Greece’s parliament has approved plans to lower the voting age from 18 to 17 in a move the Interior Ministry said will “sharpen democratic reflexes” among the younger generation.
Tsipras and his coalition partner (right-wing) Independent Greeks, are clinging to a narrow majority with 153 seats in parliament, against 147 for the opposition.
Syriza has currently been ranking second in opinion polls but Tsipras is still more popular than the conservative opposition among the younger age group.
In a vote ending earlier today, lawmakers also scrapped election law provisions that handed the winning party a generous 50-seat bonus in the 300-member parliament.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ left-wing government failed to win a supermajority of votes required for the changes to have immediate effect, which means the changes will be introduced after the next general election.
“You have to understand that we are in a new situation — Europe is too — and there are no longer political parties that win 40 percent of the vote,” he told parliament at the end of a three-day debate.
Tsipras, who rose to power on a promise to end financial austerity, has suffered a loss in popularity since seeking new rescue loans and agreeing to harsh spending cuts.
Greece’s national debt is set to peak this year at around 180 percent of gross domestic product, according to European Commission forecasts, while the next general election is not due until late 2019.