Parliament today held the first vote on which constitutional amendments will be voted on in the Parliament that emerges from the next general election.

In that context, Parliament approved by a one-vote majority the government’s proposal to amend Article 3 so as to explicitly establish the religious neutrality of the state.

Initially there was some confusion as it was reported that the article did not pass, but Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis then announced that there was an absolute majority of 151 votes to change the article in the next parliamentary session.

The change was vehemently opposed by both the Orthodox Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which has dozens of dioceses in Greece under its jurisdiction.

There will be a second vote in one month on all the articles the amendment of which was approved today.

The fact that the provision on church-state relations was not passed by a two-thirds majority today means that it will need two-thirds to pass in the post-election Parliament.

That means that the ruling majority then can scrap the amendment. If New Democracy comes to power as all polls indicate, it is expected to do just that.

Parliament today voted on all the proposed amendments submitted by ruling SYRIZA and main opposition New Democracy, as well as on all amendments proposed by at least 50 MPs, article by article and paragraph by paragraph.

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