ND Leader Mitsotakis Outlined Plans for His Government (Video)

The National Herald

New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Stelios Misinas)

Leading by some 7.7 percent so far ahead of July 7 snap elections, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the German business newspaper Handelsblatt that if he prevails his first action will be to form a stable government that  “will pursue a different economic policy.”

The paper was taking a look at the election which he is favored to win over Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who plummeted in polls after reneging for more than four years on anti-austerity promises.

Mitsotakis, who as Administrative Reform Minister in a coalition government headed by his party under then-Premier and leader Antonis Samaras, has indicated opposition to some of the reforms and austerity measures imposed by Tsipras, although supporting similar measures as a minister.

Outlining his policies, Mitsotakis said that with low taxes, faster reforms and a modernized state, “we will attract investments and achieve far higher growth rates than the present government,” although radical reforms would come under the scrutiny of the country's lenders.

The Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) put up a third bailout in the summer of 2015, for 86 billion euros ($97.34 billion) that Tsipras said he would never seek nor accept but did both.

He then implemented more sweeping austerity he swore to reject, including an avalanche of tax hikes, a corporate 29 percent rate and as hard-core elements in his party have been digging in their heels in rejecting foreign investors he said the country needs.

Mitsotakis said he would unblock stymied developments such as the $8 billion stalled plan to transform the abandoned Hellenikon International Airport into a high-end mixed-use area of residences, commercial space, a casino, a park, and marina for the wealthy.

Mitsotakis said that the 3.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) primary surplus to which Tsipras agreed is stifling growth and that he favors a smaller state, more investments and high-quality jobs without indicating how he would create them.

He insisted that the path which will lead to a reduction of Greece’s debt is not one of high primary surpluses but of high growth rates with the economy slowly coming back from a more than nine-year crisis and the end on Aug. 20, 2018 of three international rescue packages of 326 billion euros ($368.97 billion) given since 2010.