Party leaders are taking center stage

With EU polls nearing, Mitsotakis, Kasselakis and Androulakis seek to stress rivals’ weaknesses

Party leaders are taking center stage

As the country enters the final stretch before the European elections on June 9, the constantly sharpening confrontation between ruling New Democracy and main opposition parties SYRIZA and PASOK is shifting to the level of political leaders.

Given that Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Stefanos Kasselakis and Nikos Androulakis, in one way or another, are stepping forward in the run-up to the elections, the focus is on the effort to highlight the weaknesses of the opponents with the goal of rallying their respective bases.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis accuses Kasselakis of lifestyle politics and incoherent speech, while slamming both him and Androulakis for steering clear of issues related to Europe and the significance of the European elections.

Speaking to Open TV on Wednesday, Mitsotakis denounced Kasselakis for engaging in “lifestyle populism that comes and intersects with the worst days of SYRIZA, which demanded everything from everyone and brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy.”

He also urged the leftist party leader to have “a little more modesty and less complacency,” accusing him of “turning internet trolls into official political positions.”

For his part, Kasselakis maintains the front with the government, and has questioned whether the progressive citizens who voted for Mitsotakis “applaud the rhetoric of his far-right ministers,” while lambasting PASOK officials as a “source of human resources” for ND.

He is also seeking to woo voters who may back the splinter New Left party, referring to “a big hug to the whole progressive world and to former comrades who may have been disillusioned with SYRIZA.”

Referring to Kasselakis’ call to PASOK members to jump ship and move to SYRIZA, Androulakis said mockingly that he “didn’t sleep all night because of my distress that he won’t call me.”

And he made sure to add that if PASOK emerges strengthened from the June 9 ballot, it can unite the progressive world against conservatism.

“Because, at the table where we will sit politically, ideologically, institutionally to form this front, other people can come. No one can go to Kasselakis’ table, they have already left.”

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