Prominent minister attributes SYRIZA defeat to high abstention rate


Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas on Monday attributed leftist SYRIZA's defeat in European Parliament elections to absentions.

The polling firms had not been able to predict the proportion of voters who would stay home, Pappas said, claiming that the 7.8 percentage point increase in the abstention rate from the previous European elections had a "devastating" impact
on SYRIZA's fortunes.

Pappas, who is a close aide and friend of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, also called for a debate between the premier and conservative New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, "so that the people know, in detail, exactly what is at stake."

In this way, the two parties would be able to put their programs "on the table" and allow the people to judge ahead of crucial snap national elections, Pappas said.