In his first interview after the local elections, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that despite the second-round upsets he is confident that his administration has the public’s backing for its promised reform programme.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on his ministers to heed the warnings of the second round of the local elections, which saw New Democracy lose in five of the six remaining regional authority contests while also seeing the candidates the conservatives were supporting lose control of the country’s two biggest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki.
The three main political parties in Greece are charting their next moves as they continue to digest the shock results of the second round of local elections. While the New Democracy government is downplaying the celebrations of its rivals, the strategic alliance between SYRIZA and PASOK looks likely to prove ephemeral.
The results of the second round of local elections, held on Sunday, put a substantially different complexion on the political picture that had been formed following the first round, as New Democracy’s dominance at a regional and municipal level failed to materialise.
Facing considerable unrest within his party, SYRIZA’s recently elected leader Stefanos Kasselakis is attempting to fight back by increasing his grassroots support and avoiding any direct confrontation with his critics.
As campaigning for the second round of municipal and regional elections enters the final stretch, regional reconstruction funds are emerging as New Democracy’s key weapon in the push to get the party’s candidates over the line.
In a move that is unlikely to sit well with everyone in his party, recently elected SYRIZA president Stefanos Kasselakis has attempted to court Greece’s industrialists by declaring that the leftists will adjust their position under his leadership so that they no longer “demonise” capital.
New Democracy is claiming that total dominance over municipal and regional government is within reach, as the results of the first round of elections served up few unpleasant surprises for the governing party. At the same time, the polls created a new dynamic between SYRIZA and PASOK, as the main opposition parties contemplate strategic plays.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis interpreted the results of Sunday’s local elections as a “reconfirmation” of the public’s support in his New Democracy party, after candidates backed by the conservatives won seven of Greece’s 13 regional governorships, while ND-supported hopefuls also look well-placed to win the mayorships of Athens and Thessaloniki in run-off ballots next Sunday.
The issue of same-sex marriage is turning into somewhat of a thorn in Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s side as there appears to be little support from within his party for a change to the law – a fact that SYRIZA is looking to exploit as its new leader Stefanos Kasselakis looks to burnish his liberal credentials, especially when compared to the conservative leader.