Greek Government Spokesman Pavlos Marinakis on European elections and the diaspora

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By Nick Siriodis

Two days before the crucial European elections on June 9th, which will determine the future of Europe and Greece’s influence in the decision-making centres of Brussels for the next five years, Greek Government Spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis spoke to The Greek Herald.

Mr Marinakis discussed the work accomplished by New Democracy since taking over the governance of the country in 2019 to improve the daily lives of citizens in Metropolitan Greece, and the establishment of a mutual relationship of sincerity and trust with the Greek diaspora.

According to him, much has been achieved in recent years, but there is still a long way to go, and everyone must safeguard what has been painstakingly built for Greeks worldwide. Additionally, the future of the Greek diaspora needs to be planned, with stronger ties to the motherland and a stronger voice.

Statement of Greece’s Government Spokesman, Pavlos Marinakis

“In the first year of the second term of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government, we proved that we can implement the bold plan we committed to the Greek citizens. Already in the first year, we took significant steps forward. In our responsibility towards the citizens, we responded effectively. Implementing important reforms that protect our economy, and initiatives that aim to mitigate the consequences of external crises and improve the daily lives of citizens in Greece. At the same time, we sought and established a mutual relationship of sincerity and trust with the Greek diaspora, bringing Greeks of the diaspora closer to the homeland, empowering the voices of Greeks wherever they are.

(24.9%) are Greeks living abroad.
24.9% of postal votes for the European elections are from Greeks living abroad.

We set an example from the first bill of the Government by permanently removing all restrictions on the exercise of the voting right for expatriates registered in the electoral rolls. We went a step further by instituting postal voting, a new institutional tool that allows expatriates to decide easily and quickly, without cost, about the present and future of our country from wherever they live, work, and prosper. By facilitating the vote of expatriates, we deepen our democracy and simultaneously root a new relationship of reciprocity between the metropolitan centre and Greeks abroad. A relationship with those we honour in practice, by developing and implementing a modern and coherent political plan for the Greek diaspora, fully reflecting the Government’s vision.

We are modernising services for the Greek diaspora through the use of new technologies on the gov.gr website, making all relevant services easily accessible. We are creating new applications, such as the multilingual ‘Digital Assistant’ mAigov, which ‘converses’ with citizens in 25 languages, the ‘Virtual Assistant’ service on the websites of all our Embassies and Consulates, and the ability to be served through video conference (MyConsulLive) for various requests.

In recent years, we have achieved a lot, and there are still many steps to take. However, nothing should be taken for granted. We must safeguard what has been painstakingly built in recent times for Greeks worldwide and plan for the future of the Greek diaspora with stronger ties to the motherland and a stronger voice. After all, the Greek diaspora have significant representation among the candidates for MEPs with people who have proven themselves and have fought for Greece and their fellow citizens. That is why the European elections on the 9th of June are crucial. Because the day after the elections, no one should be able to question the political stability that will allow us to take even bolder steps. And because Greece must be stronger in Europe, where crucial decisions are made on major issues that concern us: immigration, climate change, common foreign policy, and the defence of Europe. And for the voice of Greeks to be strong in Europe, the voice of New Democracy in the European elections must be even stronger. Ultimately, a strong New Democracy in the European elections means a strong Greece in Europe.”

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