Non-binding move will not be officially adopted by the State so as ‘not to disturb good relations with Israel’

The Greek parliament, file photo (CC-BY SA ΠΑΣΟΚ/Wikimedia Commons)
The Greek parliament, file photo (CC-BY SA ΠΑΣΟΚ/Wikimedia Commons)


Greece’s parliament is set to recognize the State of Palestine in a vote on December 22, Greek media reported Thursday, in a largely symbolic move that will be non-binding for the Greek government.

According to the Greek Reporter news site, the move of recognition through parliament, rather than the state, is in order “not to disturb good relations with Israel.”

If passed, the resolution will join similar non-binding gestures by other European legislatures over the past 14 months, including the parliaments of the UK, France, Spain, Ireland, Belgium and Portugal. Sweden has gone further, officially recognizing Palestine as a state. In December of last year, the European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian state “in principle,” though this was a watered-down version of the resolution sought by Palestinians.

The recent pro-recognition wave, which is intended to put pressure on both sides to renew peace negotiations, has been welcomed by the Palestinian Authority but tested relations between Israel and the EU. Jerusalem has maintained that recognition should only come once bilateral negotiations produce a two-state solution.

In June Greece said its officials would start using the term “Palestine,” with Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias saying “we decided to issue instructions throughout the Greek public administration for the uniform use of the term ‘Palestine’ when we refer to our friendly country.”

Athens and Ramallah agreed at the time to seek closer, deeper ties, according to Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

As reported by The Times of Israel