New Democracy (ND) will abstain from parliament procedures this week, the main opposition’s leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday evening, while he also noted he has no intention to collaborate with SYRIZA or far-right parties after general elections.
In an interview on ANT1 TV, Mitsotakis said he is not focusing on what Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his party SYRIZA will be like the day after general elections, but noted that “my first concern is to have the strongest mandate possible.”
Mitsotakis said his party would explain on Tuesday the reasons of abstaining from parliament, and charged the government with trying to fast-track regulations before elections are officially declared. (Tsipras has said he will notify the Greek president of calling elections, which the government spokesman set as taking place on July 7.)
The ND leader said that his campaign around the country will not include large public gatherings, but rather he will he stage open discussions. The only exception, he said, will be a final open-air rally closer to the date of elections. “We have to get in touch with the people and the young,” he said, stressing that ND came first among the 17-24 age group and among civil servants in the Europarliament and local elections recently.
Mitsotakis clarified that his party will not be collaborating with either Evangelos Venizelos or Yanis Varoufakis, following the first’s rift with Movement For Change party (Kinima Allagis, KINAL) and Varoufakis’ reported recent comments about a possible collaboration with ND.
New Democracy will also not be collaborating with far-right TV persona Kyriakos Velopoulos, who managed to capture a 4.2 pct at the Euro-ballot vote on May 26 with his Greek Solution party, he said. Mitsotakis also expressed the wish that Velopoulos and the far-right party Golden Dawn do not make it into Greek parliament, the latter for the second time, and underlined that there was no possiblity of collaborating with SYRIZA after the general elections.
The ND leader also reiterated that he would not do away with the new regulation allowing taxpayers to settle tax and insurance arrears in 120 installments, but would simplify it; there would be “absolutely no layoff of any civil servant”; and that there was no chance the national broadcaster ERT would be shut down again.
He added that he had no sense of revenge, and that he was willing to participate in a debate with Tsipras and other party leaders.