ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis granted his inaugural interview to the Greek Media following the resounding victory of the New Democracy party in the May 21 elections. His interview with Alpha TV followed a prior one with CNN earlier in the week.
In addition to discussing the recent elections and preparations for the highly anticipated second round scheduled for June 25, Mitsotakis also addressed the voting rights of Greek expatriates residing abroad.
He highlighted that the low turnout “was not a fiasco,” despite the constraints imposed by the existing legislation. The Prime Minister stressed, “20,000 people voted [despite] everyone running to create obstacles in their path.” He emphasized that under the forthcoming electoral conditions, “the proposal I will put forward is to streamline the process, and I hope that we will find the 200 MPs,” as mandated by the Constitution for the proposed changes.
Regarding the May 21 vote, Speaking from his office at Maximos Mansion a day before a caretaker government assumed control, Mitsotakis stated that the winners of the first round of elections on May 21 included not only ND but also Greek society and political discourse.
“What lost,” he proclaimed, “was toxicity and vulgarity. It has become evident that genuine society exists beyond the toxic microcosm of social media networks,” he remarked. “The era of anger and resentment, which commenced in 2010, has come to an end. We can look forward to a promising future. I hope our adversaries have also learned from their experiences.”
Furthermore, he added, “During this electoral period, I express my hope that we focus more on policies and the real challenges faced by our citizens. Each ND voter enters into a contract of responsibility with me.” Mitsotakis emphasized that the greater the margin of victory in the polls, the greater his sense of accountability.
On a personal note, the ND leader also expressed the significance of Crete, his home island, giving ND the majority vote. He highlighted “the tremendous success ND achieved in working-class neighborhoods of Athens, such as Perama. The people there voted for their livelihoods, looking beyond party affiliations. This speaks volumes about the social impact of our policies.”
Addressing the tragic train collision at Tempi, he acknowledged that his former Minister of Transport, Kostas Karamanlis, took political responsibility and resigned, emphasizing that the elections would not absolve the issue. Similar to the surveillance matter, Mitsotakis acknowledged mistakes were made and endeavors were undertaken to rectify them. He noted that the public duly considered these matters before casting their votes, yet still chose ND.
Mitsotakis also broached the topic of Greek-Turkish relations, expressing his lack of concern about the neighboring country’s elections. However, despite improved relations, Turkiye’s fundamental territorial claims remain unchanged. “No Greek prime minister, including myself, will entertain discussions regarding the demilitarization of the islands, particularly matters pertaining to the sovereignty of the East Aegean islands. These subjects are non-negotiable,” he affirmed. Nevertheless, he expressed his intention, if reappointed as prime minister, to seek a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the NATO summit in mid-July, provided the latter wins his runoff election on May 28.
(Material from the Athens News Agency was used in this report)