(Greece) – The Greek Parliament has just voted in favor of passing election reforms, such as lowering the voting age, doing away with the bonus seats, and adopt a political system that favors proportional representation. When the Syriza government and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras got reelected last year, these reforms were part of his campaign promise. Now, the promise has been made real with this most recent vote.
Many believe that these reforms represent the public opinion in the country. Before the election, the voting age was 18 years of age and now it is lowered by one year to 17 years of age, which will enable more people in the population to vote on issues that impact their lives. Currently, the youngest generation in the workplace is the one that has been facing the highest unemployment rate. Also, in the old system, the winning party during the election was awarded fifty bonus seats in parliament and now that perk is gone. Now, all seats in parliament will need to be earned. The political system is also expected to be overhauled to one of proportional representation.
There are those who also believe that the current government has caused the current economic situation in Greece, but whether that is really true has been under debate. One that that is true is that Greece has been in a recession since before the first bailout, and the country is struggling to rebound from that. Greece just received its first payment from the third bailout since 2010 and this money will be used to pay off loan balances to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The international creditors have said that Greece needs to lower its debts and increase its revenue. The austerity measures that have come about because of that have been highly controversial.