Mitsotakis Says Elections Date Uncertainty Undercuts Recovery



ATHENS - Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’ reported mulling of calling snap elections is keeping investors away, major rival New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, because it’s giving them mixed signals.

In an interview with Germany’s Muenchner Merkur newspaper Mitsotakis said that unlike other bailed-out European Union countries that Greece’s Gross Domestic Product shrank and there’s no sign of any strong rebound and with no return to the markets, six months after eight years of three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($368.27 billion) ended.

“Although the country is still in crisis, it could quickly come out of it by implementing the required reforms,” he said while giving his party’s recipe for recovery and to lure investors frightened off by an avalanche of tax hikes Tsipras imposed on orders of the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM).

The reforms and more austerity he swore to reject but implemented came with a third rescue package in the summer of 2015, that one for 86 billion euros ($97.15 billion). Mitsotakis repeated calls for a “fair deal” with the creditors to reduce a primary surplus target of 3.5 percent of GP. He said if elected - polls give him a big lead - that he would “use the fiscal space to reduce taxes that burden citizens and businesses so as to boost growth and improve the investment climate.”

Elections must be held by October but speculation is building it could be earlier and coincide with the May 26 polls for local municipalities and the European Parliament with Tsipras trying to slow New Democracy momentum in his re-election bid.