“If this government is a problem, then [an] election is a solution,” main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an article published by the magazine “Newsweek” on Monday, saying he was confident that ND will win an election if they are held in 2017. Whereas centrists in Europe were in retreat, Mitsotakis said, Greece has had its “populist moment” and the pendulum was about to swing the other way, bringing a “straight-talking pragmatist” to power.
SYRIZA won the elections in 2015 because it had promised to negotiate with the country’s creditors to write off at least part of the country’s debt and increase public spending, ND’s leader added, offering “easy and convenient solutions to difficult problems”.
Asked whether it might not be better to let the government carry on with the reform programme agreed with Greece’s creditors, rather than risk instability with an early election, Mitsotakis said the problem was that the government did not “own the reform agenda”.
“There’s still significant internal infighting among various ministers every time we try to do a privatisation or every time we try to support entrepreneurship and private wealth creation,” he said.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election in the United States and as the political centre was collapsing in Europe, Mitsotakis told “Newsweek” he is “happy to call himself a centrist and a reformer” and believes that moderates preparing for battles with populists elsewhere can look to Greece as an example.