PM takes dig at opposition leader over call for ‘strong mandate’

PM takes dig at opposition leader over call for ‘strong mandate’

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday accused his main rival, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, of threatening voters with a mid-August second round if a majority government does not emerge from snap polls on July 7.

“The only thing Mr Mitsotakis did not say is that we will be visited by aliens if he's not given a strong mandate,” Tsipras quipped in an interview with Star television on Tuesday night.

“I think that there is only one dilemma in these elections: will we continue on the path forward, all together, or will be go back to the relatively recent past, to five years ago, to the administration of [ex-ND PM Antonis] Samaras with Mr Mitsotakis as a top minister, to a society in a state uncertainty, where everyone had to fend for themselves?” he said.

Tsipras also reached out to center-left voters amid mounting suggestions by Movement for Change leader Fofi Gennimata that her party, whose main pillar is PASOK, would be open to a coalition with New Democracy if the conservatives win the July 7 polls.

Addressing the “simple folk of PASOK, who grew up with and have memories of what this right-wing party is all about,” Tsipras referred to PASOK's popular founder, asking whether party supporters would “do Ms Gennimata the favor of seeing a party founded by Andreas Papandreou become a brace for the Right.”

Tsipras also accused his firebrand former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, whose Mera25 party is running against SYRIZA, of arrogance and said that he is surprised by the “systemic” support his party is enjoying.

“Varoufakis is everywhere. And why is Varoufakis everywhere? […] because right now, Varoufakis is a vehicle that can prevent a radical political shift, meaning SYRIZA's victory in the elections,” Tsipras said.

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