Mitsotakis Says New Democracy Win Big for Europe Too

Greek opposition New Democracy conservative party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis talks to his supporters after win in parliamentary elections at the New Democracy headquarters in Athens, on Sunday, July 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Prime Minister-elect Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the runaway win in July 7 snap elections in Greece for his New Democracy Conservatives would have ramifications for the European Union as well.

That’s what Radical Left SYRIZA leader and outgoing Premier Alexis Tsipras said when he took power in January, 2105 – beating New Democracy, then under the leadership of Premier Antonis Samaras – the new leader promising to sweep a Leftist revolution across Europe before giving up that dream in the face of fiscal adversity for Greece.

Mitsotakis, whose win was the first for a mainstream party over ruling populists in Europe for years, noted that the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn that had been third in polls for several years before falling fast this year while in the fourth year of a trial on charges of running a criminal gang had also been booted.

“It’s an important victory for Europe, not just for Greece. It looks like Golden Dawn has not made it past the three percent threshold which is a great victory for Greek democracy,” he told CNBC, after it was clear his party had won by a landslide.

“I asked for a strong mandate and the Greek people delivered. I’m very, very grateful for the result,” he said. With 158 seats in the 300-member Parliament, he won’t need a problematic and ideological rival for a wobby coalition and said if he hadn’t won outright he would have immediately called a new election.

Mitsotakis told reporters the new government will be announced on July 8 and sworn in on July 9, while the first Cabinet meeting will be held on July 10. He promised to name intellectuals and technocrats and not just political appointees.

The new government will receive a vote of confidence from the Parliament on July 21 and will be ready to legislate immediately after, he added and that he would begin talks with the country’s creditors soon.

Three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($366.09 billion) expired on Aug. 20, 2018 but Greece still hasn’t been able to make a full market return and faces years of scrutiny to make sure fiscal targets are hit and automatic spending cuts aren’t triggered.

“We’ve made our plan very clear. We want to drive a real reform agenda for the country that is ambitious, very bold and very detailed. And of course we’ve made the case that lowering the primary surplus will be to the benefit of everyone – not just the Greek economy but also our creditors,” Mitsotakis told journalists.

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