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Law easing restrictions for Greeks voting from abroad passed

Greek MPs have enacted a law easing the requirements for Greek citizens wishing to vote in Greek elections.

A total of 208 MPs – eight more than the constitutional requirement – from ruling New Democracy, PASOK-Movement for Change, Niki and Course of Freedom backed the bill, while lawmakers from the main opposition SYRIZA and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) voted against it. The far-right Spartans and Greek Solution parties abstained.

The new law will apply to both Greek nationals living permanently abroad as well as to Greeks who happen to be abroad on election day.

Some of the restrictions the bill abolishes include the length of stay in Greece (2 years during the last 35 years) before voting and to have filed taxes during the current year or the previous one from the year of elections. These restrictions prevented the majority of voters abroad from participating in elections. The constitution provides the option of introducing voting restrictions on voting from abroad, but does not mandate them, leaving that right to Parliament’s discretion.