Hellenic Parliament: significant moments in almost two hundred years of history
11, Vas. Sofias Av., Centre, 10671

Hellenic Parliament: significant moments in almost two hundred years of history


An exhibition dedicated to the history, the function and the dynamic evolution of the Hellenic Parliament, during the long period (1821-1989).

21 November, 2019 to 30 September, 2020

Few people in our country know that the Hellenic Parliament is one of the oldest parliaments in Europe; and when they find out, this fact does not seem strange to them. That is because, for most of us, the existence of this parliament is intrinsically linked to the political history of this country; its workings reflecting both the country’s glory as well as its darkest moments.
The statistics are impressive and should make us proud: since the First National Assembly was elected in the fall of 1843 – more widely known as the National Assembly of September 3rd –, our Parliament has been in operation almost non-stop for 176 years. Any deviations in the course of the “short” 20th century were of short duration and did not, after all, affect neither the validity nor the legitimacy of the Parliament. Thus, the Hellenic Parliament has become by far the most stable and long-standing representative body in Southeast Europe. What is more, considering the fact that, out of the 67 elections that took place from 1843 to the present day, more than 50 were in no way called in question, modern Greece is ranked as one of the most mature countries in terms of parliamentary procedures.
The Greek parliamentary system immediately incorporated the British “Westminster system”, which, in contrast to the “consensual” parliamentary systems of countries experimenting since the beginning with proportional representation (Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, etc.), favors the alternation of one-party governments and, obviously, not the formation of coalition governments. In other words, as demonstrated by the conflict between Venizelists and anti-Venizelists in the context of the National Schism and, after the war, by the conflict between pro-Venizelos parties and the conservative party, the Hellenic parliamentary system always has been and remains a majority system.
As a result, elections were a “regularity”, that is, the safest way to resolve political disputes, since, with few exceptions, for the great majority of the Greek people, the prospect of victory was the one and only way to the fulfilment of individual and collective goals.
Therefore, it is no coincidence that, unlike in most Balkan countries – even countries of Southern and Central Europe – in Greece, extreme parties at both ends of the political spectrum never gained such massive support that would ensure their long duration and rise to power.

Monday-Wednesday: 9.00-16.00, Thursday-Friday: 10.00-15.00, Saturday-Sunday: 10.00-15.00, public holidays: closed
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