The Greek parliament last month (21 July) approved by a simple majority government’s proposed changes to the electoral system, with 179 votes in favor, 86 against, and 16 lawmakers abstaining. Among other provisions, Greek lawmakers decided to lower the voting age, allowing 17-year-olds to vote in the next general elections. According to the new electoral law, about 130,000 17-year-olds are expected to participate in the next national election. For the Syriza-led government, this move will enforce youth participation. But the opposition parties do not share such a view and believe that Greek premier Alexis Tsipras is trying to “cheat” young people. But the coalition government rejected the opposition’s proposal to grant voting rights for Greeks living abroad.
Stavros Theodorakis, leader of the centrist Potami, said: “You are deleting from the electoral lists all these who moved and lived abroad in recent years because you are obviously afraid that those who migrated for a better life will not vote for a party within which there is a widespread view that career is cholera.”
Referring to the recent election in Austria, Mitsotakis stressed that the votes of expatriates prevented the election of an extreme right president. “In Greece, Tsipras says no to Greeks living abroad.”