In Greece, despite his victory in the legislative elections, Mitsotakis wants more

A “political earthquake”… It is in these terms that Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the outgoing Greek Prime Minister, describes the victory of the right obtained on Sunday in the legislative elections in Greece. Big winner of these elections which aimed to renew the 300 seats of the unicameral parliament, New Democracy, the party of Mitsotakis, won 40.8% of the vote, according to final results.

Its main rival, the Syriza party of former head of government Alexis Tsipras, which embodied the hope of the radical left in Europe when it came to power in 2015, suffered a severe setback with 20% of the vote. He is ahead of the socialist party Pasok-Kinal which wins 11.5% of the vote.

The clearest victory for a party since 1974

The pro-government newspaper Proto Thema thus noted that the 20-point gap between the two main parties was the largest since the return of democracy to Greece in 1974. In control of Greece since 2019, the 55-year-old leader, liberal conservative , gave a boost to a still recovering economy when he came to power after the financial meltdown and bailouts. Falling unemployment, growth of almost 6% last year, return of investments and surge in tourism, the Greek economy has indeed recovered after years of crisis and bailouts.

However, the situation remains fragile. The decline in purchasing power and the difficulties of making ends meet remain the main concerns of Greeks who have to deal with low wages. Last year, inflation approached 10%, further aggravating the difficulties. And the country is still bent under a public debt of more than 170% of its GDP. And then, Kyriakos Mitsotakis has his critics who accuse him of an authoritarian drift. His tenure has been riddled with scandals, from illegal tapping to the refoulement of migrants to police violence. Added to this is the rail accident of March 1, in central Greece, which killed 57 people and triggered a wave of anger in the country. Kyriakos Mitsotakis then found himself in turmoil, crushed for his management deemed calamitous of this disaster.

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Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants absolute majority

In this context, the outgoing Prime Minister himself recognized that “the great victory” of this Sunday had exceeded (his) own expectations”. Kyriakos Mitsotakis does not want to stop there, however. Because despite the magnitude of his victory, the 55-year-old leader, in charge of Greece since 2019, narrowly misses the absolute majority: his camp obtains 145 seats of deputies. He needed six more to be able to form a government alone.

But in a country where the political culture is not very focused on the search for compromise, he ruled out forming a coalition government. In other words, Greece is heading this Monday towards new legislative elections which could be held at the end of June or the beginning of July. “Maybe June 25,” slips Kyriakos Mitsotakis, this Monday morning. “As soon as possible,” he said in any case, during a meeting with the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou. The next ballot will take place under a different electoral system. The winning party will then obtain a “bonus” of up to 50 seats. Enough to guarantee him an absolute majority, according to his calculations.

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