Having experienced populism, Greece is returning to pragmatism
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the president of New Democracy, is confident that if elections take place in 2017, his party will win them, a view he expresses in an article about him in this week’s Newsweek.
Mitsotakis believes that the political future of the country is clear, as reflected in the polls. While centrist forces in Europe are in retreat, ND’s leader maintains that the country experienced populism but is now turning towards pragmatism. “The pendulum tends to swing [back] in the other direction,” he told Newsweek. “I think that’s where we are right now.”
According to Mitsotakis, the leftist party SYRIZA won the January 2015 elections because its leader, Alexis Tsipras, promised he would negotiate a write-off of a portion of Greece’s debt as well as an increase in public expenditure. “Mr. Tsipras offered easy and convenient promises to problems requiring difficult solutions,” the ND leader stressed.
The problem, according to the conservative opposition leader, is that the current government does not have ownership of the reform program. “There is still tremendous internal debate within the government every time there has to be a privatization, and every time it is asked to support private entrepreneurship and growth,” he said. “The answer to populism is to tell people the truth.”