ATHENS – Major opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said if he’s elected in July 7 snap polls that his administration would swiftly move to create jobs, cut taxes, help a decimated middle class, and pay a 2000-euro ($2263) bonus for every baby born.
Leading big over the incumbent Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras who called the elections after his party’s candidates took a whipping in May 26 polls for the European Parliament and Greek municipalities, Mitsotakis has been barnstorming around the country.
Tsipras has largely suspended campaigning to deal with Turkish provocations in the Aegean and East Mediterranean that threaten to create a conflict and has drawn the European Union into the imbroglio.
Το σχέδιό μας για «Ισχυρή Ανάπτυξη στην Αυτοδύναμη Ελλάδα» θέλουμε να φτάσει στο σπίτι του κάθε συμπολίτη μας. Ζωντανά η παρουσίαση του προγράμματος της Νέας Δημοκρατίας. #Ενωμένοι_Μπορούμε #Εκλογές2019
Posted by Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday, June 21, 2019
Speaking at an event near the center of the capital, the 51-year-old economist said that New Democracy plans to implement a series of changes in a program that expresses the party’s “identity” and its intention to “reach out to the people,” said Kathimerini.
That was an apparent answer to Tsipras claiming his party is for the people – despite devastating them with brutal austerity measures, reneging on promises to stop them – and that Mitsotakis represents the elite.
Mitsotakis said that New Democracy will abolish the “destructive policy” of high primary surpluses “deliberately implemented” by SYRIZA to get money to redistribute to lower classes that then were hit with planned taxes before that was rolled back.
Mitsotakis said he would cut the corporate rate from 29 to 20 percent over two years, reduce the cost of borrowing for businesses, cut the income tax from 22 to 9 percent for those earning under 10,000 euros ($11,318) and slash the solidarity tax aimed at helping the most vulnerable from 20 to 15 percent.
He also said the hated ENFIA property tax surcharge Tsipras promised to stop but then increased before saying he would pare it, would be cut 30 percent in two years and that the Value Added Tax (VAT) that hit 24 percent under SYRIZA would have only two categories, 22 and 11 percent, applied over four years.
Mitsotakis, a former minister of administrative reform who fired thousands of public workers, became the latest candidate to promise to cut through the red tape of the country’s notoriously labyrinthine bureaucracy that has strangled businesses.
Without saying how, with Greece still having the highest jobless rate in the Eurozone, he said that he would introduce programs to cut the number of unemployed by 350,000.
With lawlessness soaring in Athens under SYRIZA, which has elements sympathetic to terrorists and anarchists, Mitsotakis said he would end a lenient law allowing even violent criminals and terrorist killers to have vacations from jail.
With Greece faced with a rapidly-aging population that is cutting into the ability to finance a lagging social security system, he said parents will get the baby bonus to help increase the population and that the tax ceiling would be raised by 1,000 euros ($1131.80) for every dependent child, restore the subsidy for large families to pre-2018 levels and ensure that all parents have access to kindergarten services.
“New Democracy has a duty to stand beside everyone in need and we support the institution of a minimum guaranteed salary,” Mitsotakis said, adding the creating jobs was the best policy for fighting poverty for now.