Published: Mon, July 08, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Greece voters likely to oust leftist Tsipras

Greece voters likely to oust leftist Tsipras

07 de julio de 2019, 00:40Athens, Jul 7 (Prensa Latina) Nearly ten million Greeks must go to the polls on Sunday in advanced parliamentary elections, in which the conservative New Democracy Party (ND), represented by Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is expected to win, according to a Gallup poll.

Opinion polls have consistently forecast that New Democracy headed by Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a former banker and scion of a leading Greek political family, will win an absolute majority in Sunday's legislative elections. "To bring Greece to where it is today, we had to take hard decisions (with) a heavy political cost", the outgoing PM told the journalists.

"I am taking over the governance with awareness of my responsibility to the nation", said Mitsotakis, stressing that he views the people's verdict with "modesty and respect".

Greece sank into a serious debt crisis in 2009 and signed three harsh bailout programs with worldwide lenders since 2010.

Tsipras, a leftist, called for a vote four months early after suffering a devastating defeat this May at the hands of New Democracy in European and municipal elections.

His sister is former minister Dora Bakoyannis, Athens's first female mayor.

The election was the first held since Greece emerged from three global bailouts that were dependent on successive governments implementing strict austerity measures, including major tax hikes and spending cuts.

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"We will not be a passive opposition, but we will defend rights that have been earned for people during our government", said Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, a close aide to the prime minister who served as government spokesman until the election campaign started.

The exit polls also indicated a major fall in support for far-right parties, including the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn, indicating a turn away from the recent populist trend in other parts of Europe.

Greek Solution has been buoyed by backlash against Tsipras' controversial agreement with North Macedonia that ended a bitter 27-year dispute over the country's name.

Mr Tsipras said he hoped New Democracy's return to government "will not lead to vengeance... particularly toward the significant achievements to protect the social majority and the workers".

But youth unemployment remains high, and New Democracy has counted many 18-24 year olds among its supporters. The party has also promised to be tough on crime in some neighborhoods of Athens where there is a strong anarchist movement.

In one neighborhood, activists stormed a polling station and made off with a ballot box.

In May, New Democracy beat Syriza by almost 9.5 points in European parliament elections.

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