ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis focused his speech to the Political Committee of New Democracy (ND) on Sunday on criticizing main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras and reiterating the government’s commitment to the future.
Referring to the keynote address delivered by Tsipras on Saturday evening during a SYRIZA event ahead of the party’s congress, Mitsotakis said “Mr. Tsipras will wait a long time to be defeated again. We are not here to discharge our opponents – it’s the country’s problems we are discharging.”
Accusing Tsipras of “presenting a picture of the country he alone sees,” the prime minister said that the main opposition leader “cannot understand anything of what’s happening in the economy” and “insists on looking to the past while society calls on us to move forward.” Tsipras, he said, has not learned any lessons either from people’s votes or from the changing times.
Mitsotakis also mentioned MP, former minister and close colleague of the former prime minister Pavlos Polakis as supporting Tsipras’ plans to push for the irregular appointments of 4,000 judges in the future, “a dangerous political viewpoint” that does not respect the separation of powers. New Democracy hinges on liberty, parliamentarianism and the rule of law, since the restoration of democracy in 1974.
Κάποιοι επενδύουν στις επιτυχίες μας και θέλουν γρήγορες εκλογές. Είναι η καλύτερη τακτική, υποστηρίζουν. Κάνουν μεγάλο λάθος. Οι πολίτες δεν μας εξέλεξαν για να κάνουμε τακτικισμούς, αλλά για να φέρουμε αποτέλεσμα. Και θα φέρουμε! pic.twitter.com/bgXTD5s8tk
— Kyriakos Mitsotakis (@kmitsotakis) February 23, 2020
Mitsotakis ruled out snap elections and said his government’s program needed to run through the four years “to prove to Greeks that we deserve to govern again.”
Speaking of the government’s achievements since winning the elections in July 2019, he mentioned the new Constitution, the new electoral system, the vote of Greeks abroad, the election of the Greek president, the bonus for newborns, the retention of all permanent social bonuses, and loan repayment programs, among others.
“It’s the first time Greece borrows in the markets with a negative interest rate, and its economy is constantly upgraded,” the PM said, while adding that “the country’s international credibility is a prerequisite to demanding lower primary surplus targets.”
In terms of the migration issue, Mitsotakis said “the new government had to deal with over 74,000 applications for asylum,” a factor that he said caught the new government unawares. “But we have reacted: Our borders are patrolled, a new framework will accelerate asylum processes, and works will begin immediately and continue to completion.” He added that the most overburdened of all hotspots on Lesvos island, Moria, “cannot shut down until another facility replaces it,” and said the government had held “exhaustive talks” with various sides on the issue.
“We are waging a battle of creation while Syriza remains on the sidelines,” he said, in conclusion, speaking of the changes in lower taxes for the middle class, the new social insurance system and changes in rallies and in education.