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Politics

Mitsotakis Rallies Support in Thessaloniki Ahead of European Elections

THESSALONIKI – “Victory always begins in Thessaloniki,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared during his pre-electoral speech in the northern capital on Wednesday night, ahead of the European elections on Sunday.

Speaking at the city’s port during light rain, he joked that New Democracy “is an all-weather party,” and expressed his emotional connection to Thessaloniki, the city that has elected him deputy.

“Thessaloniki always holds a special place in my heart, a place it can also claim in the heart of Europe following Sunday’s elections, which will show New Democracy as the great victor again,” he said.

Mitsotakis referred to statesman and New Democracy founder Konstantinos Karamanlis, who was born and raised in Macedonia and was responsible for Greece becoming a member of the then-European Community. “He was the one who placed the country in the European family, and our party was the one to keep it in Europe when it was threatened by the trials of populism,” the premier said. For New Democracy, alignment with Europe is a national duty, he added.

Mitsotakis in ANT1 Interview: Banks Should Lend More to the Real Economy

In an interview with ANT1 TV on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed the importance of Greece’s strong voice in Europe.

“Our motto is firmly closer to Europe, and in my political speeches, I have promoted the great importance of Greece having a strong voice in Europe the day after, when significant decisions will be taken,” he underlined.

Mitsotakis also spoke strongly about “the new expression of populism that seems to be raising its head, some people putting in money that doesn’t exist, and bringing back the toxicity we had left in the past,” he said, urging that it be repelled.

The stronger New Democracy is in Sunday’s European elections, he said, “the sooner we will carry out the reforms that we have planned,” stressing that “we will implement our program regardless of the electoral result.”

Asked about the effectiveness of his government, Mitsotakis said: “Over the last 11 months, we have quickly implemented many reforms, recovered investment-grade level, and raised wages.” He said the first term was devoted to handling crises, while the second one will focus on managing long-term problems of the state and taking great leaps towards modernization.

Mitsotakis reiterated that the recipe for long-term income support is permanent wage increases and tax cuts, and said his government intervened in the market to reduce the problem of high prices for households.

The prime minister noted that his government taxed the excess profits of energy companies, which helped hold back electricity prices. Referring to banks, he noted that no country in the European Union has dared to tax them without having to revoke it.

On unemployment, Mitsotakis estimated that it will fall below a two-digit rate in 2025, earlier than the initial forecast, and reiterated his call to employers to pay more if they want to find workers.

In terms of the migration issue, he noted that Greece follows strict border control and nobody, not even human traffickers, can determine who enters the country.

On relations with Türkiye, Mitsotakis stressed that in the last 15 months, there has been undeniable progress in Greek-Turkish relations, “as we have no infringements and violations of airspace,” and there is much better cooperation on immigration issues as well, he added.

Regarding North Macedonia, he sent a clear message to the prime minister-elect: “The electoral period is over. The Prespa Agreement, which for us had a lot of issues, yet has a basic acquis, which is the single use of a name over others, the erga omnes. He has an obligation to respect it and to state unequivocally, when he assumes office, that he respects the Prespa Agreement.” Asked what would happen if he did not, Mitsotakis said, “Otherwise, the only thing he will achieve is a very unpleasant direct experience when we all gather in Washington for the 75-year anniversary of NATO” on July 9, as North Macedonia is a NATO member.

Greece considers the neighboring people as friends, but they need to understand that “if they want to converge towards Europe, the road to Europe goes through Greece and through good relations with Greece,” Mitsotakis said. The same, he noted, goes for Albania. “But I believe that we will not have to get to that point because I am sure that logic will prevail,” he concluded.

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