In “battle positions” the two political opponents in Greece, just a few days before the European elections on 26 May. With interviews, tours and political gatherings, Alexis Tsipras and Kyriakos Mitsotakis, are calling for the citizens to vote, a large number of whom are still undecided. The big goal of both is the “deposit” of about 550,000 new voters aged 17-21.
Tsipras asks for a vote of confidence for the relief measures at the polls
With the people’s large participation in SYRIZA’s conferences and gatherings across Greece, the Greek prime minister and the government staff appear optimistic that SYRIZA will eventually succeed on Sunday to overturn the polls and win the elections. Referring to the dilemmas citizens face at the vote, Alexis Tsipras talks about a vote of confidence in the Government’s relief measures. “Elections are judged by the people, not the pollsters”, he frequently says.
He stresses that the New Democracy vote “writes about the return to the IMF, abolition the 13th pension, lay-offs, medieval employment with seven-day work and abolition of the 8-hour shift.” On the other hand, the SYRIZA vote “writes about 13th pension, tax cuts, boosting work and supporting the many.”
Speaking at the radio station News 24/7, Alexis Tsipras left open the possibility for a Christmas bonus which will be paid to the pensioners in December, equivalent to what they received last Friday, as long as there is a space in the budget, based on the budget that will have by then been secured. At the same time, he criticized certain “power centers for their persistence in austerity”, which, as he points out, is expressed in Europe by Manfred Weber and in Greece by Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
He also criticized the Central Banker, Yannis Stournaras – who served as finance minister in the past government of New Democracy with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras – saying that “the institutional capacity for conciliation with Mr Stournaras has been exhausted, as he has acted according to their political agenda and with political motives.”
Mitsotakis calls for political change, reducing the difference between ND and SYRIZA
For his part, Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterates the call: “Let the worst government of the post-communist regime leave”, referring to the need for political change and underlining the need to reduce taxes, attract investments and create jobs. However, the frequent references of the leader of ND on labour and employment issues have raised concerns. Much of the pre-election rhetoric of ND regards the strengthening of security in Athens and criticizing the Prespes Agreement.
At the same time, the blue party attempts to lower the bar, but also reiterates its estimation/assessment for a victory for ND. It is noted that until two weeks ago, the estimates for the difference between them and SYRIZA in votes would exceed 10 points, with the limit dropping to five, then to three, while the “win with one vote” position has also not been omitted. The complaints of the Secretary of ND, who spoke about information indicating attempts to alter the outcome, were dismissed by the party’s president in an interview./ibna