Conservative opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis is accusing the left-led government of using smear tactics to deflect public attention from domestic woes and to galvanize support among its flagging audience. “In a fatigued and beleaguered society it is convenient for some to strut around looking for the next fight,” Mitsotakis said in an op-ed in Kathimerini’s Sunday edition.
The New Democracy leader said recent controversy over the government’s decision to snub an international conference in Estonia on crimes committed by communist regimes was an example of the stunts employed by the administration, whose popularity has plummeted in polls, to shy away from the consequences of political and financial mismanagement. “It is clear that a government, stifled by problems of its own making…, is struggling to steer the conversation onto different ground,” Mitsotakis said. “Its main concern is to rally its shrunken base.”
Mitsotakis also fends off accusations of far-right tendencies inside his conservative party. “[Late statesman] Constantine Karamanlis legitimized the Greek Communist Party. [Late prime minister] Constantinos Mitsotakis cooperated with the left in government when the situation called for it. [Murdered ND MP] Pavlos Bakoyannis paid for his passion to build bridges where others raised walls with his life,” the ND chief said.
“Questioning New Democracy’s democratic credentials is historically unfounded,” he said, while labeling the party’s political religion as “liberal pragmatism.”
“New Democracy unites; it does not divide. It respects diversity and honors different opinions. It turns its back on fanaticism, fights bigotry; it does not yield to divisive tactics,” Mitsotakis said, adding that the conservative party wants to attract voters with different ideological backgrounds.
The public, Mitsotakis said, wants pragmatic solutions to real and immediate problems in all areas of public life, ranging from public safety and education to health and employment. “The country demands a reboot,” he said.