New Greek president to take religious oath of office, unlike PM Tsipras, other recent officials

Athens, February 5, 2020

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Unlike a number of top government representatives in recent years, Greece’s president-elect Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou will take the religious oath of office prescribed in the Greek constitution.

Responding to a question from the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, Sakellaropoulou’s associates responded: “The president is well aware of the Constitution and there would never be a question of taking an oath other than the explicitly stipulated religious oath.”

Before taking office, presidents of Greece are to swear an oath before Parliament:

I swear in the name of the Holy, Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity to safeguard the Constitution and the laws, to ensure their faithful observance, to defend the national independence and territorial integrity of the Country, to protect the rights and liberties of the Greeks and to serve the general interest and the progress of the Greek People.

Other elected officials traditionally also take a religious oath in the presence of the Archbishop of Athens, though Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, an atheist, refused to swear the religious oath on the Bible in 2015.

In 2018, a number of ministers were sworn in without the presence of any representative of the Greek Orthodox Church, taking a purely civil oath—the first such occurrence since the founding of the Hellenic State in 1941.

Sakellaropoulou, a senior judge with expertise in environmental and constitutional law, will be sworn in on March 13. She is the first woman to be elected president in the history of the Hellenic Republic.

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