Greek conservative leader asks for strong mandate to change Greece

As Greece’s national elections are just around the corner, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of the main opposition New Democracy party, requested on Thursday evening a strong mandate to change Greece.

“On Sunday we are voting, on Monday we are turning page. I am asking you to give me the power to serve my homeland, to unite Greek people and rule with efficiency, armed with truth and a bold, but realistic program,” he said while addressing the conservatives’ main pre-electoral rally under the Acropolis hill.

“I will be the Prime Minister of all Greeks. This is a commitment I am undertaking here at Thissio, at the foot of the Acropolis, next to the Ancient Agora and Pnyka, the place where democracy was born,” he said in a speech broadcast on Greek national broadcaster ERT.

New Democracy has led with a big margin over the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA party in all the latest opinion polls. Many pollsters indicated that the conservatives are set to win outright majority in the next parliament.

In the European Parliament elections on May 26 and local government elections on June 2, SYRIZA suffered a heavy loss to the conservatives, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was forced to head to early general elections. Otherwise, his government’s term would end in October this year.

A key concern for all parties is abstention,A key concern for all parties is abstention. On Thursday, Mitsotakis urged the Greeks to cast their ballots on Sunday.

“Nobody should abstain from the elections this Sunday. Greeks suffered a lot. They can’t afford new experiments and adventures due to unstable balances and bargaining between parties. Today Greece needs a clear solution for governance,” he said.

During the decade-long debt crisis, Greece has been ruled by fragile coalitions which collapsed before the end of the four-year term in office.

Until early 2019, Tsipras co-ruled with the right- wing Independent Greeks party.

Addressing a cheering crowd on Thursday, Mitsotakis criticized Tsipras’ government for leading Greece in 2015 to a third bailout program which could have been avoided and implementing an economic policy which has strangled businesses and households.

The conservative leader pledged to support poor households, families, the most vulnerable members of Greek society, as well as businesses by lowering taxation rates.

He also promised to create a business-friendly environment to attract investments to boost growth and create new job positions. Reducing unemployment and reversing the brain drain will be a top priority for his government, should he win the elections, he said.