SYRIZA to suffer ‘strategic defeat’ in next elections, ND’s Hatzidakis says

The SYRIZA party that currently leads Greece’s coalition government will suffer a major strategic defeat in the next elections, main opposition New Democracy Vice President Kostis Hatzidakis predicted, in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) released on Sunday.

Stressing that ND’s goal was to bring about political change, Hatzidakis said the dilemma facing voters in the 2019 elections was “whether we retain the right to hope and make progress or compromise with stagnation as our national destiny.”

Criticising the government’s performance on economic issues, Hatzidakis accused the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras “of taking 10 to give back one,” while Greece’s sluggish economy was still trailing in Europe.

He noted that tax cuts were the linchpin of ND’s economic policy and stressed that ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis intended to implement his own programme for reforming public administration, justice, education and health from the very first months of ND’s term in power.

“We believe that only a different policy mix with fewer taxes, less spending and investments can get the engines of the economy to truly start up again. Tax cuts are therefore the main foundation of our policy. Furthermore, the measures that we have announced are costed and accompanied by equivalent cuts in spending to avoid triggering fiscal imbalance,” he explained.

Hatzidakis also expressed confidence that by implementing its own programme and “showing the lenders that we are a truly reformist government,” a future ND government will persuade the country’s EU partners to relax the currently high primary surplus targets demanded of Greece.

Commenting on foreign policy issues, meanwhile, Hatzidakis repeated that ND will fight to prevent the ratification of the Prespes Agreement in Parliament as damaging to Greece’s interests.