The government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis won a confidence vote (158 to 142) in Parliament on Monday after a three-day debate on his administration’s policy statements.
Speaking ahead of the vote, Mitsotakis said his government will “not defeat people’s expectations” and vowed to do everything in his power to improve people’s lives.
After announcing sweeping tax cuts on Saturday, he promised Monday that Greece “will enjoy stability at home and credibility abroad.”
Mitsotakis said Greece will meet its primary surplus target of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product, insisting that a lowering of the target “will be possible once the government proves its reformist credentials.”
He also slammed the previous government of Alexis Tsipras and his former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, calling them “catastrophe twins” because of the damage, he said, they wreaked on the Greek economy.
The key challenge for Greece, Mitsotakis said, is producing more wealth and distributing it fairly.
He also declared that he will honor his pre-election pledge to restore law and order “so that citizens can feel safer.”
Regarding the Prespes name deal which he rejected while in opposition, Mitsotakis reiterated that it is a “bad deal” but once ratified, it cannot be changed unilaterally. “We must fight to fix its wrongs,” he said.
For his part, Tsipras, now the main opposition leader, defended the economic record of his leftist administration, while accusing the government of indulging in populism.
Tsipras accused ruling New Democracy of exploiting the Prespes accord for political gain, while slamming the government for appointing ex-police chief Constantinos Tsouvalas, sacked after last summer’s deadly fires in eastern Attica, as general secretary at the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection.
The SYRIZA leader questioned whether the conservative government will be able to uphold the relief measures introduced by his leftist administration and accused ND of catering to the elites.
“You are giving a little to the many and a lot to the few,” said Tsipras, cautioning against the privatizations planned by the government.