Campaigning Mitsotakis Says Greece Won’t Go Back to Bad Old Days

PYRGOS, Greece – With June 6-9 elections for the European Parliament looming, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told voters at a campaign stop in Pyrgos his New Democracy won’t let Greece slide back toward the near bankruptcy it faced in 2015.

That’s when the major opposition then Radical Left SYRIZA was elected and promptly reneged on anti-austerity vows to accept more crushing pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions and nearly saw Greece forced out of the Eurozone.

Mitsotakis said the thinking then was that, “We could promise everyone everything without any costing, and citizens believed it,” referring to SYRIZA but not mentioning a previous New Democracy-led coalition government imposed austerity.

“We will never, ever, return to those times,” Mitsotakis said during a tour of the western Greece city on the Peloponnese as he moved around the country, hoping his party would get 33 percent of the vote after winning nearly 41 percent in the 2023 national elections.

He told voters not to be complacent as his government is seeing blowback against inflation and high food prices and soaring rents because short-term rental platforms like Airbnb have taken over neighborhoods in Athens and Thessaloniki.

told the public during a tour of the city.

“We must never allow those – who never changed, who adopt the same toxicity, the same populism, the same provocativeness in regard to what they promise you – to reclaim any dynamic at these elections. Because we must never roll back, or give the impression there is even the slightest chance of returning to what we left behind us forever,” Mitsotakis said, reported the state’s Athens-Macedonia New Agency.

He said he would strive in his second term to raise the quality of living to bring it closer to European Union standards, Greeks among the lowest paid and highest taxed in the bloc despite an accelerating economic recovery.

“We committed to something and this is that we won’t allow the country to return to a period of extreme deficits, populism bidding and empty promises,” he later said in nearby Patras, Greece’s third-largest city.


“We know very well that sometimes we have to be unpleasant, because in politics you can’t have everyone happy, but we prefer to tell you the truth and what we can and can’t do, rather than mocking you shamelessly, as they do today with the opposition parties,” he said, applauding what he said were his government’s achievements.

He said, “We have worked very hard these five  years. And if there is something I am proud of, it is that today the voice of Greece is heard, the opinion of Greece counts, the opinion of Greece is taken into account. We are no longer the Black Sheep of Europe, we are a country that has progressed a lot … a country that has put its public finances in order.”

He said the elections resound outside what the parties in Greece will get in the vote and that, “We will not only choose which MEPs will represent us in the next European Parliament, but we will also send a message that the voice of Greece will be heard even louder in Brussels, in Strasbourg and in all important European decision-making centers.”

The leader of the now SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, Greek-American businessman Stefanos Kasselakis was on Rhodes to push his party’s hopes of winning 20 percent of the vote and making some inroads against New Democracy.

He was briefed there by medical and nursing staff at a hospital about shortages that continue to affect the country’s health system despite the economy rebounding, many facilities even without toilet paper or other necessities.

“You simply know right now that something is changing. People have realized the mockery of the National Health System,” Kasselakis said, adding that if he were to become Premier that he could cancel privileges for Members of Parliament.

He said he would follow up by improving special education and care for people with disabilities. “We entered the European family as the poorest country and have received so much funding, even through COVID,” he said.

He asked: “Where is health today? If we cannot keep Greeks alive, what are we doing? Where are we investing?” he said, the country also facing a shortage of doctors who fled the country during the 2010-18 economic and austerity crisis.


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