Mitsotakis promises new faces and more women on ND ballot

Mitsotakis promises new faces and more women on ND ballot

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said there will be new faces and more women on his New Democracy party’s ballots in the next election, which he reiterated will be held in the spring.

“There will obviously be significant changes in people, one would expect this, and definitely more women,” Mitsotakis said in a pre-recorded interview with public broadcaster ERT on Thursday evening.

Asked if more women will be included in the ballots, he said the percentage of women candidates had already reached 40%, adding “I would like to believe that on many ballots we will exceed the very limit the law places as well.”

Asked about his greatest mistake during his four-year tenure, he responded that the fires in the summer of 2021 and the cellphone surveillance issue were the toughest times for him personally.

“From the very first moment, I spoke out, I assumed my responsibilities. And the most important thing is, we made changes. We made changes to the legislative framework and key changes in the way the National Intelligence Service works,” he said.

He rejected claims from main opposition SYRIZA that the recent announcements of bonuses and benefits were an attempt to sway the electorate.

“They are not benefits in the sense of buying votes – far be it from me to have such an idea. But neither are they benefits that are funded by loans. They are moves and expenditures that come out of the surplus of the Greek economy. They are the product of development, not the product of borrowing, or the product of overtaxing the middle class,” he said.

In terms of relations with Turkey following the devastating earthquakes there and in Syria on February 6, Mitsotakis said it was Greece’s obligation to help Turkey immediately by sending rescue teams and humanitarian aid.

Asked if he thought the warm response could improve relations between the two countries, he said it was possible “under conditions and by redefining the relations of Turkey with the West overall.”

But this was up to the Turkish leadership. “I do not believe that countries change policy from one moment to the next, or that Turkish revisionism will be cancelled from one moment to the next. I believe there was a climate of emotional closeness, I would say, created between the two peoples, which is significant. It is our obligation and my personal obligation to take advantage of it,” he said.

On the wiretapping issue, Mitsotakis said that the European Commission’s report on the matter bears no relation to the picture the opposition wants to present.

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