“So, with responsibility and maturity, the citizens, the sovereign Greek people, will weigh and decide. I am sure they will decide correctly.”
With these words, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis concluded his speech at this week’s Cabinet meeting where he announced that elections will be held on May 21.
“The sovereign Greek people will weigh and decide.” Wise, optimistic, contemporary words, drawn from the man’s long experience with the system of government. Words reflecting the triumphs of the democratic system of government in the land that invented democracy.
First of all, it is worth taking a moment to celebrate and assess the great progress Greece has made in this regard.
Let us not take the democratic system of government for granted in the troubled world we live in.
Now, regarding the possible outcome of the elections: While during recent years Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ popularity has been outperforming that of Alexis Tsipras by a significant, almost unheard of margin, the latest polls are showing a decline due to the tragic train accident in Tempi, with 57 dead and many injured.
But it makes sense, you might think. That’s right, it is understandable. But people also know that the current government bears not all, but only a part of the blame. The whole responsibility is shared between all the parties and the governments over many years.
Also, the people know, I believe, that if anyone can improve the railway system, as well as upgrade the country even more, it is Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
How do the citizens know? On the basis of his four-year term as Prime Minister of the country. From dealing with so many major crises and challenges, from the coronavirus and the Turkish threat, to the technological modernization of the country’s bureaucracy.
It is not possible for the voters to erase, to forget these things. Just as it is not possible to forget the dangers that the current opposition put the country in when they were in power.
Ultimately, the question that the Greek people – and those of us expatriates who have managed to register or will travel to Greece to vote – will be asked to answer is this: who do you trust to govern the country in the next four years, Mitsotakis, Tsipras, Androulakis, or Varoufakis?