As the polls open, the Greek Prime Minister extends his best wishes and urges all compatriots residing in Australia to exercise their democratic right to vote. The importance of their voices, experiences, and perspectives cannot be underestimated. This historic occasion represents an opportunity to make a collective impact and contribute to the democratic process that shapes the future of Greece
These will be the first elections in which Greeks living abroad can exercise their right to vote from their place of residence, provided they meet the criteria in the relevant legislation.
Until now, Greece was the only country in Europe—and perhaps the entire Western world— where full citizens living abroad were denied the right to vote in Greek elections from the country of their residence, either by casting a ballot at the Greek embassy or through postal voting.
Australia (Melbourne and Sydney),
Austria (Vienna, Salzburg),
Belgium (Brussels, Antwerp),
France (Paris, Strasbourg, Nice, Nantes),
Germany (Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Dresden, Hanover, Nuremberg, Aachen, Wuppertal, Cologne, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Ludwigshafen),
Switzerland (Berne, Geneva, Lausanne),
United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi),
United Kingdom (London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh),
United States (San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Chicago, Tampa),
Spain (Madrid, Barcelona),
Italy (Rome, Milan, Venice),
Canada (Montreal, Toronto),
S. Korea (Seoul),
Cyprus (Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos),
Lithuania (Vilnius, Kaunas),
Luxembourg, Malta (Valetta),
South Africa (Johannesburg),
Netherlands (Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven),
Saudi Arabia (Riyadh),
Czech Republic (Prague), and
Approximately 96 percent of voters living abroad will have the opportunity to cast their votes in their respective countries of residence. However, due to certain circumstances, the remaining 4 percent will be required to travel to a nearby country in order to exercise their voting rights. This situation has arisen because the minimum requirement of 50 voters needed to establish a polling station was not met in their specific location. Despite this small percentage facing logistical challenges, the vast majority of Greeks abroad will have the convenience of voting within their own country of residence, enabling widespread participation in the democratic process.
Also In 2021, the opposition introduced and enforced two primary requirements that have impacted the voting eligibility for Greeks living abroad. Firstly, individuals seeking to vote must have resided in Greece for a cumulative period of two years within the last thirty-five years. This particular criterion poses significant challenges in terms of proof, making it difficult, if not practically impossible, for many to meet this requirement. Secondly, those aged thirty and above must be registered taxpayers in Greece to participate in the elections.
The implementation of these bureaucratic conditions and the arduous process of locating and certifying the necessary documents have proven to be discouraging for a majority of the Greek diaspora. These requirements have created additional barriers, dampening the enthusiasm and participation of many eligible voters residing abroad. The complexity and time-consuming nature of fulfilling these conditions have acted as deterrents, preventing a significant number of Greeks in the diaspora from engaging in the democratic process.