Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ruled out any possibility of early elections on Friday, saying his government will see out its four-year term, in response to suggestions by opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras that he would spring a surprise with snap polls after the summer.
“There will be no elections before the end of the four-year term. In no way at all does the country need elections [now],” Mitsotakis told a Parliament session Friday, adding however that “some adjustments” will be made to the government’s plans, which was seen to hint at a cabinet reshuffle.
Earlier Tsipras had predicted that the government, having made commitments to its partners, would not shy away from new austerity measures either at the end of the year or early 2021. Against this backdrop, Tsipras said, the prime minister would be amenable to suggestions for early polls before his government announces a fresh batch of austerity measures.
“You will bring fiscal austerity measures back in April 2021 – I hope not sooner – when you will be talking about the medium-term plan, or in December 2020, when you will discuss the budget,” Tsipras said, while mockingly adding that Mitsotakis wakes up in the middle of the night, thinking, “Elections, what will happen if there are elections?”
In response, Mitsotakis said that Tsipras and his aides can rest assured and take their vacations in the summer with no concerns as there will be no elections before the end of the four-year term.
“The government has political capital, which it intends to invest,” Mitsotakis said. “The central core of government policy on the need for this country to be transformed through a large wave of reforms has not changed,” he said, adding that, until the 2023 elections, “you [Tsipras] have another three years in the opposition.”