The Minister of the Interior, Niki Kerameos, spoke on SKAI’s “Today” show about the postal vote for emigrants and in the national elections, provided for by the amendment submitted to the Parliament.

Ms. Kerameos, commenting on the decision to extend postal voting to the national elections, said that “for 50 years we have been discussing whether to make it easier for our fellow citizens abroad to be able to vote, that is, to remove obstacles. We are bringing a bill for the first time in the history of the country for postal voting in the European elections. Last week, a consensus appeared in the relevant committee of the Parliament. The issue of postal voting was raised by the expatriates themselves to the relevant committee of the Parliament”

“Since a consensus appeared in the relevant committee, we chose not to leave this issue for another ten years to be discussed from 2019, but to highlight the issue,” he added.

She clarified that “the government’s initial plan was to submit the bill only for the European elections which requires a simple majority, while for the national elections it requires a two-thirds majority. However, we saw the opportunity and wanted to give it to expatriates”

For the opposition

Responding to the surprise criticism, he said that “We brought it in good spirits because we believe that in these great democratic changes the opportunities presented are not too great and we considered it our duty to highlight it. It’s no surprise when it requires 200 votes.”

“What is the colossal crime we have committed? We said here we agree with the postal vote in the European elections and we will go as long as it is exactly the same, maybe we will extend it to the national ones as well”.

Regarding the opposition’s change of attitude in the passing of the bill, he emphasized that “I am worried about the opposition because while it may disagree with the procedure and denounce it, when the time comes, it may agree with the extension. We saw a window of opportunity for the country and for the citizen. The emigrants see the forest and that we have been discussing for fifty years. That’s the big picture.”

For the possibility of withdrawing the amendment

Asked about the possibility of withdrawing the amendment, Ms. Kerameos replied that “we set something up for dialogue and we will constantly try to remove obstacles for Greeks at home and abroad. Withdraw what? Something we have agreed on for the European elections to be extended to the national ones, it is the same thing and is the product of a parliamentary process. It’s a natural progression.”

“We seek consensus and now if it is not voted on we will try in the future to remove practical obstacles.”

For the marriage of same-sex couples

Regarding the bill for the marriage of same-sex couples, Ms. Kerameos said that it was in the party’s pre-election announcements and it is a matter of rights. Regarding the disagreements within the cabinet on the issue he said that ministers have an increased obligation. And for one, it is the government’s obligation to legislate for everyone.