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Dutch activist on direct democracy in Athens

Dutch activist on direct democracy in Athens


On Friday, 10 May, Arjen Nijeboer, spokesperson of the Dutch Referendum Platform, gave a lecture on direct democracy in the Floral Café, an alternative café and bookshop in the heart of Athens. The lecture was organized by the emerging direct democracy group around Petros Vourlis. 

About 40 people attended the event. The two professors Jorge Daremas and Jorge Economou gave short introductions to the lecture by Nijeboer. Afterwards the audience engaged in an intense discussion on the difference between democracy in ancient Greece and the initiative and referendum system, about turnout quorums, about the relation between prosperity and direct democracy and about plebiscites (referendums “from above”).

The Greek group is translating the book by Jos Verhulst and Arjen Nijeboer, “Direct democracy: facts and arguments about the introduction of initiative and referendum” into Greek. It will be the 10th translation of the book. Other languages in which the book has appeared are English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish and Slovak. When the Greek translation is finished, the group around Vourlis wants to invite Nijeboer again for a follow-up lecture.

 Further information:

- Petros Vourlis who runs the blog .

- the original version of “Direct democracy: facts and arguments about the introduction of initiative and referendum”, published by Democracy International, at  

- the Referendum Platform in the Netherlands at  

Text by Arjen Nijeboer


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