Athens, June 25 (EFE).- Greece’s conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis won a landslide victory in Sunday’s election, breaking several records and vowing to move faster on big changes for the country.
With 96.6 percent of the votes counted, Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party had taken 40.5 percent of the ballots, making the ND the conservative party with the best results in Europe.
The conservatives are now guaranteed an absolute majority with 158 of the 300 seats in parliament, compared to just 47 obtained by the left-wing opposition Syriza party of former prime minister Alexis Tsipras, which garnered only 17.8 percent of the votes.
This is the first time since the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974 that a ruling party has managed to improve its results and also widen its gap on the opposition.
It is also the first time since the start of the debt crisis in 2010 that a Greek prime minister has been re-elected after a four-year term.
“With today’s electoral result, Greece opens a new, historic chapter in its course,” Mitsotakis said in a televised statement.
He added that voters “gave us a strong mandate to move faster on the course of the big changes our country needs. In a loud and mature way they have permanently closed a traumatic cycle of lies and toxicity that held the country back and divided society.”
The result is a real setback for the leftist Syriza, which lost more than a third of its support achieved in the 2019 elections, in which it obtained 31 percent of the votes.
“The electoral result is obviously negative for us,” Tsipras said in a televised statement. “We have suffered a serious electoral defeat. But I believe that the electoral result is mainly negative for society and for democracy.”
He said the party members would decide his fate and the strategy of the party in the coming days.
Despite the fact that the Mitsotakis government has faced scandals, such as the wiretapping of opposition politicians and journalists, a train crash that killed 57 and the recent sinking of a migrant boat that killed hundreds, the Greeks appear to have voted more with their pockets than with any possible democratic setbacks in mind.
Although the country’s economy has not yet reached the levels prior to the 2010 debt crisis, the Greeks recognized Mitsotakis’ work in the government, with increases in pensions and salaries, the arrival of investments and the country’s growth above the European Union average.
He has said that his objectives during this new term will be to increase the average salary to 1,500 euros per month, strengthen the public health system, modernize a State that is still deficient and continue to reduce taxes and contributions.
The Pasok-Kinal Social Democrats came in third with 11.8 percent of the vote, followed by the Communist Party of Greece with 7.6 percent.
The results of these elections have also shown that the far right continues in strength among the electorate.
In fifth place, with 4.6 percent, is the far-right party Espartanos (Spartans), to which Ilias Kasidiaris, a former leader of the banned neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party who is currently in prison for leading a criminal organization, showed his support a few days ago.
It is followed by two other far-right parties: the ultra-nationalist Greek Solution (4.4 percent) and the ultra-religious Niki (3.7 percent).
The Course of Freedom party of former Syriza deputy Zoe Konstantopulu also managed to pass the 3 percent threshold to obtain parliamentary representation, something that the leftist MeRA25 of former finance minister Yanis Varufakis did not achieve. EFE