Municipalities and communities of Greece

The municipalities of Greece (Greek: δήμοι, dímoi) are the lowest level of government within the organizational structure of that country. Since the 2011 Kallikratis reform, there are 325 municipalities. Thirteen regions form the largest unit of government beneath the State. Within these regions are 74 second-level areas called regional units. Regional units are then divided into municipalities. The new municipalities can be subdivided into municipal units (δημοτικές ενότητες, dimotikes enotites, the old municipalities), which are subdivided into municipal communities (δημοτικές κοινότητες, dimotikés koinótites) or local communities (τοπικές κοινότητες, topikés koinótites).[1]

Constitutional provisions for communities and municipalities

Article 102 of the Greek constitution outlines the mandate of municipalities and communities and their relationship to the larger State:

  • Municipalities and communities exercise administration of local affairs independently.
  • Leadership of municipalities and communities is elected by universal and secret ballot.
  • Municipalities may voluntarily or be mandated by law to work together to provide certain services, but elected representatives from the participating groups govern these partnerships.
  • The national Greek government supervises local government agencies, but is not to interfere in any local initiatives or actions.
  • The State is required to provide funds necessary to fulfill the mandate of local government agencies.

Organization of communities and municipalities

Kallikratis dioikisi
Administrative division of Greece following the "Kallikratis" reform: each colour denotes a region, regional units are outlined in black, and municipalities in white

Communities are governed by a community council (simvoulio) made up of 7 to 11 members and led by a community president (proedros kinotitas). A deputy chairperson from a communal quarter (if the community has been further divided) may also take part in council meetings when specific issues of a communal interest are being discussed.

A municipal council (dimotiko simvoulio) and town hall committee led by a mayor (dimarchos) governs municipalities. Depending on the size of the municipality, municipal councils are made up of anywhere from 11 to 41 council members representing "municipal departments" (many of which were small communities that had been merged into the municipality). In addition, the council elects 2 to 6 town hall committee members. In the case of mergers, local village or town councils (like communal quarters) may still exist to provide feedback and ideas to the larger governing body.

Council members are elected via public election every four years on the basis of a party system. Three-fifths of all seats go to the party winning a plurality of the vote and the remaining two-fifths of the seats go to other parties based on their share of the vote on a proportional basis. The municipal council elects the town hall committee for a term of two years.

The State ultimately oversees the actions of local governments, but the Municipal and Communal Code still provides communities and municipalities with legal control over the administration of their designated areas.

Participation of citizens in local decision-making

Citizens have very few opportunities for direct participation in decision-making outside the elections held every four years. Beyond national referendums that may be called for critical issues, citizens cannot request local referendums. The only other possibility for direct input by citizens is if the local municipality establishes district councils or if the community president calls a people's assembly to discuss issues of concern. The organization of these public opportunities, however, is solely at the discretion of the community or municipal leadership.

Responsibilities of municipal governments

The Municipal and Communal Code (art. 24) states that municipalities and communities have responsibility for the administration of their local jurisdiction as it pertains to the social, financial, cultural and spiritual interests of its citizens. More specifically, communities and municipalities have responsibility for the following:

  • Security and police
  • Fire fighting
  • Civil protection
  • Nurseries and kindergartens
  • Repair and maintenance of all schools, including the issuing of permits
  • Adult education
  • Hospitals and health departments
  • Family and youth services
  • Rest homes
  • Public housing and town planning
  • Water and waste treatment
  • Cemeteries
  • Environmental protection
  • Theatres, museums, libraries
  • Parks, sports and leisure facilities
  • Urban road systems
  • Gas supplies
  • Irrigation
  • Farming and fishing
  • Commerce and tourism
  • Licensing certain business enterprises

Local government finances

Revenues come from both ordinary and extraordinary sources.

Ordinary revenue is derived from the State budget, property revenues, and established taxes and fees. By law, the State funds first level governments on the basis of a fixed formula: 20% of legal persons’ income tax, 50% of traffic duties and 3% of property transfer duties. For smaller populated communities and municipalities, the State has also allocated additional revenue based on other expenses (e.g. the cost of supplying water, maintaining road networks, and climate). Local governments are required to direct any property or resource fees to related expenses (e.g. drinking water fees must go towards the maintenance and improvement of the water system). Other forms of taxation or fines (e.g. parking fees) can be used wherever the government deems necessary.

Extraordinary revenue originates from sources like loans, inheritances, auctions, rents and fines.

Income generation is not limited to traditional service sources. Local governments can also initiate or participate in entrepreneurial activities that include a wide range of possible partnerships.

