NEWS

ND leader vows justice and tax reform, boost to jobs and property assets

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Opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis plans to “restore the stature” of the justice system by appointing top judges with an “unimpeachable reputation,” bolster the police and “immediately abolish” a ban on law enforcement officers on university grounds if his New Democracy party is elected to government in Sunday's snap polls.

“By September, when the new academic term begins, the asylum law will be abolished,” Mitsotakis said in a wide-ranging interview with Skai TV on Monday morning, referring to plans to gentrify the downtown Athens area around the National Archaeological Museum, which neighbors the Athens University of Economics and Business, and the notorious Exarchia district.

The 51-year-old conservative leader said New Democracy also has a “very ambitious plan” for the long-term unemployed by providing orientation and training, stressing that “jobs not subsidies are the answer to poverty.”

On the issue of subsidies, he vowed that support to low-income households, large families and retirees on small pensions would not be cut, adding that tax relief measures will include reductions to value-added tax and property levies.

ND's shakeup of the tax system also foresees reductions to business and dividend taxes, which are “already feasible under current fiscal planning,” Mitsotakis said, adding that he will be seeking the approval of Greece's European creditors “for even bolder” reductions.

New Democracy has the “know-how to talk to the Europeans,” the conservative leader said, adding plans to make better use of structural funds and to address border and migration issues.

Mitsotakis was tight-lipped regarding his choices for cabinet and also refused to divulge ND's candidate for president once the term of incumbent Prokopis Pavlopoulos expires next year or for European commissioner, saying only that the latter would be an official “who will ably represent Greece” in Brussels.