Former ND premier expresses disappointment at gov’t decision

Former Prime Minister and New Democracy Honorary Chairman Constantinos Mitsotakis expresses his disappointment in a decision Monday by the coalition government to move forward presidential elections by two months in an interview with state-run Vouli television, due to be broadcast on Thursday, Kathimerini has learned.

Mitsotakis, a respected senior statesman, says he believes the government has missed an important opportunity to complete a constitutional review, which is currently under way.

“I had hoped that there would have been a response from the opposition to the discussion about the constitutional review,” he tells Vouli, referring to the leftist SYRIZA party.

Ruling coalition partner New Democracy last week presented Parliament with a list of proposals for changes to the Constitution, including putting the election of president to public mandate if Parliament fails to name a new head of state.

“Nothing can improve without minimum consensus, foremost over the review of the Constitution,” Mitsotakis tells Vouli. “Greece will not exit the crisis unless it makes changes to the Constitution. It needs deeper changes than structural reforms.

“The government should complete its four-year mandate and conclude the review,” Mitsotakis says. “The fact that the metapolitefsi-era Constitution links the election of president to general elections is the cause of the turmoil Greece is experiencing today.

“Why shouldn’t the president be elected by the people and have done with it?” he says.