Voter abstention in first round reaches 38.4 pct nationwide; 50 pct in Athens

Voter abstention in the first round of elections for Greek local authorities on Sunday reached 38.4 percent of the electoral body, figures published on Monday have shown.

The highest percentage of voters who decided not to turn out for the vote was on the remote island of Aghios Efstratios in the northern Aegean, where abstention reached 73.2 percent, while the most civic minded Greeks appear to be on the island of Antiparos in the Cyclades, where 8 in 10 registered voters cast a ballot.

Data show that residents of border regions are be biggest abstainers, with the rate in Prespes, Florina, in northern Greece reaching 71.5 percent, in Kastelorizo in the southeastern Aegean 69.9 percent and on the eastern Aegean island of Lemnos 62.9 percent.

The percentage of absent voters was most notable in the Municipality of Athens, where just 50 percent of capital's electorate turned out, with 232,399 votes cast from a body of 477,771.

The rate of votes cast was slightly higher in other major Greek cities, reaching 56.4 percent in Thessaloniki, 64.9 percent in Patra, 70.4 percent in Iraklio on Crete, 67.4 percent in Larissa in Central Greece and 63.5 percent in Volos on the eastern coast of the country's mainland.

Abstentions were also notable in Sparta, a large municipality in the central Peloponnese, where 59.6 percent of voters opted not to cast their ballot in the first round.

The lowest abstention rates were in Antiparos (18.1 percent) and Tanagra in Boeotia (20.1 percent).

It is noted that the data do not include an estimated 30,000 voters who are still registered but who have died since the list was last updated, a process that is not carried out on a regular basis.