Greek Election Campaign Wraps Up on Friday



As the Greek national election campaign ends on Friday, the two contenders for the premiership, Alexis Tsipras and Kyriakos Mitsotakis give the last battle before Sunday’s polls.

While all polls indicate that New Democracy will be the winning party – some even giving the conservatives enough votes for outright majority – Alexis Tsipras appears confident that voters will make the big turnaround and bring the leftist party back in power.

Alexis Tsipras confident of a turnaround

The country wishes for and has a need for a great turnaround, the departing prime minister said on his speech in Thessaloniki on Thursday night, referring to overturning the European Parliament ballot of May 26.

“From my tours around the country, the message I bring you is the following: An overturn is not simply a wish and a need of the country and the great majority, it has already begun,” the premier said.

Greeks “have not yet had the final say,” he reiterated, adding that a Syriza electoral win is exactly what the country’s young people want, what pensioners, small and middle-size business owners, intellectuals, and non-privileged citizens want.”

Greece, he said, is haunted by those who “led the country to its economic, political and ethical bankruptcy,” and named them as “the barons of media, the lords of corruption,” who do not forgive his party for succeeding where they failed and taking the country out of the rescue loan memoranda.

“We did take care of the weak, the workers, the SMEs, young people, pensioners – they don’t forgive us for taking care of those who were poor.” He noted that Syriza did all this “without having been born in wealthy families.”

Kyriakos Mitsotakis rides on May win

New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis is also confident that his party will come out triumphant on Sunday’s elections, riding on his win in the European Parliament and local government elections on May 26.

We sent a “loud and powerful message across the country,” Mitsotakis said speaking at his main pre-election rally at Thission, in Athens, on Thursday evening, that “on Sunday we vote and on Monday we turn a page.”

Mitsotakis said the main opposition party is “the widest possible patriotic political movement among all Greeks,” and added that his party is ready to represent “all those who seek certainty and progress,” and that ND is “ready to take on this responsibility.”

And he added: “We know the way, we know how to propel the country forward.”
He asked Greek citizens to give him the strength to serve the country and “unite all Greeks,” as he said “armed with the truth and a daring, yet realistic plan.”

Criticizing the SYRIZA government, Mitsotakis said that “they came to power with lies, they governed with arrogance and with unprecedented incompetence, and they are now leaving without having fully understood why Greeks are showing them the way out.”

Mitsotakis said that ND will link growth with a raise in wages, and that these will increase in tandem with GDP growth. He added that “the minimum wage will go up at double the rate of growth, so that in three years’ time it may reach 730 euros” per month, from the current 550 euros. His program, he stressed, is aimed at “reviving the country’s backbone, the middle class.”

Mitsotakis underlined that he intends to “change the new Penal Code legislated by the outgoing government,” because these “provide for the opportunity of an early release of convicted murderers, including the November 17 terrorists.”

Wrapping up ahead of Sunday’s general elections, the New Democracy leader said that “there is no room for lost votes on Sunday, nor for adventures and experiments which we will regret tomorrow,” and added that “it is the time of responsibility, engagement and participation.”

Three polls show outright majority for New Democracy

Three new opinion polls – the last before the Sunday’s ballot – formally confirm the strong lead of ND over SYRIZA and show that Kyriakos Mitsotakis is likely to achieve outright majority.

The Public Issue poll shows a difference of 15.5 percent (ND: 42.5 percent, SYRIZA 27 percent) and a majority of between 158 and 173 seats for ND in parliament.

The Pulse poll shows ND leading by 8 percentage points over SYRIZA (36 percent -28 percent) and outright majority.

Finally, a recent 9.8 percent difference in favor of ND in the vote is recorded in the latest Rass poll.

Specifically, the percentages on intention to vote for all parties are:

Public Issue:

New Democracy: 42.5%, SYRIZA: 27%, Movement for Change (KINAL): 8%,
Greek Communist Party (KKE): 5.5%, Golden Dawn: 3.5%, Greek Solution: 3%, DiEM25: 3%, Centrists Union 2%, Other parties: 5.5%.

Pulse:

New Democracy: 36%, SYRIZA: 28%, KINAL 7%, KKE 5%, GD 4%, Greek Solution 3%, DiEM 25: 3%.

Pass:

ND: 35.2%, SYRIZA: 25.4%, KINAL: 8%, KKE: 5.7%, Greek Solution 3%, DiEM 25: 2.8%, GD: 2.5%, Centrists Union 1.8%.