NEWS

ND leader vows to keep relatives out of government

TAGS: Politics, Interview

New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pledged, in an interview with Kathimerini on Sunday, that he would appoint no relatives to his cabinet or to key state positions in the event that the conservatives come to power.

“I know it’s tough and perhaps unfair, especially for Dora who has given so much to the party,” he said, referring to former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, his sister. “But at this point it is an imperative part of the mission I have undertaken.”

During the interview, to Alexis Papachelas, Mitsotakis said that he intends to dissociate the procedure of electing a president from general elections. In the event that Parliament is unable to elect a president, it would be down to the people to choose a leader, without Parliament being dissolved, prompting snap polls.  

Mitsotakis went on to criticize Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for his economic policies which, he said, were leading the country to a “fourth memorandum” after the country’s third international bailout expires in August 2018. “The claim that we are emerging from the memorandums is the new big lie of the SYRIZA-ANEL government,” he said referring to coalition partner Independent Greeks, also noting that the leftist-led administration has committed to further pension cuts after 2019.

The ND leader described Tsipras’s continued attacks against him, notably over his wife’s assets, as “harsh and cowardly,” and declared that the controversial sale of Greek arms to Saudi Arabia by his government would be investigated by the next ND administration.

An ND government would cut taxes, he added, noting that “reducing taxes is a non-negotiable personal pledge,” and declaring that Tsipras would “go down in history as the prime minister of taxes.”

Questioned about the apparent support from both Europe and the US for Tsipras, Mitsotakis remarked that the leftist leader came to power by promising to “tear up the memorandums” but ended up signing them. “He really surrendered everything to the creditors, becoming a supplicant to those he had denounced for years,” the ND leader said.

“To appease them, Tsipras has demolished the middle class, kept the country bogged down and  made the poor poorer,” Mitsotakis added.

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