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Politics

Mitsotakis Says Delivered On Promises, Needs Second Term for More

ATHENS – Despite stonewall opposition from the major opposition SYRIZA, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his New Democracy government has made Greece stronger and safer and more would be done in a second term.

The two dominant parties will square off in a rematch in mid-2023 with New New Democracy’s lead slipping in the wake of a spyware scandal, rising inflation and threats of war from Turkey.

But Mitsotakis told party supporters at an assembly that the government’s achievements stand out, including reducing taxes, lowering unemployment and attracting foreign investors who had been driven away by SYRIZA during its 4 1/2-year reign that ended in defeat in July, 2019 elections.

He said that those investments would both create jobs and increase incomes, while the major wager of a second four-year term for the government would be for growth to be reflected in workers’ pay, said the Athens-Macedonia News Agency ANA-MPA.

He pointed to a 50-euro ($52.79) increase in the minimum wage – although Greeks purchasing power has fallen some 40 percent because of inflation – and said that another hike would be coming in May, 2023, just ahead of elections.

He also said that he has built an arsenal of foreign-made weapons and alliances with the United States and France to deal with Turkish provocations and that, “We are doing our duty, we are protecting the country. The stronger Greece is, the greater its chances of preserving peace in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

He said under his rule that Greece has enhanced its standing in the European Union, coming out from under an austerity and economic crisis and accelerating a recovery even during the waning COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing.

“We were always treated like the problem child of the European family. It is a great satisfaction for our country when we go to Europe today and we are the pioneers in many of the solutions that we propose. This is a Greece with confidence … standing firmly on its own two feet and looking to the future with optimism,” he said.

He said his government is controlling migrants – he didn’t mention criticism they were being pushed back – and noted state aid given to households to pay 90 percent of soaring electricity bills, metro extensions and public health initiatives.

“These are just fragments of the work of a government that has toiled hard and which now, as we approach the elections…will not succumb to the temptation to compete with its opponents in mud-slinging and toxicity,” he said SYRIZA sniping.

But he said his work isn’t done that a second term will help the changes that were begun to take root and truly change Greece. In the run-up to the elections, he added, “We will work right up to the last minute.”

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