The overwhelming victory of the center-right New Democracy party in the European elections and the image of a defeated leftist SYRIZA, left to its fate ahead of the general election, has led to the feeling that ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis will achieve the much-needed full majority on July 7, despite the low voter turnout expected due to the polls coinciding with the summer holiday period.
In such an eventuality, Mitsotakis will emerge dominant and ready to implement a plan to rebuild the country’s economy over an unobstructed four-year period, as the election of a new president in 2020 is a done deal following the incumbent leftists’ constitutional acrobatics.
Obviously Mitsotakis will also have difficult problems to tackle: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ benefits have eaten away a chunk of the 2019 primary surplus, Public Power Corporation (PPC) will remain teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and court decisions on pensioners’ retroactive wage payments will create fiscal threats.
However, he will be the first prime minister in many years to faced with the prospect of a stabilized economy after three harsh international bailout programs and with high growth expectations on the part of domestic investors and international markets.
Furthermore, the New Democracy leader will have another advantage: He has clarified in every detail the course he will take as soon as he is elected to power. Mitsotakis has made it clear to everyone that he will do all he can to reboot the economy through generous tax reductions and by unlocking every investment project that has stagnated – from the development of Athens’ old airport at Elliniko to the mines at Skouries in Halkidiki – while attracting every viable investment proposal from abroad.
Mitsotakis and his party will be tasked with taking advantage of the climate of expectation that the imminent political change in Greece has created and not being afraid to clash with anything that holds the country back.
In other words, he will have to shake off pressure from within New Democracy and the timeworn tradition of pandering to unions and not waste time attempting to control the state apparatus or taking revenge on his political opponents, as conservative forces that threaten to exercise a paralytic influence on the party and the state apparatus would like.