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GreekReporter.comGreeceBrainGain Reminds that the Vote of Greeks Living Abroad Is Forgotten Again

BrainGain Reminds that the Vote of Greeks Living Abroad Is Forgotten Again

ekloges_179467821The much-advertised proposal for a new electoral law the SYRIZA-ANEL government has tabled in parliament left out the vote of Greeks living abroad. The right to vote of Greeks who left the country and they might want to return one day, obviously seems insignificant to a coalition that uses the word democracy in practically every sentence.
According to government officials and SYRIZA lawmakers, the proposed draft would make the election system more democratic because its basic premise is proportional representation. Adding to the fact that the timing of the proposal is more suspicious than a hooded guy circling your home at night, the proposed electoral law leaves out, again, a substantial number of Greeks who were forced to leave the country. And if SYRIZA accuses previous governments of not being democratic enough to push for proportional representation, they conveniently forget to accuse them of not giving Greeks abroad their democratic right to vote.
All the cries of government officials about making the election system more democratic sound as real as a three-euro bill. Given the statistical figures, 427,000 Greeks left the country since the onset of the economic crisis. Almost all of them are registered voters, comprising a significant part of the electoral body. Wouldn’t it be more democratic to allow them to vote?
The vast majority of Greeks who migrated for work are educated professionals. Is it possible that a populist government that won the elections by promising the impossible would be afraid of the vote of educated professionals? Is it possible that a government that has practically killed the private sector and growth potential by overtaxing businesses and freelancers would be afraid of the vote of those skilled enough to leave?
In a few days only, the BrainGain initiative has collected 7,000 signatures of Greeks living abroad who want the right to vote.
According to the BrainGain group, “The 427,000 Greeks who fled abroad because of the crisis in recent years, practically do not have the right to vote. We decided to collect signatures so that the government accepts our proposal for public debate on the new electoral law.”
“A survey conducted by BrainGain shows that 62% of the brain drain generation left Greece after 2011 and the majority of these people want to return to Greece. We urge the government to accept the request for allowing Greeks abroad to vote. The citizens of 25 European Union countries can vote wherever they are, why can not we?”, the statement of the group reads.
The group further claims that the brain drain generation can turn into a brain gain generation if Greeks abroad are allowed their constitutional right to vote.
In April, New Democracy chief has brought in parliament the issue of the right to vote of Greeks abroad. PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata proposed the same to Alexis Tsipras during their recent talks. Gennimata criticized harshly the government for not including the Greek expatriates’ right to vote. Yet, in a show of blatant disregard for the 427,000 Greek emigrants, the prime minister and his cabinet chose to leave the issue out of the electoral law proposal.

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