PM discusses brain drain and overseas vote with diaspora Greeks in London

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a meeting with Greeks of the diaspora while in London on Wednesday, during which he highlighted the options that Greeks living abroad now have to vote in Greek elections from their place of residence, as well as his government’s emphasis on reforms.
Mitsotakis was in London for the second day of a two-day visit that included a meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“The Greeks who live abroad….chiefly young people that left Greece in the last decade, now have the option of voting in the national elections from your permanent place of residence, in your case from London, from the United Kingdom,” he said.

He noted that this had been a pre-election pledge of his government that it had partially succeeded in implementing, since it would have preferred broader criteria for determining those given the right to vote from their permanent residence but had “stumbled” on the 200-seat majority needed to make the changes after failing to persuade other political parties to back the changes.

“The brain-drain generation, however, is certainly covered and you can vote, unless there are many special reasons, from your permanent place of residence,” Mitsotakis added, while stressing that the general elections will be held in 2023, when the government’s term expires.

The discussion also focused on the brain drain and the possible return of those that left in the crisis decade, with Mitsotakis noting that incentives for this would include finding a good job “and believing in the country’s long-term prospects”. He said it was encouraging that employers were receiving applications from many Greeks who wanted to return to the country, proving that Greece in 2021 was entirely unlike the country in the previous decade.

The prime minister went on to outline the reforms being planned by his government, stressing that a lot of work remained to be done in the 18 months until the next elections. He said the government will not allow itself to think in terms of the habitual pre-election handouts but put emphasis on changes that make Greece more competitive, create jobs and hasten the transition to a digital and green economy, where Greece was now forging ahead.