Kyriakos Mitsotakis “celebrated” his first 100 days in the prime ministerial office with an interview slash hagiography to journalist Nikos Chatzinikolaou.
The prime minister talked about his childhood years, about his “father” Konstantinos Mitsotakis and his mother Marika, as well as about his relationships with his three sisters. He talked about his children and his wife Mareva, whose picture he keeps on his desk at Maximos Mansion, and was constantly in the prime minister’s shot when he was talking to the camera. The interview began with a throwback of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ life up until the point he reached the prime minister’s office, which was also enriched by the sweet stories narrated by his closest people, his mother and his father.
He responded to the opposition’s objections to his “neoliberal policy” and his earlier comment that “we are not all equal”. “Within a society which faces social inequalities -anyone who dreamed of societies with absolute equality ended up practicing the most totalitarian regimes – we are all equal before the law. We all have equal rights, equal obligations. My job is to be able to give everyone equal opportunities, especially at the beginning of their lives”. Speaking about himself, he said, “I am the product of the elite, as some people want to paint me out to be. I had opportunities yet I did work very hard, I got into Harvard and graduated with a degree. I don’t think anyone thinks that at a fiercely competitive university I was excellent because I was the Prime Minister’s son. I had more opportunities than the others; what I want is to create equal opportunities for all…”.
He spoke of the importance of family, saying that it is what “kept us going during periods of crisis”.
He talked about his relationship and his separation from his wife, saying: “… If a marriage can in no way stay strong, obviously it will lead to a divorce. But it is always worth the extra effort, provided that the feelings of appreciation, respect and deep love are there… And allow me to add something that may sound a bit strange: it is not for the kids. No marriage should be saved if the respect, the love and the appreciation are missing; I hear it all the time, people saying “we are together because we have to, for the children”. No, people should be together if the basic ingredients for a good and of quality relationship are there, and most of all we must – for me it is the most important thing in life- constantly become better, to learn”.
Mr. Mitsotakis argued that “Today, the Greek society is more mature, more prepared compared to many other European societies; in a strange way we might fall behind in terms of growth, yet we are ahead in terms of maturity. And that is why I think the years to come will be very good years for our country. Not just because I believe we are a solid government that we will do a good job. Those will be good years because society itself is ready to accept and support the changes we need to make”.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis also underlines: “I have said that I will never link the change of electoral law to the forthcoming constitutional review. I have said that if we fail to get the 200 votes needed, then the next elections -as I do not expect that a simple proportional government will be formed- will constitute double elections”.
As for Turkey, the matter of which will be discussed at the EU Summit: “The sanctions against Erdogan are already being implemented on the Cyprus issue and I believe that yes, there will also be a reaction from the European Union to the Syrian issue as well, which could very much start with an embargo on European arms exports to Turkey”.
On his relations with the main opposition leader and their recent meeting, he said “we can have a ‘My dear Kyriakos – my dear Alexis’ minus ‘my dear’ ”, and added that there is a channel of communication, though the question still remains whether any common ground will be achieved. Of their meeting, he said: “There was no embarrassment, from what I sensed. It wasn’t there on my part. Look, we should never personalize political differences. I never sought it while serving as Main Opposition. I can’t say the same about my political opponent. However, I will not pursue it as Prime Minister either … Whether there will be agreement, it remains to be seen. A communication channel obviously exists with Mr. Tsipras, as it should with all the political leaders as well. Can we understand each other’s point of view and collaborate on important issues? I wish we could succeed in the issue of the ability for Greeks residing abroad to vote from their permanent place of residence at last”.
Regarding the vote of Greeks abroad, he said: “Anyone who was on the electoral roll had the opportunity to go back and vote. We make it easy, we don’t grant rights, nor do we go and enroll millions of people who have nothing to do with Greece”. He said, however, that he would take a step back in the matter of postal vote, for the sake of compromise. /ibna