All elections are crucial. From elections for the presidency of a village to elections for the prime ministership of a country.
Some of them, however, are more critical than others. Especially those held at a time when a country is at a crossroads in its history. It is then that the outcome matters most. It is when the right choice of ruler can be decisive for the country, while the wrong choice can be disastrous.
Greece today is at such a crossroads. If it chooses the right leader to govern it, if it looks ahead to the future instead of the past, then, building on the successes and the mindset of the last four years, new horizons of progress and security will open up for its people.
On the other hand, if it makes the wrong choice, it will return to the failed policies and attitudes of the past with all the consequences that this will entail.
The choice for the voter this Sunday, May 21, 2023, for Prime Minister of the country is between Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Alexis Tsipras – two politicians whose difference between them could not be clearer.
Undoubtedly, Mr. Tsipras, the leader of SYRIZA, is not an accidental politician. He has intelligence and is articulate. He is dynamic and persuasive. But he uses these qualities, and others, to take Greece in the wrong direction. He acts like a demagogue, and despite being young in age he seems to be trapped in the distant past.
He does not hesitate to mislead the people, even to ruthlessly slander his opponents and to promise anything that will possibly benefit him politically. He does not hesitate to call what is black, white, even regarding relatively recent well-known events in which he himself took the lead as prime minister.
He is attempting to appear as a breath of fresh air, a new political force on the political map of Greece, despite the fact that he ruled the country for 4-and-a-half years with near-disastrous consequences, such as its near exit from the Eurozone.
In his campaign ads he claims for himself and his party that now “we know.” That he has learned a lot. That he gained knowledge and experience as prime minister. Obviously he become more qualified to be PM than he was before.
But he simply does not have a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding of the international environment that is required for the challenges that are looming the country.
And, furthermore, even though he is a young man – only 49-years-old – he remains in bondage to an outdated statist philosophy that condemns the people to misery and the country to insecurity.
On the opposite side stands a leader who is a portrait of our era. Who knows and participates in shaping the currents and developments of the times.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis is a Prime Minister for the 21st century. A Prime Minister tailored to the times, suited to lead the country to growth and security. To finally make Greece competitive within the European Union. To modernize the state machinery. To attract the investments that will give new generations good wages, hope, and a decent life.
He is also a prime minister who can build alliances and to further strengthen the country’s military power. To finally stop Turkey from encroaching on the sovereign rights of Greece.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the Prime Minister who, more than any other in recent memory, is not only known internationally, but is respected and appreciated.
He is the Prime Minister who spoke to the U.S. Congress and was applauded. That was an event that happened for the first time in the history of Greece.
He is the prime minister who has successfully dealt with crisis after crisis in his first term, including the provocations of Erdogan, who will most likely be the leader of Turkey again.
And as far as we are concerned, where we are affected directly, as expatriates, it is Mitsotakis who kept his campaign promise and gave us the right to vote, albeit at this time with frustrating restrictions because of forces outside of his control. This is the first time in the history of the Greek state that expatriates will be able to vote from where they live.
Mitsotakis has not been infallible. No man of action, much less a prime minister who makes so many decisions, can be.
However, he has acknowledged his mistakes. Indeed, in an unprecedented act for a Greek Prime Minister, he repeatedly apologized to the relatives of the victims of the train crash at Tempi, and to the people of Greece as a whole.
So the choice between the two main candidates for prime minister in this weekend’s elections could not be clearer. It is indeed a choice between going forward or going back.
Let us not miss the opportunity to give Mitsotakis the opportunity to rule the country for four more years.