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Gov’t to lift eligibility restrictions for Diaspora Greeks elections vote

The conservative Greek government plans to lift some crucial restrictions regarding the eligibility criteria allowing Diaspora Greeks to exercise their right to vote in parliamentary elections. The changes are planned despite the fact that New Democracy passed the relevant legislation a year ago.

Government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni said Monday noon that “with the legislative initiative of the government, for the first time, Greek voters outside the country have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote from their place of residence.”

She added that “what is proposed is to abolish the precondition of staying in Greece for two years during the last 35 years and the obligation to file a tax return during the current or previous year.”

Why does New Democracy bring changes to a law it brought to Parliament that adopted it in December 2019?

Reason was apparently an interview of a formed SYRIZA minister, Theodora Tzakri, to diaspora newspaper Ethnikos Kirikas in which she said that the left-wing party would abolish these two restrictions once in power again.

Ruling New Democracy and interior minister Makis Voridis were quick to grab the proposal and make it their own.

Note that these two restrictions were added in the diaspora voting bill last year following SYRIZA pressure as it  wanted to hinder diaspora Greeks of third or fourth generation from voting and have a saying in the government of a country they may have never visited and are not aware of its problems and realities.

Anyway, such planned legislation changes need to be approved with 2/3 of the Parliament force and this means that New Democracy will again need the support of SYRIZA.

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