Diaspora communities send open letter to Greece’s Parliament on proposed voting bill

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A number of Greek diaspora communities have sent an open letter to members of Greece’s Parliament calling on them to pass a proposed bill to lift voting restrictions for Greeks abroad.

The open letter was an initiative of the Greek Community of Alexandria, one of the oldest Greek communities abroad.

It was signed by two Greek communities based in Australia including the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) and the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand, among many others.

In the most recent Greek elections in May and June this year, Greeks abroad were only allowed to vote for a new Greek government, providing they have lived in Greece for at least two consecutive years in the past 35 and have submitted a tax declaration with the local authorities this year or last.

The latest bill proposed by Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last week recommends the lifting of these restrictions and has been posted for public consultation until today.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis introduced the proposed bill last week.

According to the open letter, the signatories are calling on Parliament to approve the bill and give Greek diaspora the right to vote from their place of residence without restrictions. They are also calling for the establishment of postal voting.

“We are sending you this open letter so that the voice of Homogeneity can be heard everywhere. The native Greeks are the soul and voice of Greece abroad,” the letter reads.

“We love our motherland, we promote Greece abroad at every opportunity, we support its national issues and are its best ambassadors in the countries where we reside.

“We are entitled and want to participate in shaping the future of our country, as defined by the Constitution. After all, Greece’s future is also our future.”

This letter comes after Greece’s Deputy Interior Minister Theodoros Livanios, who is the driving force behind the new draft bill for the Greek diaspora vote, told The Greek Herald exclusively that he was ‘optimistic’ the bill would be passed by Parliament.

READ MORE: Greece’s Deputy Interior Minister: ‘We are optimistic the diaspora voting bill will pass’.

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