Meeting visiting European journalists at the Maximos Mansion on Tuesday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras played down the significance of New Democracy’s lead in opinion polls and ruled out early elections. According to sources, the prime minister emphasised that the elections will be held in 2019, at the end of the government’s term.
He also pointed out that opinion polls in the past two years had steadily put ND in the lead but the election results had shown something quite different. “I prefer winning elections to opinion polls,” he quipped.
In the autumn of 2019, the government would call on voters to compare the state of Greece when the present government took over, with deep recession and high unemployment, and the state that Tsipras said he hoped his government would deliver, with strong growth rates and falling unemployment.
At that time, the prime minister said, voters would be able to judge the government on its work as a whole. He admitted that this was an ambitious goal but said he was optimistic.
According to sources, Tsipras had been asked about the possibility of a government reshuffle and whether this would take place in response to the government’s poor showing in opinion polls.
Tsipras was meeting with EU journalists visiting Greece under the auspices of the EU Representation in Greece for talks dominated by the refugee crisis and European affairs. Posting in his Twitter account about the meeting, the prime minister noted that:
“In the framework of globalisation and the EU, a left strategy is to change the balance of power internationally, not only domestically. It is important to replace austerity with a growth-oriented agenda to the benefit of society and economy. It is necessary to replace irregular and dangerous migration routes with safe and regular ones.”