Athens.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPA)
Political leaders tour the country exchanging fire ahead of the snap elections set for July 7. The president of the Republic accepted a request from prime minister Alexis Tsipras to dissolve parliament after a heavy defeat in European parliamentary elections. During a brief meeting with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, on Monday, June 10, Mr Tsipras said he wanted the early election to avoid months of campaigning that might have endangered the bailed-out country’s economy.
The main dilemma of the upcoming general elections is if the country will move on with safety and with all the Greeks or it will risk its return to the fiscal derailment and IMF’s supervision, said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during his visit on Saturday to the island of Rhodes.
On the result of the euroelections, Tsipras said that after three difficult years, he understands the people’s displeasure that wanted to send a message adding that he is examining the mistakes and failures. However, he said that the character of the national elections is totally different from the euroelections and explained that the character of the national elections exceeds the ideological lines expressed in the euroelections and has to do with the next day for Greece, for the people and for the next generation.
“The main dilemma, independent even from the parties’ proposals, refers to the country’s future” he said adding that “on July 7 the ballot will be empty and it is us who will fill it”.
Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos in an interview with Sunday newspaper Real News said that the four axes of SYRIZA’s programme are: Growth for All-climate change, new and qualitative job positions with higher wages, fair taxation and democratic and effective state and solidarity and safety for the society.
He said that the government and SYRIZA have made a throughout evaluation of the measures and their impacts noting that “our estimations are conservative something that allow us to say that we will not be led to deviations from the targets and the optimism that in September there will be additional fiscal space for permanent interventions.
Tsakalotos said that SYRIZA government have “already built its own credibility having taken the country out of the memoranda and having succeeded those we have planned” adding that the aim is ‘”to capitalise it in the interest of the society and of the economy”.
Administration Reconstruction Minister Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou characterised the elections battle “open” referring to ‘a new battle of crucial importance for the country’s future” underlining that “the people will trust again Alexis Tsipras”.
She said that the establishment of a strong progressive pole expresses the major political and social need of our times”.
She said it is a “substantial confrontation between two totally different policies; between the progress and the conservatism, between the fair growth and New Democracy’s already failed neoliberal programme” .
Xenoyiannakopoulou also criticised the Movement for Change (KINAL) accusing it of “identity crisis and strategic impasse”.
New Democracy (ND) leader asked for a strong mandate in order to be able to proceed with the reforms programme and the tax reductions, speaking to SKAI TV late Friday.
“In September the government will vote the draft state budget and the tax reduction will start in January 2020” Mitsotakis said adding that he will meet with Greece’s European partners, after the reforms have progressed, to negotiate the reduction of the primary surpluses. He also said that in the last four years the economy is underperforming adding that “The growth rates should be based on investments. More incentives for the entrepreneurs to invest”.
Mitsotakis reiterated that there will be no layoffs in the public sector and there will be no additional cuts on the pensions adding that his aim is also the invigoration of the real estate market.
Referring to the public sector he referred to targeted hirings in the health and the education while 1,500 will be hired in the police.
ND leader said that he will continue to talk with the society to explain two things. Why strong growth means strong Greece and why the citizens must participate in the elections. “I ask from the citizens to participate in the election procedure. If the government does not have a strong mandate then we will have new adventures”.
Referring to the TV debate, Mitsotakis said that he respects and does not underestimate any opponent adding that the debates are held with all the political leaders present.
On the national issues and the relations with Ankara, Mitsotakis said that Greece and Turkey must live together in a framework of mutual agreement, respect to the international law and to the neighbourly relations. “We have good allies and also with ally the international law we will address Turkey with good intentions and with self-confidence. We will attempt an approach of agreement with Turkey but in a framework non-negotiable. This also refers to the wider region, Albania will have no European prospect if it does not respect the rights of the Greek minority” Mitsotakis explained.
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) shadow finance minister Christos Staikouras in an interview with the Sunday newspaper Real News said that on one hand we have ND’s comprehensive, realistic and costed programme and on the other hand a bad and piecemeal copy of some of ND’s proposals in which SYRIZA does not believe and can’t implement”.
He noted that ND’s legislation initiatives will focus on tax reduction, additional incentives to attract investments, tackling bureaucracy, strengthening of liquidity unblocking of investments and fiscal discipline.
Staikouras said that his party will maintain the reduction on VAT in food and restaurants and the benefit to the pensioners.
He also proposed the creation of a permanent support mechanism for the most vulnerable citizens.
“SYRIZA and New Democracy, after dividing the people with extreme polarisation, now behave as the elections are over, but the Greek people have not voted yet, have not said their final word” Movement for Change (Kinima Allagis, KINAL) leader Fofi Gennimata said during her visit on Saturday to the town of Argos.
Gennimata that is touring the region of Argolida on Saturday, said that “Strong KINAL means strong counterweight against an uncontrollable New Democracy and the uncontrollable populism of SYRIZA”.
“Greece can’t face new adventures”, Gennimata concluded.
“The elections on July 7 are very crucial” said Communist Party (KKE) secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas on Saturday in Thiva.
Koutsoumbas who is touring the regions of Fthiotida and Viotia said that “What is judged in essence is if the Greek people would be able to look towards the future with optimism and courage. Of course what is at stake is if we will be in position, inside and outside the parliament, with the popular movement and the people’s struggles, to give a boost for the relief of the people that have suffered all those years. To stop the antisocial measures, the new cuts, the new austerity in a series of sectors which of course are provided in this post-memorandum era by the agreements that has signed SYRIZA government with the votes of New Democracy and PASOK in the parliament and with the approval of the third memorandum that is, along with the previous ones, in effect.
“So, in order for the people to be strong, the Communist Party must be supported. A strong KKE is the only force that can stand against any antipopular government and of course that the only way for the people to acquire self confidence, courage and strength” concluded Koutsoumbas.