Each year communities and municipalities formulate their budgets in terms of expected revenues and expenses. Financial management and auditing is then based on this plan.

History of community and municipal governments

  • In 1831, the first governor of independent Greece, Ioannis Capodistrias administratively reorganized the Peloponnese into seven departments and the islands into six. These departments were then subdivided into provinces and, in turn, into towns and villages. Opponents to these reforms later assassinated Capodistrias.
  • The Constitution of 1952 (article 99) clearly identified the administrative role of municipal and community authorities.
  • The Constitution of the Hellenic Republic was established in 1975 and in article 102 stated that the first level of government were those of communities and municipalities.
  • Law 1416 was passed in 1984 to reinforce municipal authority over local government.
  • In 1986, the Constitution was modified with the addition of articles 101 and 102 that established local government parameters and relationships.
  • Presidential Decree 410 (Municipal and Communal Code) codified the legislation concerning municipalities and communities in 1995.
  • Law 2539 in 1997, named “Ioannis Kapodistrias,” took 441 municipalities and the 5382 communities and merged them into 900 municipalities and 133 communities. Newly merged municipalities and communities could further subdivide their territory into municipal or communal departments to give some local authority to merged areas.
  • Law 2647 in 1998 transferred responsibilities from the State to local authorities.
  • Law 3852 in 2010, named “Kallikratis,” took the 900 municipalities and the 133 communities and merged them into 325 municipalities. The new municipalities can subdivide their territory into municipal or local communities.

See also

References

  1. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior ‹See Tfd›(in Greek)

External links

  • "Devolution in Austria" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-09.
  • Structure and Operation of Local and Regional Democracy in Greece
  • Recent Administrative Reforms in Greece: Attempts Toward Decentralization, Democratic Consolidation and Efficiency
  • CityMayors article
Greece–Serbia relations

Greece and Serbia enjoy close diplomatic relations, which have traditionally been friendly due to cultural, religious and historical ties between the two nations.

The majority of Serbs and Greeks practice the Eastern Orthodox faith and the two nations were historically bound by alliance treaties and co-belligerence in wars since the Middle Ages. In modern times, the revolutions against the Ottoman Empire, the Balkan Wars, the World Wars and Yugoslav wars, and the Greek opposition to the NATO bombing of FR Yugoslavia, where Greece was the only NATO member to condemn the actions and openly expressed its disapproval (polls revealed that 94% of the Greek population were completely opposed to the bombing), and Greece's subjequent refusal to recognize the Kosovo Unilateral Declaration of Independence, backing the Serbian stance on this issue as one of the five European Union's member states that have done so, also have contributed to these relations.

Greece is a strong supporter of the EU membership candidacy for Serbia, and in 2003 it has proposed the "Agenda 2014" for boosting the Euro-Atlantic integration integration of all the Western Balkan states into the Union. The two countries cooperate in security, tourism, culture and agriculture, with Greece being the third top investor from the EU to Serbia and the fifth overall (as of 2013).

Kamatero

Kamatero (Greek: Καματερó [kamateˈro]; officially Καματερόν) is a suburb northwest of Athens city center, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Agioi Anargyroi-Kamatero, of which it is a municipal unit. It is located about 8 kilometres north of Athens city centre.

Kapodistrias reform

Kapodistrias reform (Greek: Σχέδιο Καποδίστριας, "Kapodistrias Plan") is the common name of law 2539 of Greece, which reorganised the country's administrative divisions. The law, named after 19th-century Greek statesman Ioannis Kapodistrias, passed the Hellenic Parliament in 1997, and was implemented in 1998. The administrative system was changed again at the 2010 Kallikratis reform.

List of municipalities and communities in Greece (1997–2010)

From 1 January 2011, in accordance with the Kallikratis plan, the administrative system of Greece was drastically overhauled. For the current list, see List of municipalities of Greece (2011). This is an alphabetical list of municipalities and communities in Greece from 1997 to 2010, under the Kapodistrias Plan.

For an ordered list of cities with population over 30,000 see List of cities in Greece.

Merger (politics)

A merger, consolidation or amalgamation, in a political or administrative sense, is the combination of two or more political or administrative entities, such as municipalities (in other words cities, towns, etc.), counties, districts, etc., into a single entity. This term is used when the process occurs within a sovereign entity.

Unbalanced growth or outward expansion of one neighbor may necessitate an administrative decision to merge (see urban sprawl). In some cases, common perception of continuity may be a factor in prompting such a process (see conurbation). Some cities (see below) that have gone through amalgamation or a similar process had several administrative sub-divisions or jurisdictions, each with a separate person in charge.

