Greece: what does Mitsotakis’ victory mean?
With almost all votes counted, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ liberal-conservative Nea Dimokratia has secured a clear victory in the second round of Greece’s parliamentary elections with 40.5 per cent of the vote. The left-wing Syriza party led by former prime minister Alexis Tsipras came second with 17.8 percent. Greek media voice concern about the strong showing of several small far-right parties, which together won almost 13 percent of the vote.
Despite failures economic data is in his favour
The Greeks have voted for economic stability, says La Stampa:
“Despite the scandals surrounding the wiretapping of oppositional politicians and journalists, despite the train accident in Tempi last February, despite the migrant shipwreck in Kalamata ten days ago, conservative Mitsotakis has won and will govern for another four years. ... The main reason for this, according to analysts, is his handling of the economy. ... Unemployment has dropped from 19 percent to 11 percent. Bureaucracy has been reduced, the state digitised. The government has lowered taxes for companies, and multinationals like Microsoft, Google and Pfizer are investing. The crisis is putting pressure on household incomes, but the forecast is 2.4 percent growth.”
The nation comes first
tagesschau.de sees a growing trend:
“A few freedoms and basic rights are being sacrificed for the sake of stability. Political scandals, the concentration of power, restrictions on press freedom and pushbacks are overlooked. The nation comes first — as is increasingly the case in Europe. But Greece — through its own fault — has also been under the strict supervision of the EU for long enough. It is part of its unifying national pride that it got through the debt crisis — and it should never happen again. That is also why a majority has voted for Mitsotakis, an economist with international degrees.”
No effective opposition
News website TVXS warns:
“This renewed electoral defeat for Syriza as well as [social democratic] Pasok-Kinal’s inability to increase its share of the vote creates a dangerous situation: there is no longer any effective and efficient control over the dominant Nea Dimokratia, which has already displayed certain regime-like traits in the four years it has been in office. ... After this latest victory of the far right the right-wing forces as a whole are stronger than the entire left and centre left. ... We can no longer afford the luxury of passivity in the face of an uncontrollable government that has the wiretapping scandal and other sad events on its record.”
Greece now has its own alt-right
The left has its work cut out for it, writes Efimerida ton Syntakton:
“In Greece, as almost everywhere else in the world, an ultra-conservative wind is blowing, and today’s election results confirm this. There is no Greek exception, as was already evident in 2012 when Chrysi Avgi entered parliament. Today the Nazi leaders are in prison, but with Kasidiaris’ [former spokesman for Chrysi Avgi] blessing they will be replaced by the ‘Spartans’. ... Greece now has its own alt-right, in all its manifestations: racism, nationalism, conspiracy theories and bigotry. ... The left must show that it has reserves of combativeness, patience, organisation and systematic work. It looks like it will be forced to swim like a salmon against the current.”