Opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday called on young voters and former New Democracy supporters to back the conservatives at Sunday's elections for European Parliament, and regional and local government, so that they could “write a new page” in Greece's history.
Speaking in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on the final day of campaigning before polls open at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, Mitsotakis appeared confident of victory in all three polls, which are being seen as a litmus test ahead of general elections later in the year. Greece “will turn blue on Sunday night,” he said, referring to the color of his party's logo.
“I went to every corner of Greece and met with thousands of Greeks. I saw the disappointment in their eyes for all the years that have been lost during the crisis. I also saw their determination to support their families with dignity,” Mitsotakis said.
The 51-year-old economist reiterated pledges to restart the economy in the event that his party prevails in general elections, by introducing incentives for investors and tax reforms, including a 30 percent discount to the ENFIA property levy. Addressing demographic challenges brought on by the brain drain and low birth rates, the conservative leader also vowed to help new parents.
“I saw that thanks to a ministerial decision pensions were paid today; they're capable of paying July's pensions before Sunday,” the New Democracy opposition leader added in a swipe at the leftist government, which earlier this month announced a handout package that is seen as currying favor with voters.
Mitsotakis was especially critical of the government with regards to the Prespes name deal signed with Skopje last summer, touching on an issue that is particularly sensitive in Thessaloniki, the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia.
He started his speech by hailing the crowd gathered at the port complex, standing at the podium with the iconic White Tower in the background, as “proud Macedonians,” and went on to vow that if he were elected prime minister he would reserve the right to veto North Macedonia's accession bid to the European Union.
“Our nation does great things when it is united… and the national flag flies above party banners,” Mitsotakis told supporters.