Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Greek General Election

Tomorrow the Greek electorate will go to the polls in a their latest General Election. The choice appears to be between the centre-right New Democracy party, who agreed to the EU financial package that committed the country to retrenchment and austerity and the left wing Syriza party, which is pledged to renegotiate it. They appear to be in the lead in polling surveys. If that is not possible then Greece may well leave the Euro. I do not claim to be able to say how the Greeks should vote on these matters. Clearly austerity, which seems to be improving the situation, has made life very hard for many Greeks.

My interest lies in the constitution. This election was called because the old Parliament could not agree on the election of a new President, ultimately forcing a dissolution at the end of December. So a fresh election and more potential uncertainty for a troubled country.

As far as I am concerned this is all unnecessary as Greece has - or should have - a head of state in the King of the Hellenes, King Constantine II, who , following years of exile, now lived again in Athens as a private individual.

Restoring the monarchy would not, of course, solve in itself Greece's economic woes, but it should provide stability, and prevent unnecessary elections and the risk of further uncertainty.

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