ATHENS - New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis gave an extensive interview on his party's economic and political framework and on European Parliament elections, also criticizing the SYRIZA government and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, in a Monday interview on Alpha TV.
Mitsotakis said Greeks will be voting after four long years and that "the big winner of the election will be New Democracy and the big loser will be SYRIZA," adding that both the upcoming European elections as well as the national elections later in the year will be "a disapproval of SYRIZA and an endorsement of New Democracy."
The main opposition leader said that public opinion polls are nothing more than ephemeral snapshot moments, and "what is not a snapshot moment, is the people's rising need for a political change."
Commenting on the financial scandal allegedly involving the Novartis pharmaceutical company giant, Mitsotakis said that "there indeed is a most definite scandal there," but he said it did not involve the persons named by Tsipras, declining to give further information. "I ask citizens to look positively at our Euro-ballots and judge for themselves who can represent them in the European Parliament," said the ND leader, adding that "the course of the economy and the costs of borrowing imply a major upcoming political change." Manfred Weber, candidate for the presidency of the European Commission in 2019, "has always been aligned with New Democracy's demand for lower primary surplus targets that institutions set for Greece," said Mitsotakis, and criticized prime minister Alexis Tsipras for saying Weber is "anti-Greek" while "favoring Nicolas Maduro as a phillellene."
On European political developments, Mitsotakis said the biggest barricade against the rise of the far-right in Europe is a powerful centrist-right political force, and accused Tsipras of being the extreme-right "Golden Dawn's biggest sponsor in Greece." Referring to investments, the main opposition leader noted that "our interest rates continue to be high compared to German benchmarks. I never said Greece will never access international markets - I said it will be difficult to do so. The real issue is who the investors trust."
Mitsotakis on Prespes Agreement and Greece's post-electoral political landscape
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras destroyed the Greek middle class, said New Democracy's leader.
"Tsipras lied through his teeth to assume power and the government," Mitsotakis added, and predicted that Tsipras "will lie again, knowing he is losing the battle."
Commenting on the government's national debt repayment scheme agreed with financial institutions, the main opposition leader said "it is good that the country is paying it off gradually, but have you wondered why the government is not paying what it owes to thousands of professionals who are owed by the state?"
The ND leader also challenged the SYRIZA government to explain why the Prespes Agreement is a good agreement, adding that he will "do whatever I can to minimize the negative consequences of this Agreement."
"I can not predict the decision of the Greek people concerning which parties will be in parliament next," said Mitsotakis, in response to a question about national elections expected at term's end in October. "If you are asking me if I believe that Greece's next government will include SYRIZA in its current form, I tell you no," and underlined that "this SYRIZA, in its current form, with Tsipras as he stands now, cannot possibly be part of a larger political alignment," concluded Mitsotakis.