Despite New Democracy's resounding win in the European polls last months, “the match starts all over again” on July 7 when Greeks vote for a new government, opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday.
“The outcome is not a done deal; New Democracy's victory cannot be taken for granted,” Mitsotakis told Thema radio, encouraging voters to turn out and give the center-right party a strong mandate.
“I do not believe that abstention will be high,” Mitsotakis said, responding to widespread concerns that the elections' timing in the middle of the summer holidays may lead to a poor turnout. “What I continue to understand from my tours is that a strong end needs to be put to this government.”
The conservative leader also urged voters not to support neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and populist nationalist Greek Solution. “We need to leave them out of Parliament,” he said. “Their presence in Parliament would be an affront, albeit for different reasons.”
He also called for a clear outcome, saying that if a government is not elected with a majority on July 7, “the country will be led back to the polls in August, and it will be with a simple proportional representation system.”
On the hot-button issue of the new criminal code, which has come under heavy criticism from judicial authorities, Mitsotakis accused the government of having an “inconceivable tolerance for the harshest realities.”
“There's a string of deeply problematic regulations regarding the judicial handling of criminals,” he said. “Our very first draft law could well introduce significant changes.”
On the issue of Turkey, Mitsotakis said that the European Union needs to impose sanctions on Ankara for its recent activities in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone, and added that even though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is “unpredictable,” he would, if elected, seek dialogue.