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Economy

Greek MP Wants Law Allowing Marriage of Adults, Minors Dropped

ATHENS – A little-known provision in Greek law that allows adults to marry minors of any age – if there is “an important reason” – should be scrapped, New Democracy Member of Parliament Thanos Plevris said.

It’s not unusual in Greece for members of the country’s often-unregistered Roma community that moves around to marry off underage girls but it has happened in general society too, with parents giving permission, including in one notorious case involving a famous singer.

Plevris said the loophole exploits minors, the article in the law stipulating that a court can, after hearing the bride and groom and the persons exercising custody of the minor, allow the marriage even before the age of 18.

“In fact, it should not be overlooked that the brides are primarily minors who may be forced to make a statement due to pressure from their family or social environment, especially in certain population groups or closed societies,” he said, asking the article be removed, said Kathimerini.

The site GirlsNotBrides earlier reported that Greece had committed to end child, early and forced marriage by 2030 without any government explaining 

In 2014, Greece also signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage, 21 years after ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which set the minimum age at 18.

Greece has ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, which considers forced marriage a serious form of violence against women and girls, and legally binds state parties to criminalise the intentional conduct of forcing an adult or child into a marriage, the site also said.

Reporting to the Child Rights Committee, a former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA government in 2018, a year before being ousted by New Democracy, recognized there were women and girls in Greece at risk of certain forms of violence, including early and forced marriages.

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