One of the longest-standing unresolved political issues, the right of Greeks abroad to participate in elections, has gained new relevance recently, during a parliamentary debate in Greece, regarding legislation to change electoral divisions – and particularly to break the country’s largest electorate, that of the outer suburbs of Athens, into three divisions. The opposition proposed an amendment to the legislation (which also regulates municipal elections, linking them to the ones about the European Parliament), suggesting that every Greek citizen, registered in the electorate catalogues, should be able to vote at Greek embassy or consulate offices of their place of residency (the same right should be reserved for sailors, at the place where their ship is docked on election day).Full Article: Voting rights for Greeks abroad take centrestage on political debate | Neos Kosmos.
Articles about voting issues in the Hellenic Republic.
Greek lawmakers have voted down a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The vote was called over a deal to end a long-running name dispute with the neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The left-led coalition government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday survived a no-confidence vote brought by the conservative opposition New Democracy party after the government reached a landmark agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over its name.The parliament voted 153-127 against the motion. The deal, struck on Tuesday, would allow Macedonia to rename itself North Macedonia. It has angered Greek nationalists, who insist that any retention of the name “Macedonia” by the neighboring country implies claims to Greece’s province of the same name and usurps ancient Greek heritage and history.Full Article: Greek government survives no-confidence vote over Macedonia name deal | News | DW | 16.06.2018.
Leader of the Opposition, Kiriakos Mitsotakis, jumped aboard the ‘diaspora voting rights’ train on Monday, when he presented a draft bill on behalf of his party Nea Dimokratia which proposes how Greeks abroad could vote in the country’s elections. It is the second attempt of the opposition to start this conversation, as the same draft legislation has been dragging in parliament for 18 months without being brought up for vote.Full Article: Mitsotakis pledges to grant voting rights for Greeks abroad | Neos Kosmos.
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.Full Article: Greek government backs lower voting age but doesn’t offer expats vote – EurActiv.com.
Alexis Tsipras will be sworn in as Greece’s prime minister later on Monday and his new government formally announced on Tuesday, Greek media said, after the leftist Syriza leader romped to an unexpectedly convincing election victory. The result on Sunday was a personal triumph for the 41-year-old, who gambled on the snap poll last month to see off a revolt by party radicals over his U-turn on accepting more tough austerity measures in exchange for Greece’s third international bailout. The premier-elect will now make renegotiating the terms of Greece’s debt mountain a top priority. He will attempt to build a broad consensus among the parties he defeated so as to strengthen his hand in talks with the country’s eurozone creditors, a senior Syriza source told Reuters. “We will continue negotiations in the coming period, with the debt issue being the first and most important battle,” the source said. “We will ask all political forces to support our efforts.”Full Article: Tsipras to form new Greek government after Syriza election triumph | World news | The Guardian.
Former prime minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday brushed off election polls suggesting his leftist Syriza party might lose to its conservative rival in Greece’s election, saying he had a large group of supporters not reflected by pollsters. He was speaking on the last day of formal campaigning for Sunday’s general election with polls showing a cliffhanger vote expected and some pointing to a win by the conservative New Democracy party. Neither party, however, is expected to get the proportion of the vote needed – roughly 38 percent – to gain a majority in the 300-seat parliament, meaning a coalition is a near certainty. “There is a voting body that is below the radar, it is not being traced,” Tsipras, who was to stage a final rally later in the day, told Greece’s ANT 1 television.Full Article: Campaigning in Greece draws to close, election results in balance | Reuters.
Vassiliki Thanou, Greece’s top supreme court judge, was sworn in Thursday as a caretaker head of the government, becoming the country’s first female prime minister. Yesterday, the country’s far-left leader also formally gave up a bid to form a coalition government, thereby allowing the President to finally set a date for early elections, after a week of political wrangling. Greece’s prime minister on Wednesday raised the political stakes forward of subsequent month’s early nationwide election, saying he won’t enter a coalition with the primary center-right and centrist opposition events even when he wants their backing to control. She will hold the position until a new government emerges from the vote expected on September 20.Full Article: Greece’s Supreme Court head appointed caretaker PM up to polls.
Called to the ballot box for the third time in eight months, some Greeks are responding to election fatigue with a bailout-sized dose of Internet humour. In one hit post on the news site Protagon, comedienne Lila Stabouloglou suggested “electoral tourism” could prove a handy money-spinner for Greece’s cash-strapped authorities in the run-up to the vote in three weeks’ time. “The Greek Tourism Organisation is enthusiastically preparing to promote the idea of electoral tourism ahead of the vote on September 20,” she wrote in the mock news report. Her post was topped with a fake campaign poster, showing a ballot box floating alongside two boats in beautiful turquoise waters. “Live Your Elections in Greece”, it said — a riff on a well-known old tourism campaign, “Live Your Myth in Greece”.Full Article: Greeks fight ballot box fatigue with Internet jokes - Yahoo News.
