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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsGreece Is Back to "Full Democracy," The Economist Says

Greece Is Back to “Full Democracy,” The Economist Says

Syntagma , Greek parliament
“The birthplace of democracy has reason to celebrate,” The Economist says. Credit: Jebulon, CC1, Wikimedia Commons

Greece is back to full democracy and among the 20 best democracies in the world, according to the Intelligence Unit of The Economist.

The annual report “Democracy Index,” which examines the functioning of democracy in a total of 167 countries, gives Greece a total score of 8.14 out of 10.

“The birthplace of democracy has reason to celebrate, having returned to ‘full democracy’ in the ranking of the ‘Democracy Index of 2023,'” it says.

This marks the first time since 2008 that Greece has achieved this ranking, placing the country one category above the United States and member states of the European Union, such as Italy, Belgium, and Portugal, which are considered “flawed democracies.”

The Index shows that Greece was rated 10 out of 10 for electoral procedures and pluralism during the last electoral contests held in the country. This is an achievement that, as the report underlines, “12 more countries have achieved.”

“Greece has a solid ranking on civil liberties”

“Despite shortcomings in several areas, including media freedom, Greece has a solid ranking on civil liberties with a score of 8.82. That is why its score was improved in 2022,” the report noted.

It also emphasized that the index for political participation improved in 2023 “a year in which two parliamentary elections, regional and municipal, were held in Greece.”

The Economist also mentions the introduction of postal voting, particularly emphasizing that Greeks in the diaspora are now able to easily vote at their place of residence, whereas, previously, they would have had to travel to Greece on election day to exercise their voting rights.

According to the Index, almost half of the world’s population live in a democracy of some sort (45.4 percent), but only 7.8 percent reside in a “full democracy” (scores above 8.00). Substantially more than one-third of the world’s population live under authoritarian rule (39.4 percent).

European Parliament concerned about democracy in Greece

The rating for Greece by The Economist is at odds with a resolution approved earlier in the month by the European Parliament which raised the alarm over several worrying developments in the country threatening the rule of law.

In a resolution adopted with 330 votes in favor, 254 against, and 26 abstentions, MEPs expressed grave concerns about very serious threats to democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights in the country.

Regarding media pluralism and the safety of journalists, MEPs have complained about the lack of progress in the investigation of the murder of George Karaivaz in April 2021.

They denounced that journalists are subject to physical threats and verbal attacks (also from high-ranking politicians), violations of their privacy with spyware, and abusive lawsuits, including from the Prime Minister’s entourage.

The European Parliament also has concerns over the independence of the national audiovisual regulatory authority, the concentration of media in the hands of oligarchies, and the distribution of state subsidies.

MEPs also condemned the instrumentalization of “national security threats” in wiretapping political opponents, including MEPs. In response to the wiretapping scandal, MEPs demanded democratic safeguards be strengthened and called for effective investigations with the assistance of Europol.

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