It’s an age-old question that has caused endless debates in coffee shops in Melbourne and Astoria, as well as on the floor of the Greek Parliament in Athens and it’s on the forefront again of a lot of people’s minds, thanks to promises made by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
First, some facts— which aim to dispel a lot of confusion.
All Greek citizens, regardless of their country of residency, already have the right to vote.
The only problem is that they must return to the town or region where they are registered, in order to cast their votes in local, national and European elections.
Greece is one of the only countries in the world whose citizens must return to their home regions in order to cast their vote.
Most Western countries, including the United States and most of Europe, allow absentee ballots by mail.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants to change that and has instructed his Interior Minister, Takis Theodorikakos, to draft the appropriate parliamentary legislation that will give Greek citizens living abroad the right to vote wherever they may be, on all corners of the earth.
The plan under consideration by New Democracy, the center-right party that swept to absolute power in July, involves a postal vote or ballot by mail.
Mitsotakis made a very public announcement from the soap box of the Thessaloniki International Fair, a venue long-used by Greek politicians to announce major policy decisions.
“We are informing Greeks all over the world about the Greek government’s determination [regarding this issue], and that, when the time comes, we will also inform them of Parliament’s decision to facilitate them so they can vote from their place of residence, including the right to vote by post, as is the case with many foreign countries,” he said.
“It is time for Greece to join the club of civilized and developed countries regarding the electoral process,” he added.
It is important to note, this debate is about Greek citizens living abroad, or those holding a Greek passport, who live in a country outside Greece.
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