Seven months after he was elected on a promise to overturn austerity, the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has announced he is stepping down to pave the way for snap elections next month. As the debt-crippled country received the first tranche of a punishing new €86bn (£61bn) bailout, Tsipras said on Thursday he felt “a moral obligation to place this deal in front of the people, to allow them to judge … both what I have achieved, and my mistakes”. The 41-year-old Greek leader is still popular with voters for having at least tried to stand up to the country’s creditors and his leftwing Syriza party is likely to be returned to power in the imminent general election, which government officials told Greek media was most likely to take place on 20 September. The prime minister insisted in an address on public television that he was proud of his time in office and had got “a good deal for the country”, despite bringing it “close to the edge”. He added he was “shortly going to submit my resignation, and the resignation of my government, to the president”. The prime minister will be replaced for the duration of the short campaign by the president of Greece’s supreme court, Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou – a vocal bailout opponent – as head of a caretaker government.Full Article: Greek bailout: Alexis Tsipras steps down to trigger new elections | World news | The Guardian.
Early elections in Greece are “imperative” to maintain the country’s political stability as it begins to implement an unpopular third debt bailout, a minister said Monday. “Elections are imperative for purposes of political stability. Given the problems in the government’s (parliamentary) majority, the situation can be called anything but stable,” Energy Minister Panos Skourletis told Skai TV. A third of MPs from the ruling radical left party Syriza last week rebelled against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a vote on the three-year, 86-billion-euro ($96-billion) package, forcing him to rely on opposition parties to ratify it. “Such a major numeric loss of parliamentary majority is unprecedented,” said Skourletis, a former spokesman for Tsipras.Full Article: Greek elections 'imperative' for stability: minister - Yahoo News.
A team of researchers in Athens say they’ve designed the world’s first encrypted e-voting system where voters can verify that votes cast actually go to the intended candidate. The process happens on a distributed, publicly-available ledger, much like the blockchain — the peer-reviewed software architecture that underpins bitcoin. The digital ballot box, called DEMOS, decreases the probability of election fraud as more voters use the system to verify their votes. The voting system starts by generating a series of randomized numbers. Each voter gets two sets of numbers, or ‘keys’: a key corresponding to the voter, and a key that corresponds to the voter’s preferred candidate. This is akin to the blockchain’s private and public key combination which authenticates bitcoin transactions.Full Article: Scientists in Greece Design Cryptographic E-Voting Platform - Digits - WSJ.
Greece’s referendum was not “legally correct”, the European Commission has declared. Valdis Dombrovskis, the Latvian-born EU vice president responsible for the euro, said the vote had “complicated” the work of the creditors and had left the Greek government in a weaker, not stronger, negotiating position. … The Commission made clear before the referendum that the question as it was posed in the referendum was neither factually nor legally correct,” Mr Dombrovskis, a fiscal hawk, told reporters in Brussels.Full Article: EU dismisses Greek referendum as 'not legally correct' - Telegraph.
The resounding rejection of an international bailout deal by voters in Greece raised fears Sunday of the collapse of the country’s banking system, a catastrophic government default, an eventual exit from the euro and potential social unrest. In a surprising 61% to 39% result, Greeks said “no” in a referendum on a rescue package that would have kept their debt-ridden country afloat but subjected it to additional austerity measures. The landslide delivered a sharp rebuke to European Union leaders who had warned that the plebiscite was, in effect, a vote on whether Greece wanted to remain a member of the Eurozone, the group of 19 nations that share the euro currency. The EU is now confronted with one of the gravest challenges to its mission of “ever closer union” between member states.Full Article: In landslide 61% to 39% vote, Greece says 'no' to bailout deal - LA Times.
Greeks began voting in a referendum on Sunday that presents the biggest challenge to the running of the euro since its adoption and risks sending shock waves through the world’s financial markets. The nationwide ballot was taking place at the end of a week of unending drama that saw Greece close its banks, ration cash, fail to repay the IMF and lose billions of euros when its bailout programme expired. The vote is on the last terms offered to Greece before its prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, abandoned talks with his country’s lenders last weekend, saying their conditions would only exacerbate the plight of a country whose economy has already shrunk by a quarter. At a rally in the centre of Athens on Friday night, Tsipras urged his compatriots to cast a no ballot, assuring them it would not be a vote for leaving the euro, but for remaining in Europe “with dignity”. Greece’s creditors and most of the opposition parties have claimed that, on the contrary, it could lead to exit from the single market (“Grexit”) and even the European Union.Full Article: Greeks begin voting in referendum as the euro faces its biggest challenge | World news | The Guardian.
