ATHENS – Riding high with a 19.5 percent lead in a recent poll, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has ruled out any chance for now of snap polls and said his New Democracy government will stay in place for its four-year term.
That spurned major opposition Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who was deposed in July 7, 2019 early elections and said he wants them again although his party is floundering after Mitsotakis was applauded for his handling of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, including internationally.
Tsipras said Mitsotakis would call elections after the summer but Mitsotakis told Parliament that, “There will be no elections before the end of the four-year term. In no way at all does the country need elections (now”) although he hinted at a Cabinet reshuffle or “some adjustments,” said Kathimerini.
Earlier Tsipras said the government would bring more austerity measures without mentioning he reneged repeatedly during his 4 ½ years in power not to hit workers, pensioners and the poor with more brutal measures before he did.
Tsipras said Mitsotakis would seek a new mandate before lowering the boom with more austerity as an accelerated recovery from a near-decade long economic crisis was halted when the pandemic hit and a long lockdown closed non-essential businesses.
“You will bring fiscal austerity measures back in April 2021 – I hope not sooner – when you will be talking about the medium-term plan, or in December 2020, when you will discuss the budget,” Tsipras said, mockingly adding that Mitsotakis wakes up in the middle of the night, thinking, “Elections, what will happen if there are elections?”
What would happen, according to polls, is that Tsipras would again have his head handed to him with New Democracy having a runaway lead in polls and the Leftist leader scrambling to re-identify his party as progressive instead of radical.
Mitsotakis told Tsipras and his cohorts to go on vacation knowing there won't be elections and they could take it easy now.
“The government has political capital, which it intends to invest,” Mitsotakis said. “The central core of government policy on the need for this country to be transformed through a large wave of reforms has not changed,” he said, adding that, until the 2023 elections, “you (Tsipras) have another three years in the opposition.”