Teenagers in Greece are given technical freedoms. However, there is a stark difference between these technical freedoms and the actual freedoms and situations in Greece. Project Teen Freedom believes that while Greek teenagers are given an adequate amount of rights comparative to other nations, the nation still needs to be reformed to match its technical freedoms with actual, respected freedoms.

Cultural and General Freedoms

Freedom of religion, technically, is respected. However, the nation is largely dominated by the Greek Orthodox Church, and members of other faiths face discrimination. These members are frequently faced with limitations in their careers due to their differences.

The Greek Constitution allows for general freedom of speech and of the press. However, these freedoms are often qualified: speeches causing fear, violence, or disharmony among the population is not permitted.If literature is obscene, offends religious beliefs, or advocates the overthrowing of the political system, the state can seize it.In addition, terrorism also plays a role in freedom of speech and press: while writing on topics such as the Greek terrorist group November 17th, people are at risk for their lives. In fact, Anna Panayotarea, a journalist covering the trial of November 17th members, had her house hit by a gasoline bomb.This is but one example of the many pressures on freedom of the press. All in all, Greeks young and old are technically able to express themselves, yet the government does crack down when it comes to more heated topics. Many times, Greeks are forced to conform their expression and cannot do anything too “dangerous” to the State.

The Grecian goverment banned a few video games on July 30, 2002: While the law enacted was created to halt internet gambling, it was applied to certian video games, punishing those caught with three months imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 Euros.However, the uproar ceased when the Greek government lifted the ban on the video games on September 24, 2002.

Education System

It is mandatory for students aged 6-15 to attend school. Consistent with the free nature of Greece, the Greek government does not restrict academic freedoms. However, students aged 15-18 must take two hours of religious education per week.Furthermore, emphasis in Enaio Lykeio, or school for students 15-18, is on three fields: theoretical, science, and technology.In addition, students are required to learn about protecting the environment through the Environment Education Programme. In the 2000-2001 school year, over 54,000 students participated in the program.

Government Granted “Rights of Age”

Most of the rights of age start at age 18.

There is universal and compulsory voting for those 18 and older.  

The minimum driving age is 18. 

In an exception to this rule, there are no limitations on purchasing drinks in shops, although one must be 18 to purchase alcohol in bars or restaurants. However, this law is very rarely enforced.

Health, Sexuality, and Dating Habits

Abortion is accepted in Greek society, and its performance is perfectly legal. In 1986, the Greek government legalized abortion despite minor opposition from the Greek Orthodox Church. For example, unlike in America, where religion plays a large role in opposing abortion (legal in America), the Greek Orthodox Church is not strongly anti-abortion. Abortion in Greece is extremely prevelant, Greece having the highest percentage of abortions among European countries. There are an estimated 150,000 abortions per year, although figures only represent abortions of women 16 years or older.

Sexual education is relatively weak and is not included in the school curriculum. While “family-planning centers” were established in the 1980’s for sexual education purposes, they were highly unsuccessful because they were only accessible by small portions of the population due to geographical centralization of the centers.

Despite the relatively weak sexual education, Greek citizens have among the lowest HIV rates in Europe, and the prevalence rate among men 15-24 years old is .14%, whereas the rate among women is .07%. Furthermore, despite very little sexual education, the high abortion rate leads to a very low birthrate among females aged 15-19: 13 out of 1000.

Homosexuals in Greece are often discriminated against or imposed on: for instance, legislation enacted in 1981 can force STI testing of homosexuals. Such legislation might violate a homosexual man’s freedom of expression by stifling opinions as well as decisions to “come out.” As a result, in order to combat legislation targeted at gays, a political party was established, and gays are gradually becoming more vocal and accepted. 

The tradition of men asking the parents before seeing the daughter is dying out, especially in rural areas. 

It is common for couples to live with eachother for a few years before deciding to get married.

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