Are you eligible to vote in the upcoming Greek election?
Are you eligible to vote in the upcoming Greek election?
As Greece prepares to go to the polls, Greeks of the diaspora will get their first chance to vote from their place of residence. But it’ll take more than just Greek Citizenship to be allowed to exercise that right.
Speaking to the Ouzo Talk Podcast, Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Yiannis Mallikourtis, explained that only a small portion of Greeks living abroad will be eligible to vote, owing to a number of pre-conditions set out as part of the recent change.
“There are two criteria; one is to have submitted a tax declaration in the past two years, and the second criterion is to have lived in Greece for at least two years in the last 35 years.”
In a wide-ranging Ouzo Talk discussion, Mallikourtis – while admitting that the legislation may be limiting - is an important, and positive first step to engaging the diaspora.
“We should see the glass half full rather than half empty,” stressed the Consul General.
“It is a first step, and it is an important development. I would encourage those who are eligible to vote – and there are a few, especially Greek migrants who arrived here in the last decade or so – to register and do it through the Consulate.
“You can do it online but if you have difficulties you can come to the Consulate for help as well – it’s not very difficult as a process.”
Mallikourtis, now in his fourth month in the role of Consul General in Sydney, believes that the diaspora vote can provide important perspective to the happenings and direction of Greek politics.
“I think they would give a fresh perspective,” admits Mallikourtis.
“It would definitely help to get them involved in the political process. And that’s the rationale behind the December 2019 legislation – to get them involved in the politics of their country of origin.”
The Consul General in Sydney is the official representative of the government of their home country to the government and people of Australia, with specific responsibilities for the state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital city. The Consul General is responsible for maintaining and developing diplomatic relations between the two countries, promoting trade and tourism, and providing assistance to citizens of the home country living in the consular district. The Consul General also provides consular services such as issuing passports and visas and helping citizens in distress.
Photos copyright Nick Bourdaniotis / Greek City Times
Born in Nambour, Queensland, Nick Bourdaniotis grew up in Brisbane till 2001 and then moved to Sydney. Nick's passion for photography began from a young age and his unique and artistic approach to capturing a moment in time ensures his images are always a standout.
In his late 30s, his peers pushed him into being a professional photographer as he was taking amazing holiday photos from around the world and here in Sydney. In his mid-40s, Nick's photos were recognized internationally in the Greek community and used in international and local Australian-based publications.
Photographing for St Spyridon College is when Nick took his first iconic global photo, the college's year 12 prefect students walking onto the opera house forecourt for the 25th March celebrations in 2015. For the next three consecutive years, Nick photographed iconic photos of the 25th March in Sydney that went viral worldwide.
Mid 2016, Greek City Times employed Nick as a photographer. Over the next year, he earnt the title of Greek City Times' Director of Photography and Videography, which he still carries today. Greek City Times is a global media publication outlet.
Nick also worked as the photographer for "My Greek Odyssey" TV travel show in Greece, which airs to over 50 million people worldwide. Nick was the lead photographer for the state funeral of the late Archbishop of Australia Stylianos and captured the funeral service and burial for archival and media purposes worldwide. Nick has been photographing significant events for The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia since 2015.
In Sydney and Greece, Nick also captures moving moments in time for The Hellenic Incentive (THI), which in 2020 in Greece will work with the associated partners to document the homeless and various charity organizes THI partner within the incentive program.
In 2019 Nick was asked to photograph an Australian fashion designer, Thessi Kouzoukas, from Sabba Shirts, which were amazing with Greece as its backdrop. Nick has been asked to photograph famous people, singers or entertainers because of his unique photography.
In early 2020 Nick was a fully accredited photographer for the Australian Open tennis, in which he photographed the games of the Greek players and of heritage for publication in Greek City Times. Also, in 2022 Nick was George Kambosos Jr's official photographer at the lightweight world title fight in Melbourne, Australia.
Nick's photos of The Greek Presidential Guard (Evzones) have been referred to as the best seen, and these photos have been published in books documenting the history of the Evzones. The most recent publication was the 150 years book of the Evzones released by the Presidential Guard Greece.
Nick's versatility and professionalism have earned him an excellent reputation and a loyal high-profile clientele worldwide. Nick is not one to enter competitions or exhibitions as he leaves it up to his critics to judge his artistic unique way of photography. He has always said in his early 50's he will start to exhibit his work across Australia and aboard, as he has a few major exhibitions in the making.
In 2021 Nick launched his photographic exhibition around Australia titled "The Evzones Collection" This photo exhibition endorsed by the Greek Presidential Guard and the Hellenic General Staff of National Defence has over 28 beautifully selected photos capturing and portraying the Evzones in a truly remarkable light. In 2023 The Evzones Collection photo exhibition will be exhibited in Athens and then around Greece. Nick's art uniquely evokes Hellenic pride with his images that are published all over the world.