, the old Greek 
identity cards, which normally list religion but which allow 
the bearer the option not to do so, are still being issued.

Leaders of the Jewish community in Greece have lobbied the 
Government for several years to change five anti-Semitic 
references in Greek public school textbooks.  In 1994 the 
Ministry of Education deleted two of the five passages.

The Government allowed Turkish Prime Minister Ciller's 
counselor Mustafa Kahramanyol to visit Thrace in early June, 
but denied a visa to the Turkish Director General of Religious 
Affairs, who wanted to visit a few weeks later.

     People with Disabilities

Legislation mandates the hiring of disabled persons in public 
and private enterprises employing more than 50 persons.  
However, the law is poorly enforced, particularly in the 
private sector.  The law states that disabled persons should 
comprise 3 percent of staff in private enterprises.  In the 
civil service, 5 percent of administrative staff and 80 percent 
of telephone operator positions are reserved for disabled 
persons.  Persons with disabilities have been appointed to 
important positions in the civil service, including secretary 
general of the Ministry of Welfare.

The Construction Code mandates physical access for disabled 
persons to private and public buildings, but again the law is 
poorly enforced.  In the past 2 years, ramps and special curbs 
for the disabled have been constructed on Athens streets and at 
public buildings, and sound signals have been installed at some 
city street crossings.  In 1993 the Government started 
replacing old city buses with new ones with stairs specially 
designed for the disabled; the accessible buses numbered 500 in 
1994.  The new Athens subway lines under construction will 
provide full access for the disabled.

Section 6 Worker Rights

     a.   The Right of Association

The Constitution and subsequent legislation provide for the 
right of association.  All workers, with the exception of the 
military and the police, have the right to form or join unions.

Approximately 30 percent of Greek workers (nearly 1 million 
persons) were organized in unions in 1994.  Unions receive most 
of their funding from a Ministry of Labor organization, the 
Workers' Hearth, which distributes mandatory contributions from 
employees and employers.  Only the five most powerful public 
sector unions have dues-withholding provisions in their 
contracts, in addition to receiving Workers' Hearth subsidies.  
Following the recommendation of the International Labor 
Organization (ILO), the Government in 1990 enacted a law ending 
its financial involvement in trade union affairs and the 
collection of union dues.  Strong union reaction, however, led 
to new legislation in 1994 which allowed unions to continue to 
receive Workers' Hearth funds.

Over 4,000 unions are grouped into regional and sectoral 
federations and two umbrella confederations, one for civil 
servants and one, the General Confederation of Greek Workers 
(GSEE), for private sector employees.  Unions are highly 
politicized, and there are party-affiliated factions within the 
labor confederations, but day-to-day operations are not 
controlled by political parties or the Government.  There are 
no restrictions on who may serve as a union official.  Unions 
maintain a variety of international affiliations and are free 
to join international associations.

Legislation passed in 1994 mandates a skeleton staff during 
strikes affecting public services, such as electricity, 
transportation, communications, and banking.  During strikes in 
June and July, skeleton staffs did not ensure that essential 
services continued uninterrupted; however, there were no legal 
repercussions for the unions.

Legal restrictions on strikes include a mandatory period of 
notice, which is 4 days for public utilities and 24 hours for 
the private sector.  Public utility companies, state-owned 
banks, the postal service, Olympic Airways, and the railroads 
are also required to maintain a skeleton staff during strikes.

The courts have the power to declare strikes illegal, although 
such decisions are seldom enforced.  Unions complain, however, 
that this judicial power serves as a deterrent to some of their 
membership from participating in strikes.  In 1994 the courts 
declared a majority of strikes illegal for a variety of 
reasons, but no striking workers were prosecuted.  The 
Government may also declare "civil mobilization" of workers in 
the event of danger to national security, life, property, or 
the social and economic life of the country.  It threatened to 
do so when air traffic controllers staged a work slowdown in 
August-September.  The ILO Committee of Experts has criticized 
this power as violating the standards of ILO Convention 29 on 
forced labor.  The Government resorted to civil mobilization in 
December 1993 to resolve a bus owners' strike in opposition to 
government efforts to deprivatize the Athens bus system.

     b.   The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Legislation passed in 1955 and amended in 1990 ensured the 
right to organize and bargain collectively in the private 
sector and in public corporations.  These rights were respected 
in practice.  There were no restrictions on collective 
bargaining for private sector employees.  The Union of Civil 
Servants negotiates with the Office of the Minister to the 
Prime Minister.

In 1993 the Government passed a decree setting limits to wage 
and salary increases for public enterprises employees.  A 
complaint to the ILO by the General Confederation of Greek 
Workers led the ILO Committee of Experts to request that the 
Government stop intervening in the collective bargaining 
process by setting maximum wage levels.

In response to union complaints that most labor disputes ended 
in compulsory arbitration, legislative remedies were enacted in 
1989 providing for mediation procedures, with compulsory 
arbitration as a last resort.  The legislation establishing a 
national mediation, reconciliation, and arbitration 
organization went into effect in January 1992 and applies to 
the public sector and public corporations (the military and 
civil service excluded).

Antiunion discrimination is prohibited.  The Labor Inspectorate 
or the courts investigates complaints of discrimination against 
union members or organizers.  Court rulings have mandated the 
reinstatement of improperly fired union organizers.

Greece has no export processing zones.

     c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Constitution prohibits forced or compulsory labor, and the 
Ministry of Justice enforces this prohibition.

     d.   Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The minimum age for employment in the industrial sector is 
15 years, with higher limits for certain activities.  The 
minimum age is 12 in family businesses, theaters, and the 
cinema.  These age limits are enforced by occasional Labor 
Inspectorate spot checks and are generally respected.  However, 
families engaged in agriculture, food service, or merchandising 
often have younger family members assisting them, at least 
part-time.  Education is free and compulsory for all children 
through the ninth grade.

     e.   Acceptable Conditions of Work

Collective bargaining between the GSEE and the Employers' 
Association determines a nationwide minimum wage.  The Ministry 
of Labor routinely ratifies this minimum wage, which has the 
force of law and applies to all Greek workers.  The minimum 
wage ($21 daily and $463 monthly) was sufficient for a decent 
standard of living for a worker and family.

The maximum legal workweek is 40 hours in the private sector 
and 37 1/2 hours in the public sector.  A law that took effect 
in 1992 significantly extended legal operating hours for retail 
establishments, provided that the average workweek did not 
exceed the legal maximum over a period of time.  The law 
provides for at least one 24-hour rest period per week, 
mandates paid vacation of 1 month per year, and sets limits on 

Legislation provides for minimum standards of occupational 
health and safety.  Although the GSEE characterized health and 
safety legislation as satisfactory, it charged that 
enforcement, the responsibility of the Labor Inspectorate, was 
inadequate.  In 1992 the GSEE cited statistics indicating a 
high number of job-related accidents over the past two 
decades.  Inadequate inspection, failure to enforce 
regulations, outdated industrial plant and equipment, and poor 
safety training of employees contributed to the accident rate.  
Workers did not have the legal right to remove themselves from 
situations they believed endangered their health.  They did 
have the right, however, to lodge a confidential complaint with 
the Labor Inspectorate.  Inspectors had the right to close down 
machinery or a process for a period of up to 5 days if they saw 
safety or health hazards which they believe represented an 
imminent danger to the workers.


[end of document]


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