Elections in Greece: Mitsotakis and Tsipras mobilize their troops for the last time

Two days before elections in Greece, outgoing right-wing Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the favorite, is mobilizing his troops for the last time, as is his main rival Alexis Tsipras who is calling for “change”.

The outgoing head of government and leader of New Democracy is to deliver a final campaign speech on Friday evening during a meeting in a tourist district of Athens in front of the ancient temple of the Parthenon.

At the same time, 48-year-old Alexis Tsipras, leader of Syriza, will speak to his supporters in Patras, a major port in the Peloponnese (south-west) and the country’s third city.

On Saturday, the eve of the ballot which makes it possible to nominate 300 representatives to Parliament (Vouli), no political demonstrations or publication of opinion polls are authorized.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, 55, at the top of voting intentions with a 5 to 7 point lead, however could not hold an absolute majority on Sunday evening to form a government.

In this case, he wants to call a new ballot in early July, which could allow his camp to benefit from seat bonuses, due to a different electoral system.

After a half-hearted campaign ended, the leader said on Friday on the Sky channel he was “expecting a clear victory” for his party.

– Stability –

During his campaign, he continued to highlight the economic recovery during his mandate after years of economic recession.

“The last thing the country needs is instability,” he said.

He accused Alexis Tsipras, prime minister from 2015 to 2019, of risking Greece’s exit from the euro zone by crossing swords with the EU at a time of delicate negotiations for a new financial aid scheme in 2015.

Alexis Tsipras, who in recent years has focused largely on the former formation of the radical left, responds that he was successful in restructuring the huge public debt and enabled his country to emerge from the crisis in 2018.

“Are we going to continue building a strong Greece or go back to the time when Greece was Europe’s pariah?” Kyriakos Mitsotakis launched on Wednesday from Kastoria (north-west).

For Nikos Petropoulos, a 72-year-old Athens retiree, Kyriakos Mitsotakis is “a prime minister who has restored Greece’s image abroad”.

“Growth is back and at least we don’t have companies closing like (Alexis) Tsipras’,” he told AFP.

On Thursday evening, on Syntagma Square, in front of the parliament, Alexis Tsipras asked the Greeks “not for a second chance”, but a first chance to “rule without memorandum, without coercion, without troika, without schaubl”.

He was referring to Greece’s panel of creditors and the former German finance minister, two symbols of the humiliation felt by so many Greeks in the conditional bailout package.

With each visit, Alexis Spipras explains the difficulties faced by many Greeks on a daily basis, who are victims of the high cost of living and rising energy prices.

“How can Mitsotakis’ government rejoice in the return of growth when we struggle daily to pay our bills and our groceries?” says Giorgos Thomopoulos, 46, a teacher interviewed by AFP.

Alexis Tsipras called on voters on Thursday to end a government that, according to him, has “sold out public services” and “abused the rule of law”.

He said Kyriakos Mitsotakis is “primarily responsible” for the intelligence surveillance scandal of journalists and politicians that rocked the government last year.

– avoided –

Many observers also anticipate a strong absence on Sunday.

In the last legislative elections in 2019, it had already registered a record 42%.

The vote of the youth and the undecided will prove to be decisive, in the face of anger generated by the youth following the serious train accident on February 28 that killed 57 people.

“I am going abroad to find work. I don’t care what the government does, I don’t have much hope for the future of the country anymore,” said Angelos, a 19-year-old student who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ,

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