Conservative opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday welcomed the European People's Party (EPP) leader Manfred Weber to Athens, as the latter launched his bid for candidate for EU Commission President.
“We are proud that EPP supports New Democracy and our country. In a very troubled European journey, we are stronger with you and you with us,” Mitsotakis told delegates attending the campaign launch at the Zappeion Hall.
Mitsotakis said ND has fought against populism for years and now his party is ready to defeat the Left in the upcoming EU elections.
“We are fighting in these elections not just to change Greece, but to contribute to our common European future. We are certain that you, Manfred Weber, will lead Europe,” he said.
Mitsotakis attacked Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who has criticized Weber for his stance towards Greece. “It is shameful to target Manfred because he had opposed his [Tsipras'] opportunism. But no matter how many lies Tsipras says, the truth is still there.”
On his side, Weber said he chose Athens to highlight the convergence of EPP's views with those of ND and went on to present the policies he will prioritize as president of the European Commission.
“All European citizens want border control. We want to protect European borders, to move faster and unfold Frontex's umbrella,” he said.
Weber pledged to fight against populism and nationalists “who want to destroy Europe's vision,” and expressed certainty that EPP will win the European elections and Mitsotakis will be the next prime minister of Greece.