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Editorial

The New Democracy Party Congress and Everyday Problems

Something was missing from the 15th congress of the New Democracy party, which took place at the Zappeion Megaron with 3,000 members present, against the backdrop of the illuminated Acropolis.
Perhaps it was the lack of enthusiasm. Perhaps it was the low participation of former party presidents – although they were present – in the events of the Congress. And this lack of enthusiasm seems strange to me. And it’s strange because it goes against reality.

The reality is that the leader of their party, the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis, dominates the political scene like few others in the past, while it is widely accepted that none of his political opponents is – for the time being – an alternative solution.

Contrary to this reality, polls show a downward trend for New Democracy, while – this is even more worrisome – 62% of respondents in a recent poll say that the country is heading in the wrong direction. And these things are happening for the first time in the 5 years of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ premiership. But why are they happening? It seems to this commentator that people have psychologically overcome the era of major problems, such as the coronavirus, Turkish threats of war, etc. – and last year, they rewarded Kyriakos triumphantly with his re-election.

Now, however, they demand immediate solutions to the current problems of everyday life, with the top issues being the cost of living, healthcare, and public order. They are not interested in other issues – international ones, those beyond their pocket and neighborhood. People are hurting and want accountability. That’s why they might ‘send a message’ to the government in the upcoming European Parliament elections. However, there is time for the government to turn this sentiment around.

The problem is that these issues do not have immediate solutions. You can’t just flip a switch and solve them. The cost of living, for example, is both a European and American issue. Improving healthcare significantly will take many years and a lot of money. Is there no problem with the healthcare system in the U.S.? As for the issue of public order, it will require continuous training of the police and the adoption of new criteria for the recruitment of new officers. And of course, completely rooting out corruption in their ranks.

The citizens voted for Mitsotakis because they trust him to solve their problems. But they want immediate solutions. Mitsotakis is the only one who has the ability to address them. That’s why he should be given time. And strength. That’s why in the European elections, the people should boost his mandate to move forward and not just ‘send him a message’ of disappointment. Unless, of course, they see someone better than him on the horizon to address the country’s problems.

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This article is part of a continuing series dealing with reports of Greek POWs in Asia Minor in the Thessaloniki newspaper, Makedonia in July 1936.

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