Greece has a dismal distinction. It is the only country in Europe whose citizens are not able to vote in elections from abroad. This is a stain on a country which cosiders itself democratic and deprives Greeks of the fundamental right to vote.
Any way one looks at it, it is inconceivable in the 21st century for citizens to have to make a costly trip in order to exercise their right to vote, especially since they have expressed their will to do so and the tools exist.
What appears to be missing is the political will.As much as it may fear the vote of diaspora Greeks, the SYRIZA government has a duty to resolve this pending issue.
It has a duty to make a clear commitment to guarantee the voting rights of citizens abroad and to abandon its thoughts of having a diaspora citizen’s vote count less than that of a voter who resides in Greece.
Such schemes undermine the principle of the equality of citizens. The vote is universal and equal and one cannot divide voters into first-class and second-class citizens.
The government appears to be either forgetting or ignoring that in democracies the government’s record is judged by the vote of all citizens without distinction.
The government should know that ensuring that right is mandated by the democratic system of governance.