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The majority of the Bulgarians will vote for Greek MEPs instead of Bulgarian ones

09 May 2014 / 17:05:03  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

Bulgarians are the second group of Europeans who have declared their intention to vote for Greek MEPs. The data of the Greek Ministry of Interior show that they constitute 18.15% of the total number of 13,098 people. The highest is the number of British citizens, about 24%. Third in the ranking, after Bulgarians, are Germans with 12.41% followed by Romanians with 11.22% and Cypriots with 7.15%.

At the same time, the number of Greeks who have registered to vote for Greek candidates for MEPs and live in other European countries is 14,973. It is considerably lower than the 42,304 Greek immigrants who voted for Greek candidates for MEPs in the European elections in 2009. However, the inspection carried out by the Ministry has detected 820 people who will participate in the elections both in Greece and abroad. The double vote is prohibited and therefore the persons in question will be allowed to vote having previously signed a sworn statement that they have not voted elsewhere.

Under European law, European citizens can vote in municipal elections, which in Greece will be on 18 May, a week before the European elections. The exact number of the Bulgarians who have registered to vote is not yet clear but, according to a publication in Kathimerini newspaper, 150 European citizens from Bulgaria and Romania have been removed from the voter lists by decision of the district court on Kos Island. It was taken following a complaint by candidate for mayor Christofis Koroneos, who accused former mayor and candidate for a second term Nikos Karakonstantinos in an attempt to change the composition of the electorate on the island.

According to sources from the Greek Ministry of Interior, however, probably the decision lacks proper legal argumentation, as the rules for registration of European Union citizens in the Greek electoral rolls are pretty "loose" in their words. "Each citizen of a European Union member state is entitled to enrol for participation in the local and European elections without being obligated to provide a permanent residence certificate," a ministerial representative told Kathimerini newspaper, jokingly adding that if a candidate has sufficient funds, he or she could invite European citizens to spend a weekend in Greece in order to secure their vote.

GRReporter contacted the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Athens, which confirmed that it is aware of the particular decision and stated that it is working on the issue although no detailed information is available to it.

The Embassy reported in addition that the total number of those Bulgarians who will vote for Bulgarian MEPs is not yet clear, although the deadline for them had expired on 29 April. The reason is that some of the applications have been sent by post and it has not yet received them. So far, according to the website of the Central Election Commission, 44 people in Athens, 30 in Thessaloniki, 2 in Volos and 1 in Chania have expressed their will to vote for Bulgarian MEPs in Greece.

They will be able to vote in the polling stations that will be opened in several Greek cities on 25 May.

- In Athens there will be three polling stations at the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria at 33-A Stratigou Kalari Street, Paleo Psychico district.

- In Thessaloniki there will be one polling station in the building of the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria at 12 Nikolaou Manou Street/1-3 Edmondou Abbott Street.

- In Volos there will be one polling station at the town hall in Riga Feraiou Square.

- In Alexandroupolis there will be one polling station in the town hall at 306 Dimokratia Street.

- In Kavala there will be one polling station in the building of the second high school at 2 Arkadiou Street.

- In Patras there will be one polling station in the building of "Megaro Logou kai Technis" at 17-A Vasileios Georgiou I Square.

- In Ierapetra, Crete, there will be one polling station at 30 Ethnikis Antistaseos Street.

- In Gerani village, near Platania, Chania area of Crete, there will be one polling station.

- In Rhodes, there will be one polling station at 51 Eleftherias Street, Kremasti.

The Embassy also announces that those Bulgarian citizens who have not applied in advance will also be able to vote after completing a declaration at the polling stations.

Voting will be possible upon presenting an identification card and will last from 6 am to 7 pm.

Tags: PoliticsEuropean electionsVoteBulgariansGreek MEPsPolling stations
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