New Democracy chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis appeared confident of victory in this month's European and elections polls, but also in national elections due later in the year during an interview with Skai radio on Tuesday morning.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is “very well aware of the fact that he will lose,” the conservative leader said, adding that he is seeking a “clear victory so that there is no doubt whatsoever in Greek society that we are heading for political change.”
“This is the first time that citizens will have a chance to send the government a message of disapproval,” Mitsotakis added.
The 51-year-old economist accused the leftist government of having no plan for Greece, saying that its “economic policy is limited only to handouts.”
If the country wants to attract investments, he said, it “needs a strong government that is committed to implementing its program. It needs a different regulatory environment that will implement investments and will not make Greece a destination where investors are given a hard time.”
“These are things a government either understands because it knows how an economy works, or it doesn't. The government has proven that it will not promote investments,” Mitsotakis said.
The conservative leader also slammed Tsipras over a package of handouts he announced last week, saying that the leftist prime minister is “doling out bonuses to pensioners at a time when thousands of pensions are overdue.”
Mitsotakis also accused Tsipras of twisting his words when he suggested on Sunday the conservative leader was pushing a “neoliberal agenda” by suggesting that workers at a local tobacco factory could negotiate a longer working week.
“I had spent an hour-and-a-half talking with the union in order to understand the context in which an agreement, on the operational level, could prove beneficial to both the business and the employees, because we want investments like Papastratos,” Mitsotakis said in reference to his comments on the tobacco firm.
“We need to provide incentives so that employees have a stake in operational profits and the state needs to give tax incentives so that profits are distributed to workers,” he added, accusing Tsipras of distorting his words.