Speaking on BBC’s HARDtalk, Greece’s newly-elected New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis charged Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with being a “populist” who won the elections by making promises that he could not be delivered.
Specifically, Mr Mitsotakis said that Mr. Tsipras was either naïve when he presented his so-called “Thessaloniki program” or that he lied intentionally to the Greek people.
ND’s new leader said that Mr. Tsipras succeeded in convincing Greek voters that he stood for something new when in reality he relied on the clientelistic politics of the past to lure voters into Syriza’s camp.
In addition, Mr. Mitsotakis said that he would not support the government’s proposed reform pension plan because it is misguided.
He added, however, that there is still room for spending cuts and expressed his disagreement with salary increases for public employees.
In terms of the political direction of ND under his leadership, Mr. Mitsotakis said that his goal is to move the party to the center of the political spectrum even if this means causing dissatisfaction among traditional right-wing voters.
Finally, asked to reflect on the refugee crisis facing Greece, Mr. Mitsotakis said it is unfair to have turned Greece into a scapegoat when the EU has failed to do its own part in resolving the crisis.