SYRIZA chief Alexis Tsipras and New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis issued rallying calls on Friday ahead of the September 20 elections, when the two parties are expected to be competing for the right to form the next government.
“Today the great electoral battle begins. The Greek people will give a strong mandate for the present and the future,” Tsipras said in a statement to SYRIZA-affiliated newspaper Avgi. “Greece cannot turn back and will not turn back. It will only go forward,” he said.
Speaking during a visit to Evia, Meimarakis struck a low-key tone, saying his party would not make pledges “that cannot be made reality.”
“What we do pledge to do, though, is to work with all democrats, regardless of who they voted for, to find solutions,” he said. “Our aim is for citizens to rediscover their trust in the political system.”
The former parliamentary speaker indicated a willingness to work with other parties to form the next government.
“The complexity of the problems we face requires consensus and moderation for us to find solutions,” said Meimarakis.
He added that the conservatives would next week propose their plan for handling the refugee and migration crisis, an area where New Democracy believes it can make gains against SYRIZA.
Popular Unity, the anti-bailout party formed by SYRIZA defectors, is due to launch its campaign today when ex-energy minister Panayiotis Lafazanis speaks on Lesvos.
Another high-profile SYRIZA MP, Nadia Valavani, declared her support for the new group Friday but there has been no final decision yet on whether parliamentary speaker Zoe Constantopoulou will also join.