Imagine the fate of your country hangs on a yes-or-no question. The question is drafted in cryptic, bureaucratic language and asks you to decide on an economic program that no longer exists. Leaders in neighboring countries are begging you to vote yes. Your government is begging you to vote no. Now you can understand what it feels like to live in Greece, land of debt, sunshine and, these days, profound political weirdness. The country is approaching one of the most important votes in its modern history on Sunday, one that could redefine its place in Europe, yet many people acknowledge they barely have a clue as to what, exactly, they are voting on. “No one is really telling us what it means,” said Erika Papamichalopoulou, 27, a resident of Athens. “No one is saying what will happen to us if we say yes, or what will happen to us if we say no.” Greece is deep into unknown territory. Its banks have been shut down. It missed a debt payment to the International Monetary Fund, and without new financial aid, it is likely to default on other debts this month.Full Article: Greek Referendum on Offer That Is Off the Table Baffles Voters - The New York Times.
Greece: Referendum Not in Line With European Standards, Council of Europe Says | Wall Street Journal
Greece’s referendum on the terms for an international bailout came under fresh scrutiny on Wednesday, after Europe’s rights watchdog said it didn’t meet European standards and journalists spotted a mistake in the translation of one of the documents at the center of the vote. “The referendum has been called on such a short notice that this in itself is a major problem,” Thorbjorn Jagland, the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, said in an interview with the Associated Press. The comments were confirmed by Mr. Jagland’s spokesman, Daniel Höltgen. The warning doesn’t have any legal consequences and doesn’t provide a basis for a legal challenge in the Council’s court, the European Court of Human Rights. But it raises further doubts over the vote, which was already been questioned by European politicians and Greek opposition leaders.Full Article: Greek Referendum Not in Line With European Standards, Watchdog Says - WSJ.
In Greece’s July 5 referendum, as currently planned, voters will be asked to vote “no” or “yes” on a convoluted question about the country’s creditors’ conditions for further bailout aid. How voters make sense of the ballot question could be decisive in determining the outcome. The referendum campaign so far is largely a contest to define the meaning of the question. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his leftwing Syriza party are seeking to convince Greeks that a “no” to creditors’ proposals would safeguard national dignity and strengthen Athens’s bargaining position for the next round of negotiations, without triggering an exit from the euro.Full Article: Greek Referendum Hangs on Voters’ Understanding of Question - WSJ.
As Friday night became Saturday morning, with sidewalk cafes still bustling in central Athens, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras abruptly appeared on national television. Mr. Tsipras, only 40, had spent his five months in office locked in increasingly acrimonious negotiations with Greece’s creditors. Belittled by critics, and facing the prospect of default, he was under intense pressure to sign a deal. Instead, Mr. Tsipras tossed a grenade. With much of Europe sound asleep, Mr. Tsipras stared into the camera and shattered the careful decorum of European Union diplomacy. Declaring that creditors were demanding “strict and humiliating austerity,” Mr. Tsipras announced a national referendum on July 5, so voters could decide for themselves.Full Article: Greek Referendum Plan by Alexis Tsipras Tests His Power and Conviction - The New York Times.
“You must vote Yes, independently of the question asked”, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told the Greek people on Monday (29 June). It sounds like a wild statement. But in fact, Greek voters will indeed not know precisely what they are voting on in the referendum on Sunday. Shortly after Juncker spoke on Monday the Greek government published the referendum ballot, with a long question. “Should the proposal that was submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund at the Eurogroup of 25 June 2015, which consists of two parts that together constitute their comprehensive proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled ‘Reforms for the completion of the Current Programme and beyond’ and the second ‘Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis’,” the ballot reads on the left-hand side.
On the right are the two possible answers: “Not agreed/No” on top, and “Agreed/Yes” underneath. The No is the answer Alexis Tsipras’ government and Syriza party are campaigning for. “No, for democracy and dignity,” reads the referendum poster issued by Syriza. But the question asked to Greek voters itself raises two questions.
Firstly, what documents does it refer to? Secondly, how can voters take an informed decision on the content?
The two documents mentioned on the ballot are the agreement proposal put forward by Greece’s creditors last week, and an analysis of Greek debt by the creditors’ institutions.
Full Article: Greek referendum question poses problems.Full Article: Greek referendum question poses problems.
In an unexpected move, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras went on national television early Saturday to call for a referendum on July 5, so that Greek citizens can decide whether to accept or reject the terms of a bailout deal proposed by the country’s creditors. With his speech, Mr. Tsipras upends the stalemate in negotiations between Greece and its creditors, throwing into doubt whether Greece will be able to make a 1.6 billion euro debt payment that is due on Tuesday to the International Monetary Fund, while also deepening concerns that the beleaguered country could leave the eurozone. Mr. Tsipras said he was calling the referendum because Greece’s creditors — the I.M.F., the European Central Bank and the eurozone countries — had refused to negotiate in good faith and present a fair compromise.Full Article: Greek Prime Minister Calls for Referendum on Bailout Terms - The New York Times.