Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comDiasporaDiaspora Vote Fiasco: From Millions, Only 27,579 Applied to Vote in Greek...

Diaspora Vote Fiasco: From Millions, Only 27,579 Applied to Vote in Greek Elections

Greek diaspora vote
The effort to entice the diaspora to vote fell flat on its face. Public Domain

The Greek diaspora will be mostly absent from the parliamentary elections of May 21, as only 27,579 out of millions of Greeks residing all over the world have applied to vote.

This is a fiasco for the government and political parties in Greece, who turned their backs on the diaspora with a new law that discourages Greeks abroad from registering by putting bureaucratic obstacles in their way.

Greek officials had estimated that some 300,000 citizens living outside the country wanted to have a say in the next election.

However, according to the latest information from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 27,579 expatriates applied. Of the total, 19,887 applications were approved, 4,680 were rejected and 3,012 are still pending approval.

Most vote applications submitted from the UK

Most applications have been submitted from the United Kingdom, specifically from London, where a large number of Greeks live and work. Altogether, 5,814 Greeks residing in the UK applied to register to vote.

Greeks residing in Germany who applied to vote number 4,010.

Only 1,979 Greeks in the US applied. Most, as expected, registered in New York (631), followed by Boston (265), San Francisco (230), and Washington D.C. (228).

Applications to register in Australia only reached 201.

Overall, Greeks from 69 countries on five continents have applied to vote in the May 21 election.

The majority of applications are from Europe, where thousands of young people have moved in recent years to work.

Among others are six Greeks living in India, three in Kazakhstan, and also three in Ethiopia. Interestingly, 27 applications come from Russia.

One application has been made by a Greek living in Lima, Peru, one in Kinshasa, capital of the Congo, one in Caracas, Venezuela and also one each in Vietnam, Kenya and Lebanon.

Seven Greeks living in Santiago, Chile, will also vote, five in Montevideo, Uruguay, six in Brazil, eight in Argentina, and 13 in Mexico.

Nine applications come from Thailand, 19 from Kuwait, 83 from South Africa and 65 from Singapore. In Seoul, South Korea, 41 citizens will vote, and 17 in Japan.

Click on the link below for details of applications to vote by the Greek Diaspora. Ta table is in Greek.

Diaspora Greeks registered to vote

The new law approved in 2021 allows the diaspora to vote without having to fly back home.

Until now, Greece was the only country in Europe—and perhaps the entire western world— where full citizens living abroad were denied the right to vote in Greek elections from the country of their residence, either by casting a ballot at the Greek embassy or through postal voting.

Conditions for Greek diaspora vote discouraging

However, the conditions attached for someone to vote from the Greek embassy or consulate of his/her residence are discouraging for much of the diaspora.

Two main requirements were accepted and imposed by the opposition in 2021. Those eligible to vote must have had a two-year stay in Greece in the last thirty-five years, which is difficult if not impossible to prove, and those over thirty must be tax-registered in Greece.

The bureaucratic conditions imposed and the cumbersome process of finding and certifying the documents required have been discouraging for most of the diaspora.

The effort to entice the diaspora to vote “fell flat on its face to the disappointment of the officials who estimated some 300,000 citizens living outside the country wanted to have a say at the next election,” Steve Bakalis, Visiting Scholar at Central University of Finance and Economics told Greek Reporter.

The election fiasco “should be a time for pause and reflection as yet another initiative to bring Greece closer to its diaspora has failed to deliver a desired result,” he stressed.

“It has met the same fate as its predecessor, the Council of Greeks Abroad, which was established as the instrument of cooperation and dialogue of the Diaspora with the Greek State in order to express the wishes and aspirations of the Greeks of the Diaspora, and propose solutions to their problems.

“All these attempts have not only failed to meet their mark with the aspirations of the contemporary diaspora, but they have created problems and distortions because of their failure to embrace the diaspora in its entirety,” Bakalis told Greek Reporter.


See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts