Mitsotakis emerges as frontman for pro-EU forces

Mitsotakis emerges as frontman for pro-EU forces

Recent meetings between New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the leaders of minor opposition parties have cemented his profile as the frontman of Greece’s pro-European parties, at the time when the political isolation of the country’s left-wing prime minister is deepening, conservative officials have told Kathimerini.

“New Democracy is the leading political force while SYRIZA is crumbling,” an unnamed official told the newspaper. “No one wants to associate themselves with [Alexis Tsipras], not now and definitely not later,” the official said.

ND officials appeared to welcome the turnabout of Vassilis Leventis, leader of the small Union of Centrists, who was seen as flirting with SYRIZA after backing the government’s changes to the electoral system last summer. Polls showed the move hurt Leventis’s popularity.

Meanwhile, a recent meeting between Mitsotakis and PASOK chief Fofi Gennimata, at which the two agreed the government must go as soon as possible, was seen by ND officials as a blow to the pro-SYRIZA wing inside the once-dominant Socialists.

Speaking to Kathimerini, conservative officials suggested that the completion of the country’s bailout review, expected on May 22, will mark the start of an informal campaign period, with elections taking place late 2017 or early 2018.

Recent polls show ND leading SYRIZA by over 13 percent.

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