Greece seeks to lift diaspora voting restrictions

Greece seeks to lift diaspora voting restrictions

Greece seeks to lift diaspora voting restrictions

Greek Interior Minister Makis Voridis submitted an amendment to Parliament on Monday abolishing diaspora Greeks’ voting restrictions.

The amendment was tabled after Theodora Tzakri, SYRIZA MP responsible for diaspora affairs, said that those in the diaspora had “unfair and devaluing limitations,” during an interview with The National Herald.

She said her party would reverse itself in not wanting broader voting rights if it returned to power.

According to the amendment tabled on Monday, the additional criteria that are necessary for the registration of interested parties in the special electoral lists abroad are abolished (length of stay within Greek territory, submission of a tax return).

Moreover, the Election Directorate of the Ministry of Interior is the body that decides on the acceptance or rejection of the application for registration in the special electoral lists abroad.

After decades of debate, in December 2019 parliament passed a law giving all Greek citizens living abroad the right to vote from their place of residence, if they can prove that they have lived continuously in Greece for two years in the last 35 years.

This can be validated by presenting a variety of documentary evidence, which among others includes the national service certificate, proof of social security contributions and degrees from Greek universities.

According to Kathimerini, the government is preparing an online registry for Greeks living abroad in a bid to strengthen diaspora ties with the homeland as well as enhance public diplomacy and nation branding.
*More on GCT- Greek diaspora: Which cities have the largest Greek population outside of Greece?
GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.