Athena: Former Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos MitsotakisHe, who hopes to win an outright majority in next week’s general election, is credited with putting his debt-ridden country back on the path to growth.
He is on his way to winning the vote despite a wiretapping scandal and a devastating train crash in February, which dealt blows to his liberal reformist profile.
Mitsotakis, a scion of a conservative dynasty prominent in Greek politics for decades, is seeking a second consecutive four-year term as prime minister.
his governor New Democracy Party It came first in last month’s general election but with not enough votes for a workable parliamentary majority.
In an effort to gain a broader victory and rule on his own, Mitsotakis refused a mandate to form a government after the May 21 vote, and a second election was called.
The 55-year-old Harvard graduate, who worked for US financial advisory firm McKinsey, offered his country a rare respite from economic instability in the face of global turmoil including Covid and the war in Ukraine.
Greece’s remarkable economic recovery from the pandemic is one of Mitsotakis’ high talking points, in addition to the massive defense spending.
Although Greece lost vital tourism revenues during Covid, it recorded growth of 8.3% in 2021 and 5.9% in 2022.
However, economic issues remain a major concern for voters. The rosy headlines belie rising poverty and wages that fail to keep up with rising prices, says left-wing former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Mitsotakis governors say they increased national output by 29 billion euros ($31.4 billion) during their four years in office.
They also claim to have overseen the largest infrastructure upgrade since 1975, including highways, airports, ports and marinas.
When a devastating train collision killed 57 people in February, Mitsotakis management initially blamed the tragedy on human error, before acknowledging the precarious state of the rail network.
He says his government cut taxes by 50 percent, raised the minimum wage, and supported businesses and individuals through lockdowns and inflation with support packages worth more than €57 billion.
He has promised no new taxes, and pledged to hire 10,000 doctors and nurses for the understaffed public health system.
Mitsotakis was first elected to parliament in 2004, became leader of New Democracy in 2016, and assumed Greece’s highest office in 2019, defeating Tsipras, who was prime minister during some tough economic years for Greece.
Born in Athens in 1968, Mitsotakis comes from a political dynasty.
His father, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, was Prime Minister from 1990 to 1993.
His sister, Dora Bakoyannis, was the mayor of Athens and a government minister. Her son is the current major in DC.
Tall, skinny and strait-laced, Mitsotakis stopped wearing ties while campaigning and wooed teenagers to take selfies in an effort to look dapper.
But he feels awkward around crowds and has struggled to shed his elitist image.
At the start of the pandemic, Mitsotakis won praise for keeping a lid on virus deaths.
But he sparked outrage at the height of the strict lockdown when pictures emerged of him and his wife taking a bike ride on Mount Parnitha, 45 kilometers (30 miles) from Athens.
Mitsotakis was filmed standing among a group of motorcyclists, without a mask and violating social distancing rules.
Then last year, there was an illegal wiretapping scandal targeting journalists and political figures including the leader of the Socialist opposition Nikos Androulakis Another blow to his record.
Mitsotakis has sought to woo the conservative base with a hard line on immigration.
Greece is the landing point for tens of thousands of people crossing the Mediterranean to Europe, many of them fleeing conflict or poverty.
Last month, his government drew international outrage over footage said to show migrants being forcibly pushed out to sea and set off adrift.
And the United Nations stressed this week, after the migrant tragedy off Greece in which at least 78 were killed and hundreds feared missing, that “the duty to rescue people in danger at sea without delay is a fundamental rule of international maritime law.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *