NEWS

Opposition leader calls for a ‘strong result’ on May 26, leading to snap polls

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New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday called for a “strong result” in Sunday's elections for European Parliament and local government that would compel Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to call general elections early instead of in October when the leftist government's term expires.

Speaking on Alpha TV, the conservative leader said he is hoping for a result that will “set in motion immediate political developments, because the country cannot stand a protracted pre-election period.”

Criticizing a recent package of controversial relief measures announced by the government, the 51-year-old economist said that the “real way to help pensioners is not to give them a bonus payment, but to provide work for their children and grandchildren.”

“No pensioner is going to change how he votes because he got a pre-election handout just five days before the polls,” Mitsotakis said.

Asked what his first order of business would be if he is elected prime minister, Mitsotakis, who served as administrative reform minister from 2013 to 2015, said he would start by “organizing the state.”

His next priorities would be to reduce tax rates and simplify the tax system, to abolish a ban on police from entering university grounds and to offer incentives for investors to invest in Greece.

“I have not made a lot of promises. I have been in politics for 15 years. I have never lied. I have been true to my word. I will never cheat the citizens,” Mitsotakis added. “For example, I have not said that I would abolish the ENFIA [property] tax, but that I would reduce it by 30 percent. Everything we say has been calculated in terms of cost.”

“We need to focus on what we're bringing in, meaning investments and jobs, as this is the only way to make the pie bigger,” Mitsotakis said.