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Politics

Mitsotakis Says Judge Me: His Second Term Will Bring Major Reforms

ATHENS – With outright rule and control of the Parliament, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his second four-year term will bring more changes to Greek society that will improve the quality of life.

His New Democracy government has raised the minimum wage to 830 euros ($892) monthly, aims to lift the average salary to 1500 euros ($1611) and has an unassailable lead in polls despite criticism over its handling of a 2023 train tragedy and phone bugging.

He told ANT1 TV in an interview that his first term after routing the Radical Left SYRIZA in 2019 was challenging, Greece and the world locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic and as he accelerated an economic comeback.

His second term’s goals will be to bring more major reforms and that, “I will be judged on the effectiveness of our policies at the end of this period,” now focusing on trying to deal with domestic violence and school bullying, both on the rise.

Συνέντευξη του πρωθυπουργού Κυριάκου Μητσοτάκη στην εκπομπή “Καλημέρα Ελλάδα” και στους δημοσιογράφους Γιώργο Παπαδάκη και Μαρία Αναστασοπούλου, Πέμπτη 11 Απριλίου 2024.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis talks to “Kalimera Ellada” and journalists George Papadakis and Maria Anastasopoulou, Thursday April 11, 2024 (DIMITRIS PAPAMITSOS/PRIME MINISTER’S PRESS OFFICE/EUROKINISSI)

“This is the battle we are fighting; the changes in police are only one part of the important structural interventions we have to do,” he noted, changing the focus from his push to bring in foreign investors, tourists and revenues.

“We need to give children who are being bullied the ability to make a complaint and know that they will do so safely, discreetly and that this incident will really be dealt with,” he said, videos of attacks by students on others going viral and highlighting the problem.

He’s still dealing with the aftermath of the head-on train collision in Tempe that killed 57 people and has seen critics claim his government is covering up the real causes, and 77 percent of respondents in a survey believing that’s true, but which he denied.

“I am well aware that there were no cover-up efforts … That day we were called upon to manage the greatest tragedy … In Tempe the human error met with long-standing problems of the public administration, something that I never hid,” he said.

Another issue is the healthcare system that is understaffed, his government planning to recruit more doctors and nurses amid reports there’s been no accounting by hospitals for their expenditures and lack of equipment.

“The new national health system will be judged in 2027, that is, at the end of the four-year period. Following the planned reforms, citizens will gradually begin to see the change. It won’t be obvious immediately, nor is there some magic solution to change a system that has been under-financed for decades,” he said.

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