ATHENS – With a big lead in polls, major rival New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said if he comes to power he’d roll back some austerity measures and reforms imposed by Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.
In an interview with Ta Nea, Mitsotakis – a former Adminisrative Reform Minister who oversaw the firing of thousands of state workers – said he’d abolish part of pension and labor reforms without mentioning if that would reverse pension cuts due to begin Jan. 1, 2019 and restore workers rights – both of which Tsipras he would now do with the end of three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($379.22 billion) expiring on Aug. 20.
The Conservative’s chief Mitsotakis said he’d also help self-employed professionals, thousands of whom have turned in their work books, unable to afford taxes and social security costs, including being required to prepay coming year’s taxes without knowing how much they’d earn.
He also said he’s reverse changes to the election laws pushed through by the government coalition that includes the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) that would impose a simpler representational system political rivals said were meant to protect the government instead.
Mitsotakis ruled out any co-operation with ANEL, which is sitting at around 1 percent in polls after reneging on anti-austerity promises to join the coalition and is headed by New Democracy castoff Panos Kammenos, a frequent critic of his former party.
Mitsotakis said the SYRIZA pension reforms not only “imposed additional reductions on pensioners, but its reasoning is to punish working people,” while adding that it is an incentive for tax and contribution evasion.
He didn’t explain how he would be able to do any of what he said without approval from the country’s lenders, the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) and the Washington, D.C.-based International Monetary Fund (IMF).