ATHENS – Leading in polls ahead of the July 7 snap elections, major opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he wants a victory big enough not to need a coalition partner so that his administration could have an unimpeded agenda and “stable government.”
“I need and ask for a strong mandate on July 7,” he told attendees at a campaign rally in the western city of Patras on June 11. “There is no room for lost votes or experiments,” he said.
Mitsotakis announced he will be heading New Democracy's ticket in the region of Achaia, where he made the speech, said Kathimerini.
With two other parties in Parliament – To Potami and the Independent Greeks (ANEL) who were Tsipras' coalition partner before quitting in a dispute over the North Macedonia name deal – not running, and the Union of Centrists polling below the level needed to get back in, the elections could see only five parties elected.
If New Democracy wins by a margin not enough to have a majority in Parliament, Mitsotakis would he forced to need a partner. He has ruled out SYRIZA and the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, and is ideological enemies with the KKE Communists.
That would leave him no choice but to work with the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) that is led by veterans of the now-defunct PASOK Socialists, a party that went under after serving New Democracy in a previous coalition under then-Premier Antonis Samaras, both swept out by SYRIZA in January, 2015 after imposing austerity – as Tsipras then did too.
Mitsotakis repeated a pledge to lower by 30 percent the hated ENFIA property tax surcharge that Tsipras promised to eliminate it before increasing it as part of an avalanche of new taxes and hikes demanded by the country's creditors, to whom he surrendered after vowing to defy them.
He also said he will uphold labor laws and proposed creating what he called a “white register” for employers who fulfill their obligations, adding that businesses will be encouraged to provide additional benefits to their employees.