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Conservative Kyriakos Mitsotakis claims a landslide victory

A promise of continuity. The right-wing party of Kyriakos Mitsotakis won a landslide victory in Greece’s legislative elections on Sunday, but a second ballot will be needed to guarantee it a stable government.

New Democracy (ND) led by the outgoing Prime Minister won 40.8% of the vote, according to partial results covering 85% of the polling stations. It is very clearly ahead of the left of former head of government Alexis Tsipras which won only 20% of the vote, ahead of the socialist party Pasok-Kinal which recorded a score of 11.6%.

“A political earthquake”, according to him

Hailing with his victory “a political earthquake”, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in charge since 2019, paved the way for a second ballot which could be held at the end of June or the beginning of July and would allow him, if he confirms this performance, to win a majority. absolute. Thanks to a different electoral system, the winning party would then obtain a “bonus” of up to 50 seats.

According to projections on Sunday evening, his party wins 145 of the 300 seats of deputies, six seats less than the absolute majority. Shortly after, addressing his jubilant supporters, he assured: “Together we will fight tomorrow so that in the next elections what the citizens have already decided, namely an autonomous ND, is mathematically confirmed”.

He claims his economic record

During his election campaign, the conservative leader, a Harvard graduate and son of a former prime minister, constantly brandished his economic record. Sunday after voting in Athens, he assured that he wanted to make Greece “a stronger country with an important role in Europe”. “We are voting for our future, for more jobs and better jobs, for a more efficient health system,” he also stressed, accompanied by two of his three adult children. Falling unemployment, growth of nearly 6% last year, return of investment and soaring tourism, the economy has picked up again after years of acute crisis and European rescue plans.

The decline in purchasing power and the difficulties of making ends meet remain the main concerns of a population that has made painful sacrifices over the past ten years. Many Greeks have to make do with low wages and have lost faith in drastically reduced public services after drastic weight loss treatments. The country is still suffering from a public debt of more than 170% of its GDP. And inflation came close to 10% last year, further aggravating the difficulties of the population.

His detractors accuse him of an authoritarian drift

At the end of February, the train disaster that killed 57 people awoke the anger that has been eating away at Greece since the crisis and triggered demonstrations against the government accused of negligence. The critics of Kyriakos Mitsotakis accuse him of an authoritarian drift since he came to power. His tenure has been riddled with scandals, from illegal tapping to the refoulement of migrants to police violence. In March, the European Parliament denounced “serious threats to the rule of law and fundamental rights” in Greece, according to Dutch MEP Sophie in’t Veld.

Greece, bottom of the EU in terms of freedom of the press in the annual ranking of Reporters Without Borders, is also regularly accused of turning back migrants to Turkey. Friday, the American daily New York Times published a video attesting to such illegal practices which Athens vehemently denies.

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