Annexation is similar to amalgamation, but differs in being applied mainly to two cases:

The units joined are sovereign entities before the process, as opposed to being units of a single political entity.

A city's boundaries are expanded by adding territories not already incorporated as cities or villages.

Municipality

A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished (usually) from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns, villages and hamlets.

The term municipality may also mean the governing or ruling body of a given municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district.

The term is derived from French municipalité and Latin municipalis. The English word municipality derives from the Latin social contract municipium (derived from a word meaning "duty holders"), referring to the Latin communities that supplied Rome with troops in exchange for their own incorporation into the Roman state (granting Roman citizenship to the inhabitants) while permitting the communities to retain their own local governments (a limited autonomy).

A municipality can be any political jurisdiction from a sovereign state, such as the Principality of Monaco, to a small village, such as West Hampton Dunes, New York.

The territory over which a municipality has jurisdiction may encompass

only one populated place such as a city, town, or village

several of such places (e.g., early jurisdictions in the U.S. state of New Jersey (1798–1899) as townships governing several villages, Municipalities of Mexico, Municipalities of Colombia)

only parts of such places, sometimes boroughs of a city such as the 34 municipalities of Santiago, Chile.

Olympiaki Akti

Olympiaki Akti (Greek: Ολυμπιακή Ακτή, Olympiakí Aktí) has translation into English as Olympic Beach, Olympic Coast, also obsolete being known as Katerinoskala (Greek: Κατερινόσκαλα) whose is seldom used nowadays and it can be expressed as meaning "Katerini's staircase" coming from the tradition of Greece that it refers to a seaside village closer to a city has a portmanteau name featuring the city name and the word skala or scala (staircase) which together form one name.

Olympiaki Akti is a tourist destination seaside resort village of the Katerini municipality (Katerini municipality division of Olympiaki Akti) in the east coast of Pieria, Greece, where lies Thermaic Gulf. It is part of the Olympian Riviera and its namesake beach awarded E.U. Blue Flag with entire sand coastline. The Olympiaki Akti is located 7.5 km from Katerini city, 3 km south of Paralia, 70 km from the neighbouring city of Thessaloniki, 107 km (66.4 miles) from Thessaloniki International Airport "Makedonia" (IATA: SKG, ICAO: LGTS), 434 km (269.6 miles) from Athens, northeast of Pierian Mountains and Mount Olympus. The Olympiaki Akti had a population of 320 inhabitants according to the 2011 census.

Olympiaki Akti belonged to the Pieria prefecture, then since 2011 by law 3852/2010, Government Gazette 87 A'/07.06.2010 , Government Gazette 1292 B’/11.08.2010

it became a region of Katerini municipality as stated in 2010 Kallikratis plan, which took effect on 1 January 2011, abolished the prefectures as separate administrative units, and transformed them into regional units within the country's thirteen administrative regions.

A local urban settle bus serving Katerini city from/to Olympiaki Akti. National bus service is from the Katerini intercity bus station KTEL. Olympiaki Akti is accessible from the main national highway Thessaloniki–Athens GR-1/E75 (with the Katerini's South and North interchanges) and the Egnatia Odos to the north. The Olympiaki Akti is 7.1 km from Katerini Railway Station OSE (ΟΣΕ) which is a stop railway station for routes of local trains, Proastiakos train (suburban route Thessaloniki to/from Larissa), main railway route Athens to/from Thessaloniki by regular train and InterCity train. Additionally, you can travel with a special service route to Athens from Thessaloniki New Railway Station by express electric train named “Silver Arrow” launched in May 20, 2019 (initially conducted by three trains) having daily the Athens to/from Thessaloniki route lasts four hours including two stops railway station at Lianokladi village of Phthiotis and Larissa city.

Outline of Greece

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Greece:

Greece – sovereign country located on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula in Southern Europe. Greece borders Albania, Bulgaria, and North Macedonia to the north, and Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea lies to the east and south of mainland Greece, while the Ionian Sea lies to the west. Both parts of the Eastern Mediterranean basin feature a vast number of islands.

Greece lies at the juncture of Europe, Asia and Africa. It is heir to the heritages of ancient Greece, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, and nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule. Greece is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games (for this reason, unless it is the host nation, it always leads the Parade of Nations in accordance with tradition begun at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics), Western literature and historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama including both tragedy and comedy.

Greece is a developed country, a member of the European Union since 1981, a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union since 2001, NATO since 1952, the OECD since 1961, the WEU since 1995 and ESA since 2005. Athens is the capital; Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion, Volos, Ioannina, Larissa and Kavala are some of the country's other major cities.

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