Conservative Ousts Leftist Premier in Greek Early Elections

Cheryl Sanders
July 10, 2019

The debt load is forecast to fall to 168 percent of GDP this year, but only under belt-tightening brought in under Tsipras's Syriza party - something that Mitsotakis's New Democracy party says is stifling growth.

Official results showed Mitsotakis on track to crush leftist premier Alexis Tsipras, who oversaw austerity meausures after Greece's dramatic rescue by worldwide creditors in the European debt crisis.

"We must keep our commitments, this is the only way I know to gain credibility", Eurogroup chief Mario Centeno told reporters in Brussels. "There he is! The Prime Minister!" "I am completely confident that we will prove equal to the challenge".

New Democracy took 39.8 per cent of the national vote in Sunday's elections, meaning it landed 158 of the 300 parliamentary seats, while Syriza dropped to 31.5 per cent, or 86 lawmakers.

Explaining the retracement, Mizuho's head of rates strategy Peter Chatwell said that there was some negative reaction for Greek bonds because there is an expectation that New Democracy's policies will lead to a larger deficit. His sister Dora Bakoyannis is a former minister and Athens's first female mayor.

Tsipras, 44, joined the ranks of financial-era prime ministers who lost elections after having to impose deep spending cuts and tax hikes on the country's citizens.

Greece is now experiencing one of its worst and most prolonged economic crises, which began in 2009 after the global financial crisis swept much of the world.

New Democracy, like Borissov's political party GERB, is a member of the EU-wide European People's Party. A week later, it completed a near-sweep of Greek regions in local elections.

In a letter to the new prime minister, Juncker praised the Greek people for what they had to endure during its recent financial crisis which nearly saw the country ejected from the euro currency area four years ago. After that, Mr Tsipras was forced to call an early general election.

In parts of the country, there was also a backlash against a controversial agreement with North Macedonia that ended a bitter 27-year dispute over the country's name.

The extremist right-wing Golden Dawn, once the third largest party, failed to reach the three per cent threshold to enter parliament.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Union's executive Commission, cautioned the new prime minister that Greece still has a tough economic task ahead but that he had "full confidence in your personal capacity and the capacity of the Greek people to open a new, brighter chapter in the history of your country".

MeRa25 led by Yanis Varoufakis won nine seats.

Greek Solution could end up with 10 deputies, while neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn looks likely to be shut out of parliament for the first time since 2012.

Mitsotakis has vowed to hit the ground running.

A Eurogroup finance meeting on Monday will convene to discuss the state of Greece's economy after tax cuts rolled out by Tsipras in a last-ditch attempt to win over voters May.

Other reports by iNewsToday