One of the first actions of the new Greek cabinet of Premier Constantine Karamanlis was to approve a referendum to decide the future of the Greek monarchy scheduled for December 8.
GV Karamanlis and otehr ministers take seats
SV PAN FROM Ministers talking TO Karamanlis conferring with colleagues
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KARAMANLIS AND CABINET MEMBERS TAKE SEATS: MINISTERS CONFERRING
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Background: One of the first actions of the new Greek cabinet of Premier Constantine Karamanlis was to approve a referendum to decide the future of the Greek monarchy scheduled for December 8.
Meeting on Friday (22 November), the day after being sworn in, the cabinet agreed to maintain complete neutrality over the issue of the monarchy.
December's referendum will be the second in 18 months. In July last year, the vast majority of the electorate voted to abolish the monarchy and establish Greece as a republic with former army officer George Papadopoulos as President. But then came accusations that Mr. Papadopoulos had attempted to perpetuate his regime by rigging the elections.
Now the six million Greek voters will be asked to chose again between a crowned democracy and a presidential republic. King Constantine has been living in exile since December 1967, when an attempted countercoup to topple the ruling junta failed.
SYNOPSIS: Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis and his new cabinet met on Friday -- the day after being sworn into office -- to decide their attitude on the future of the Greek monarchy. A new referendum, in which the Greek people will be asked for a second time if they want to retain the monarchy, had been scheduled for December the eighth.
Friday's cabinet meeting confirmed the date of the referendum. The choice to be put before the Greek people is between a crowned democracy and a presidential republic. It's substantially the same choice as in he referendum eighteen months ago, in which eighty per cent of the electorate voted in favour of a president and against the monarch. But there were strong accusations of ballot rigging at the time. For the December referendum, the ruling New Democracy Party is remaining strictly neutral. King constantine has been in exile since 1967, when he failed in a counter-coup against the ruling military junta.